Interview: Laura Babb on Wedding Photography, SNAP Festival, and Analysing Your Own Work

12:00 pm


Photographers are some of my favourite people to interview, perhaps because personally I completely lack the skills they have, however much I try! Today I chatted to Laura Babb about her wedding and event photography, the festival she founded to help others develop their skills, and how to look at your own work from a different angle. I'd really recommend you take a look at her work on her website; you never know when you'll need a photographer!

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Laura! First of all, for any readers who don’t know your background, will you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are today?

Laura Babb:
I'm Laura but my friends call me Babb. I'm a photographer and I also run alternative training events for wedding and lifestyle photographers, including SNAP Photography Festival which is a week of glamping, workshops, seminars, activities and parties. I live in Bath and when I'm not photographing weddings I love to travel. 

Magic & Musings:
If you could describe your photography in three words, what would they be?

Laura Babb:
Colourful
Quirky 
Documentary


Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into photography? Is this something you’ve been formally trained in?

Laura Babb:
I bought my first proper camera in 2008 on a bit of a whim and I decided to take an evening class in photography. I spent weekends on photowalks and took my camera almost everywhere with me and a while later a friend asked me to photograph their wedding. I decided to do it as properly as I could and I bought books, planned the day to the best of my ability, and I hired in the equipment I needed to do a the best job I could. I really loved photographing that first wedding and decided that I wanted to find a way to be a photographer full time. 

Magic & Musings:
Did you have to overcome any self-confidence barriers in order to get to that place where you could share your photographs?

Laura Babb:
Weirdly, no. It's weird because I have pretty low self esteem but it's never really impacted on me sharing my work. I have regular periods of classic creative self-doubt but that's never really stopped me putting my work out into the world. I am not sure why but I am grateful as it's allowed me to promote my business pretty hard, even when I was very new and still had a lot to learn!


Magic & Musings:
Of all of your projects, which are you the happiest with and why?

Laura Babb:
I still love shooting weddings and I love working with diverse couples. That's been theme that I have tried to carry over into other aspects of my work, like SNAP for example. This year we had a big focus on topics around diversity, including marketing to diverse clients, inclusive language, non-gendered posing etc and it's really important to me to be able to bring those discussions to the mainstream wedding industry. SNAP does make me feel incredibly proud - the community is really special - but so does the wedding work I am able to create for my couples.

Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female-identifying or non-binary artists and their work. Which photographers, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look at when you need a spark of inspiration?

Laura Babb:
Emma Case has been someone that's inspired me at every step of my journey. I have always followed her work and I love the authenticity of it, but more recently she's launched the I Do Community which is a place where members of the online community can give their time, skill, and profile to raise funds and create awareness for various projects and causes. Her motivation is massively inspiring. Outside of the wedding industry I love photographers who create work that's raw, like Nan Goldin and Darcy Padilla


Magic & Musings:
This is a question I like to ask purely because of the variety of answers I get! I’m really interested in how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular album of music you listen to? 

Laura Babb:
In theory my working practices are shockingly bad. I often work from bed and some weeks I don't leave the house for a few days at a time... I do manage to get shit done though. I use Trello as my to-do list and regularly prioritise tasks. I also have short, medium, and long term aims.  My other thing is complete silence. I can't listen to music while I work, as I lose concentration. Regular cups of tea help too.

Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively? 

Laura Babb:
Keep creating and critically analyse your own work. I've been working with a mentor this year to get feedback on areas that I can improve and that's really helped when I have felt stuck. Also creating something where there's no pressure. Creating something without the intention of it being good, just for the pleasure of it, can be very liberating. 

Magic & Musings:
What are some things you like to do in your spare time when you’re not working?

Laura Babb:
I love to travel and when I'm not doing that I like to spend a whole day on my couch watching Netflix. Because I travel a lot (which sounds glamorous, but actually involves groundhog day moments in the same M4 service station!) I really love just doing nothing when I'm home. 

Magic & Musings:
What tools do you use to keep yourself organised?

Laura Babb:
I have a customer management system that deals with my accounting, invoicing and customer workflow and then I use Trello as previously mentioned to stay organised with general business stuff.


Magic & Musings:
Have you ever explored working in a medium other than photography? Is this something you would consider in the future?

Laura Babb:
You know, I haven't. I feel a bit scarred by the art classes I took at school and prior to finding photography I always assumed that I wasn't in any way creative. I would definitely consider trying something new and different for fun. 

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out as a photographer?

Laura Babb:
Nothing, really. Every mistake I have made has informed my journey and I wouldn't actually change anything. I guess knowing more about the business side of things would have been useful early on and I would have loved to have found more of a community in those early days. 

Magic & Musings:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song? 

Laura Babb:
My poor, neglected Kindle... I miss my old commute to a day job because I always had time to read. I don't read enough now but I did recently read the 5th Wave series by Rick Yancy. Brilliant if you like dystopian teen fiction! I also just read The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, which was brilliant. 

Magic & Musings:
Dystopian teen fiction are the words I like to hear!
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? What’s on the horizon for you in the next few months?

Laura Babb:
You can find me at www.babbphoto.com and also www.snapphotofestival.com and my Instagram is @bisforbabb

I have a busy wedding season ahead and several events this year but outside of that I am looking to shoot more 'Artist at Work' portraits, so if anyone wants to collaborate get in touch!

--

Enjoying this series? Want to keep it going? Consider supporting me on Patreon for lots more exciting things in the future. Find out more here.

You Might Also Like

0 comments