Posted by Workbook on 01/13/2015 — Filed under: Features, Headline, Photography
This year started with an air of adventure thanks to photographer Laurie Rubin
. With a majority of her work comprised of location shooting, stylized interior vignettes, and film work in the same vein, Laurie was brought on the recent TIGHAR
(The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) expedition to search for remains from Amelia Earhart's final flight.
Not only was Laurie's work featured in the January issue of Smithsonian
magazine, but she was then invited to curate the magazine's Instagram account for the past week. We took a moment to speak with Laurie on the overall experience, how one phone call opened the door to an exciting opportunity and her thoughts on social media.
How were you first brought on board (pun intended) with the TIGHAR team? How did Smithsonian magazine come into the picture?
I have been working on documenting cultural artifacts as personal project over the last few years. Because Amelia Earhart was one of my earliest heroes, I contacted Ric Gillespie (of TIGHAR) to shoot the recovered artifacts for this series. One thing led to another, and then I found myself on a flight to Honolulu to join the expedition.
This journalistic style of photography is a departure from your usual repertoire. Was it a difficult adjustment, or has it always been a forte of yours?
This is definitely a departure from the work I am usually hired for, but I shoot all the time and always carry a camera. I travel a lot both for work and for pleasure. The hardest part for me was packing: choosing the gear I could take and manage on my own, yet still have redundant system if anything went down. I think we packed and repacked about five times.
This past week you had the opportunity to engage social media audiences by curating the Smithsonian magazine Instagram feed. How did that opportunity come about?
Smithsonian magazine was
a client before the expedition. I shared some of the images from the book and the Artifacts series with one of their photo editors, and she invited me to contribute to their Instagram feed after publication of the January issue featuring the Earhart story.
Tasking as curator, was there a shift in your perspective on images you shared? What were some of the differences you came across posting for Smithsonian magazine versus your personal Instagram?
Instagram for me is a repository of my personal images, travel images, and just weird things I want to keep track of. It is like a public file of personal images. I am pretty new to Instagram, but I am enjoying it quite a bit.
Now with some distance from this experience, can you comment on social media (especially photo social apps like Instagram) and its relevance for photographers and their careers?
I can’t say with any authority that the social media piece has impacted my business. I can attest to the fact it can be a huge distraction. I know I have spent time tweaking images and browsing that should have been time spent at the gym!
To follow the 2015 Expedition, or for a copy of Laurie's book (available for a tax deductible donation), please visit the TIGHAR website.