Laura Schmitt Photography :: From the Beginning Part 2

I get so many questions about how I started with photography, so here is the long-ish version.

I took my first photo on a red and white camera with bees on it. I think I was maybe five or six. It was the old 110mm film. The photo was of my dad and I cropped off his head. Evidence is the image 🙂

You can see that I’ve grown a lot as a photographer! 😂

Then I took one of my best friend Kelsey. And I took a few photos of my cat.

I don’t crop off heads anymore, but I do still take pictures of my cat.

I first got really interested in photography in high school. I always loved art and I also always wanted to be a journalist, but I wasn’t so sure about my writing skills. And at that point, I didn’t know much about photojournalism. So, I took a photography class in high school to see if photography was something I may want to do, since I didn’t think it was “practical” to be an artist and live on the beach and see beaded necklaces.  I fell in love with photography and exploring the world around me with my Pentax K-100. After shooting rolls of film in art class, we developed the negatives and printed the images in the dark room. I loved spending time with the music cranked up in the dark room seeing the images emerge. After a few trimesters, my art teacher said it was something I could be good at … so I decided to pursue it! Way better than selling beads by the seashore, right?

I grew up in northern Iowa and after high school went to the University of Iowa. After really, really realizing that I didn’t like to write (I kept trying to be a writer for some reason) I decided to pursue photography for real. I worked at our student newspaper. The Daily Iowan, in college and took fine art classes in photography as well. I went from projects where I took artsy pictures of holes in trees (what??? I don’t know) to feeling finally comfortable taking pictures of people.

After graduation and a few internships on both coasts, my first real job took me to Marshfield, Wisconsin where I worked as a photographer for the Marshfield News-Herald.

And I’ll be back to tell you more about it on a different day!


Based in Marshfield, Wisconsin

Available for Travel