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10 Questions with Photographer Lauren Moghavem

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10 Questions with Photographer Lauren Moghavem

An up-and-coming rookie breaking into the fashion industry

Barbara Kang

9.22.17

Emerging portrait photographer, Lauren Moghavem, uses her Instagram, Openforedit, as a creative outlet to storytell. Currently a Sophomore at Boston University pursuing Journalism, her talents landed her a contract with LA Fashion Magazine this past summer. Her gigs include big brands such as, Brandy Melville and retro-inspired clothing line, Stay Cool NYC. Utilizing her social media as a method of marketing herself by showcasing her raw and alluring images, Lauren aims to push boundaries and spark narrative.
What was your exposure to photography before college?
I started my own journaling. It all started off with middle school diaries. [chuckling] I started getting bored because I don't enjoy writing as much. I enjoyed the emotions that were embodied in pictures, so I started to read blogs and magazines to paste a bunch of pictures. I was inspired by the concept of emotions versus words. The expressions people handle themselves with when it comes to being nervous or being sad or even how they hold themselves in a fashion show. I think that was the big turning point. I kept compiling photos for inspiration, and I tried to copy it. I began understanding how to develop my own style by trying to copy others. I was 14 when I received my first camera. It was the Nikon d3300, but it was more like the family camera.


What made you decide to name your Instagram, Openforedit?
Inspired by my collaging. My idea of photography started when I cropped and cut out a bunch of other people's pictures. Then I made my own photography with it by adding people to pictures, pasting a bunch of magazine pictures to baby photos of myself. Nothing really made sense as a whole. I think that was the whole point of it, but the meaning is more so that everything is open for edit. A picture can always be cropped into a smaller picture and still be a full picture. Everything you can find on the internet is open to edit. Everything you find on my page is open to edit.


What was your first huge gig as a photographer?
Going into freshman year of college, I was lucky enough to do Brandy Melville for my first big photography job. I started off at Brandy doing retail in 8th grade, and I always worked doing aesthetics for them like displays. I was always visual. After I got into freelance, I guess my first jobs were mostly my freelance work for boutiques, jewelry, makeup, and portraits. But, the first brand job that a company signed me for was Brandy.



How did you get your work in a collaborative exhibition with artist, Daniel Mirharouni?
Early May, an artist reached out to me. His style is more painting over photography, and he was really intrigued by my photography for freelance shoots--mainly portraitures. Exactly what I was doing before, he was editing my pictures. He edited it in his own way--painted over it and was able to make a whole new composition out of it. I loved the whole entire aspect of it. It brought me back to what inspired me initially. The exhibition took place in DTLA for a week.



StaycoolNYC?
That was more creative based. It was fun because he was always in New York, so I was able to bring in that LA beach style.


How was your experience travelling to Venice to study Studio Arts this summer?
Venice was such a last minute decision. I wanted to work but I didn’t get the job with LA Fashion until the last week of being in Venice. I decided to go for painting--something I never took before. I ended up taking Painting501 which is the hardest painting course offered in BU. I learned how to have a different visual which was pretty difficult. As a a photographer, you’re a perfectionist. Every line is straight. Every line has to be dimensional. You have to follow rules of thirds. In painting, you can't paint a straight line freehanded. When you try to paint over something, you can't edit the coloring . That’s how its going to end up being. I was working with oil which was harder cause I couldn’t edit any of my paintings after it happened. It took time. As a photographer once I edit, it’s done in that same hour. These compositions took days. Regardless, it was an amazing experience. I also studied art history. This was a 7 week process in Venice, Italy. I was able to document a lot of stuff in Hamburg, Germany outside of the fashion range which was super awesome.



Do you desire to continue pursuing modeling?
I like doing it for friends, family. What started me up with fashion was Off the Cuff Magazine. But, I love being based behind the camera. Modeling is great, and it's definitely a confidence booster, but I think I'm going to end my modeling career and do more photography.



How was New York Fashion Week?
I saw Art Hearts, Monster, Elle Magazine, and Mancandy Bullet Magazine.



What’s your style of photography or something signature to you? You definitely have a distinct look to all your compositions.
People-based. I've always been into people--portrait-based, lifestyle, fashion and art. Never into scenery.
I don’t think my style has necessarily changed, but more enhanced or improved. I’ve become more extreme towards fashion. Initially, people’s expressions were what drew me into photography. I’m more into coloring, uniqueness in people—I think that drew me into fashion because I think it is important for people to have their own style and fashion. Especially since I’m from LA, you’re always surrounded by that.

What are your future plans?
Right now, I’m working with LA fashion. Definitely want to extend and start on my own publication. Currently, I'm starting up on my own blog. It's not up yet, but soon to be. Will update you on that. [winking]

Images credit: Lauren Moghavem