A New York native, I've spent the last few decades calling Los Angeles home. I grew up looking at Life and Look magazines, influenced by documentary style photography. The photograph of John-John under JFK's desk taken by Stanley Tretick has always been my favorite image from that era. My father would work late in the city and where my father's plate would be at the dinner table, we put a small black & white television set. Not much talking went on at the dinner table. Children should be seen and not heard was the norm. I became the observer in a 2-family house that housed 6 children.
They couldn't stop me, though, from looking, so my eyes became a camera.
When asked what I wanted for my birthday or holidays I always asked for one thing. A camera and 10 rolls of film.
I never got it.
I finally bought myself a camera when I left home at 18 years old.I have been told that I make some people uncomfortable with my gaze. I believe I learned that from my mother who, after waiting for me to be born after 5 years, never took her eyes off of me! Children do learn by imitation and that gaze became part of my behavior. That gaze got me into trouble in grade school as I stared curiously at the tough kids - taking in all their differences. This “staring” problem had repercussions and I remember my mother having to go to school on my behalf on 4 separate occasions. This was years before I started asking for a camera.
An artist that I recently met made the comment that
my eye was so practiced by the time I started shooting
because "looking" was my way of communication.
I was one of the first female engineers to work in the male-dominated broadcast market in Los Angeles in the late 70's. That was interesting as mostly all of my co-workers literally had real war stories to tell! I moved around in that world ending up in TV news production for 20 years where I won the L.A. Press Association award for continuity. In the late 80’s, I was a contributor to the LA Reader and shot over 25 stories.
To read more about my work go to: http://www.lauriefreitag.com/artist-statements-portfolio
Member: Los Angeles Center of Photography, The Lucie Foundation, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, INFOCUS/Phoenix Art Museum (PAM), & Photographic Resource Center at Boston University & The Center for Fine Art Photography (CO).
Director: L.A. Photo Curator www.laphotocurator.com