Lauryn Higgins is a native of the Tarheel State and currently a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is studying...
It’s a picturesque autumn afternoon and Laura Coppelman is nestled in the corner of her couch looking completely at ease. Might I add, she’s breastfeeding her seven month old son and answering my every question with detail and poise. But that’s her style. Mastering the ability to emit compassion and genuine charm while still maintaining presence and laser sharp focus. Some would say that’s her approach to photography, her ability to bring life to any subject she photographs and make it relatable. However, taking a picture these days has become as simple as holding your phone at arm’s length and pressing a button, but for Laura the process if so much more.
While on honeymoon in Hana, Hawaii, her husband, Ben, let her experiment with his camera and she immediately felt connected. “It’s somewhat of a cliché, but the moment I was holding the camera, I just knew I was supposed to do this,” she says, “I had always been passionate about storytelling, and I realized I could tell people’s stories through imagery.”
Fast forward a few years and a crash course at New York’s International Center for Photography and Laura was an extremely successful, Miami based photographer. Racking up clients such as Modern Luxury, Ketel One Vodka, Gucci and Le Sutra. Most importantly and impressively Laura was selected as the 2012 Pink Ribbon Project photographer, which allowed her to photograph ten of Miami’s top female influencers who have donated their time to help eradicate breast cancer. It was a project close to Laura’s heart, she recounts, “I lost my best friend who was only thirty-five years old to breast cancer, and getting the opportunity to contribute to such an incredible cause that benefited The Susan G. Komen Foundation through my passion for photography was an amazing experience and confirmed that I had truly found my calling.”
Photographer might be her profession but visual storyteller is the title she prefers. “Telling the story is so important to me. I want there to be authenticity in every shot. It is my goal to make the subject forget I’m holding a camera.” And she does just that. Where most photographers pose and stage every detail, Laura prefers to let her subjects be free. “I always have my clients take a deep breath in and on the exhale, I take the picture. It’s about capturing the essence of the subject because that’s what’s most beautiful.”
Most of her work is with children and women, and as a new mother her ability to capture the spontaneity of youngsters is what her clients love the most. “I enjoy working with real, everyday people in their natural setting, it’s so much fun to watch the evolution as a person’s personality comes to life through the lens. For me the greatest compliment I can receive is when a parent looks at one of my pictures and says you captured my child perfectly, that’s totally him/her.”
And that’s what storytelling is all about, which is in part why her journey led to Asheville. As a child, Laura grew up in Kentucky and visited the North Carolina mountains regularly and was completely enchanted with the beauty and the visual stimulation the area had to offer. She says, “When Ben and I found out we were expecting our first child, I knew we needed to move and I always loved Asheville and thought it would be the perfect place to raise a family.”
Visual storytelling isn’t just a job it’s a way of life for Laura and Asheville is proving to a perfect spot for just that. “I was looking for a community to raise my son and it be a place to live out our dream. Asheville is so beautiful and I’m inspired by the people and the natural charm the city has to offer. I hope to find community and connect with other families and to have the honor of telling their stories through photography.”
Laura is currently residing in Asheville and is available for travel worldwide. You can see her work at lauracoppelman.com or reach her at (305) 890-9988
Laura is running a holiday special:
45-minute mini session in natural light, gallery hosting of 10 fully edited high resolution images for one week, and two high-resolution files of your choice from the gallery (with option to purchase additional files/prints at 10% discount) for just $225. Perfect for holiday cards.