Denver transplant Laurie Scavo recently joined the ranks of excellent music photographers covering the Los Angeles scene like Jeff Koga, Sterling Andrews, Zoe-Ruth Erwin, Simon Cardoza, and Benjamin Hoste. So we wanted to ask her a few questions about starting up and coming to LA, as well as show off a few of our favorite pics from her, y'know, oeuvre.
Welcome to LA! What brought you here? How are you liking it?
Thanks for the welcome! Since college, moving to LA has always been an elusive goal of mine. I think that I wasn't supposed to end up here until I had a direction and grew-up a little. Now that I am out of my soul-searching 20s, and photography has become a driving force in everything I do, I can honestly say that this city was worth the wait. I LOVE LA so much. Everything is better than I imagined. Is that really possible?!
How did you begin taking photography?
I began shooting photos when I moved to Denver, CO six years ago. I was a freelance copywriter with plenty of time on my hands, so I bought my first digital pocket camera and started exploring the city through my lens. I didn't really know anyone, so like many new digital camera owners, I used myself as a subject way too much. I tried branching out into fashion a bit as well, shooting for a local 'zine and a few clothing companies.
When did you start doing music photography? How did you start working for The Denver Post?
I grew up with my dad's 60's cover band practicing in my living room every Wednesday night. If anything, I thought that I would maybe become a musician. I never imagined that shooting live music would play such a defining role in my life. I owe it all to a random Pete Yorn show that I ended up at one night in Boulder, CO. It was one of the first national acts that I had ever seen in an intimate venue. I was used to seeing the occasional rock star in a huge stadium from nosebleed heights.
At the Pete Yorn show, however, I was able to stand right up front and even shoot a couple photos (they turned out terrible). Quite suddenly, live music turned into an obsession and I began sneaking my camera into shows all over Denver and Boulder. I got better at shooting in low-light and started posting my images online.
A few years (and a few cameras) down the road, The Denver Post took notice of my live music shots. Shortly after the Post decided to run my SXSW photos in 2007, I ended up getting hired as a freelance photographer for their live music section. I am eternally grateful for that big break!
Neil Young singing "Heart of Gold"... I will never forget that night. It really doesn't get much better than that. And Nick Cave leaving me dazzled and screaming for more. Of Montreal's recent tour - wow. I was squished against the stage for over 2-hours, trying to shoot and dance and sing and breath. It was insane.
What's next for you? And where can people see your work?
My work is online at 28deep.com and here on Radio Free Silver Lake. Like everyone these days, I am in the process of redoing my website. The site still reflects much of the work that I did in Colorado for The Denver Post. The Flickr link on my homepage has newer images posted.
Along with redoing my website, I am honing my technical skills, with the goal of venturing out on my own as a freelance photographer. I came to LA to learn, and I am absorbing the city like a sponge. There is no other place I would rather be.
Thanks for your time, Laurie. We're looking forward to seeing more of your work.