Laura Zalenga

Portrait | Last Updated: February 22, 2021

Hi I’m Laura, a photographer based in Rotterdam and the south of Germany, and I take conceptual portraits (guide).

The photos say it all. I enjoy a minimalistic equipment range because I am almost always taking self-portraits somewhere in nature and I can’t carry a suitcase or big backpack up a waterfall. Also, I think less equipment makes me focus on what really matters: the idea, the composition, the game of light and shadow, and the feeling and mood you want to convey in your work.

I have spent the past year on a project that is very different from self-portraits. For my Adobe Creative Residency Project, Beauty of Age, I became a journalist and interviewed and photographed elderly people. It was the most magical experience and I found so much beauty, wisdom, kindness, and thankfulness. My work can be viewed here.

For the project I used the Sony A7 rII and the Sony A7 III because I love how light and small they are while having great resolution, great ISO performance, and a digital viewfinder.

I also connect my phone via the Imaging Edge mobile app that acts as a remote control and allows me to change all of the camera settings and even set the focus. Using the app saves me a massive amount of time and makes setting the focus easier.

My favorite lenses include the Sony 35mm f/1.4, as I can use it to take portraits of others with beautiful bokeh, but it is still wide enough to also take my self-portraits.

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM is by far my favorite lens ever to take close up portraits: the bokeh is magical.

The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 S is the lens I always use for travel. It has the freedom of zoom while still having a nice bokeh for quick portraits or still-life.

The Samyang 35mm f/2.8 is what’s on my camera when I take it with me to the beach on a day with friends. It is tiny, light and it isn’t too expensive.

My tripods are from Togopod. I love how tiny they can be packed and how relatively light they are and still give me the feeling of carrying my camera safely.

Sometimes I bring a small basic reflector when I shoot portraits. The beige bodysuit I wear in the self-portrait photos is from Topshop, which I bought some years ago. It is my second skin and signature outfit.

My velvet camera strap is at least 6 years old and I bought it from here. It still makes me happy every time I wear it.

I edit on a MacBook Pro 13” and Apple iMac 21.5” with Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Lightroom CC.

That is what’s behind my images; well, at least the technical part. When talking about the emotional and metaphorical part, where I find inspiration, and how I execute my idea, that would probably require me to write a book! ;) | @laurazalenga

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