Captivated by raw beauty of nature
Photographer Laura Alyce Bell admits there have been times when she has risen at 4am and driven two hours to capture a sunrise, only to leave her camera in the car.
“That’s all part of it,” the Surf Coast creative says, philosophically.
“Landscape photography can be really challenging, as it is all dependent on weather conditions, particularly in Victoria. However, when the stars align and you get perfect conditions, it is so rewarding.
“There are many variables to create a good photo and when you get those perfect conditions, it leaves you wanting to create more.”
Laura remembers playing around with disposable cameras and making photo books as a teenager at boarding school but says the transition to taking it more seriously came after a 10-month trip through the Americas.
“I had always travelled with a good quality point and shoot camera and was passionate about documenting those memories, however on that particular trip in 2013-2014 I vividly remember the turning point for me in terms of wanting to learn and progress in the photography space.
“However, I wasn’t actually sure I wanted to make a profession out of it, it was more for myself as a personal interest in learning how to use a DSLR and edit my images.
“The business side of things came to fruition very organically.”
Laura and her husband moved to Torquay in June and they are soaking up the perks of coastal life.
“We purchased a block of land in early 2020, took a little while to build and get here but here we are and loving it.
“We knew we wanted to live coastal, and we were down here a lot, so decided to bite the bullet and make it a permanent move.
“Having the beach at my fingertips is what I love most about it. Also, the walking trails and relaxed lifestyle.”
As well as capturing landscapes which she sells as part of a stunning print collection, Laura also does commercial shoots for clients that include the likes of Will and Bear, Ottway the Label, Soulti Surf, Satorisan, Hart Roks, Folkstore, AirBnb and Britz Campervans.
She is also regularly engaged by tourism boards such as Great Ocean Road Tourism, Tourism Northern Territory, Tourism Indonesia and Tourism Thailand among others.
Shooting weddings is another specialty and something she considers a privilege.
“Being able to provide forever memories is a real honour; it is one of the few things the couple can keep forever from their wedding day.
“I love the joy and emotional element that weddings bring. It is such a happy time and people are in the best mood.”
Laura describes her personal photography style as being natural, earthy and candid.
“I rarely use any artificial light – except for the wedding D-floor and other necessary moments – and let nature do the work.
“I love capturing new and beautiful places, I find it exciting.
“I don’t know how to accurately describe it. I have just always felt a connection to the raw beauty of the world.”
Laura also finds that landscape photography is an amazing creative and therapeutic outlet.
“I love that no one sees anything the same as we see through our own eyes and perspective,” she says.
An avid traveller, her camera has accompanied her on many adventures to overseas destinations such as the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Raja Ampat in West Papua to name just two.
Her bucket list includes Nepal, Canada, Italy and Tonga.
Locally she says Point Addis is a particularly special place to be with a camera in hand.
“What I mainly love about photos is the associated memory and experience behind them.
“I don’t actually think I can say I have one favourite image. There are too many to choose from. Some are favourites due to the experience behind it, not just the actual image itself.
“Of course, when I capture that perfect light just at the right time, or a rainbow for instance … anything fleeting that doesn’t last long, that is always special and a great feeling.”
Follow @lauraalycebell for landscapes/lifestyle and @lauraalycebellphotography for weddings, family and maternity.
Her work can also be viewed and the print collection purchased online at the Laura Alyce Bell website.