Venice-based photographer Lara Porzak’s museum-worthy moments.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, no doubt a Lara Porzak image is worth a great deal more. Candid scenes, stolen moments, unexpected angles are anything but conventional—the Venice-based photographer shoots exclusively on film, in black and white, and it’s just her, no assistant, with seven cameras slung around her. She primarily does real weddings, but you’ve seen her work (Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman). “The best weddings are the ones where the bride and groom really love each other, and you can always tell,” she says.
Porzak grew up “all over the place” with her novelist mother, attending high school in Martha’s Vineyard and then Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., for a filmmaking degree. She eventually landed in L.A. where she was a bridesmaid at actress Elisabeth Shue and director/producer Davis Guggenheim’s wedding. Unsure of what to give them as a gift, she decided to take some photos from a bridesmaid’s point of view…and the rest is history.
Eighteen years later, Porzak is at the pinnacle of her career. She shoots on average four weddings per year and is humble about her success as a fine artist (she hosts a show at her loft each December). With a precious stockpile of out-of-production film, one day she intends to donate her collection of vintage contact print frames to a worthy institution like The Getty. “I’m interested in photographs as objects,” says Porzak as she scans her studio. “These prints are made of real silver and printed on thick, high-quality paper; they’ll be around forever.” laraporzakphotography.com.
Written and Edited by Kelsey McKinnon.