Eat My Words: Lauren Dukoff, shooting star

family1I’m so ridiculously behind in posting some magazine articles for you to read that this shall represent the beginning of a daily blitz of words sure to keep you nourished and informed for at least a week. The first piece I’d like to point you towards is in Print, the perennial National Magazine Award nominee (congrats yet again!) where I’ve covered one of their New Visual Artists: photographer Lauren Dukoff.

I browsed through Lauren’s portfolio before I went to meet with her, which mostly features bare-chested guitar-wielding men with beards the size of raccoons. So I was surprised to be greeted by a city girl in pumps, mascara and ink-black pigtails with a Prada bag slung nearby. She acknowledged that most people are similarly surprised to meet her in person: “I’m not a hippie, I’m a hippie synthesizer,” she laughed.

Hippies

It turned out all those photos in her portfolio of the King of Hippies Devendra Banhart and his merry band of musician friends—Joanna Newsom, Fabrizio Moretti, Isabelle Albuquerque and Jon Beasley—were not part of an assignment, but rather, Lauren’s own charmed existence, having met Banhart in high school. Those shots will be compiled into the book Family, out later this year from Chronicle Books.

Lauren’s easygoing, laugh-out-loud demeanor—and ability to synthesize all personalities, not just hippies—will certainly make her one of the great music photographers of our time; at 24, she’s already shooting people like Mary J. Blige and Adele for Rolling Stone and Spin. “The only downfall to rock’n’roll documentary has been the introduction of the laptop computer,” she told me. Those sexy backstage shots with singers strangling bottles of Jack Daniels? According to Lauren those days are long-gone: Now everyone just abuses their Nintendo Wiimotes. But leave it to Lauren to somehow make those look glamorous, too.

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