Shanti Salon and Spa September Artist Laurie Zak

Photography by Laurie Zak

I cannot even recall what prompted me to make the decision to study black & white photography in community college, some 30 years ago, but since then, much of my life has been viewed through the lens of a camera. Although at the time I greatly enjoyed learning the process of film development and darkroom printing, I was never all that interested in the technical aspect of photography, but more so the visual aspect; the creation, composition and capturing of an emotion inspiring image, and after those 2 years of study, I never set foot in a darkroom again. I believe that the most beautiful and interesting images often come from the most everyday of objects-it is the way of seeing things from a unique perspective which will bring this beauty to light. Lacking much in-depth knowledge of today’s advanced digital and technical equipment, I tend rather to involve all of my senses and spirit in capturing a moment in time which I feel has the visual power to evoke memory, curiosity, wonder, awe, and most importantly, a smile in the viewer. My camera is simple and my photographs remain “organic” in the sense that no enhancement, special lenses, computer manipulation, etc. is used to create the images. I feel that the use of what I deem “artificial” processes lessens the sense of satisfaction and excitement which I experience when capturing a moment in“real life”, as the natural state of an image is most powerful and pure in its original, unchanged form. I believe that what is most importantly required of me or anyone else desiring to create a “good” photograph is simply an open heart and mind, which will in turn allow you to view the world with anticipation and expectation of finding beauty and intrigue in every little thing that your imagination opens your eyes to be able to see! Everyday life is so interesting in an abundance of simple yet touching ways, and I strive to capture what speaks to me, often in the most unexpected and seemingly ordinary places. I am never without my camera, and can contentedly disappear into the “zone”, or, more appropriately, the “Zen” of taking pictures for hours upon hours at a time. It is a powerfully fulfilling “addiction” to me, with my fondest hope being that something in my images will bring a moment of joy to someone else, and I consider it a great privilege and honor to share my visual world with others. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1960 and lived there until May 2008, when I moved to the Seattle area to be with my soul mate Jeff. I currently enjoy the freedom from traditional employment which allows me plenty of opportunity to explore and discover the amazing bounty of beauty to be found in the Pacific Northwest. I am the proud mom of a 23 year old son, Trevor, and 26 year old daughter, Kaelyn, and loving “Gooma” to my grandson, Ryatt, born in Sept. 2009.Some of my other passions include our three Basset Hounds, music, architecture, reading, writing, traveling, the beach, thrift store shopping, classic cars, animal welfare, and various creative endeavors.Thank you for viewing my images.

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