The Photographer Project: Liz Duren

Portraits by Diana Deaver

What’s your birthdate?

Feb 29. Leap year. I’m 12, thank you.

When did you first pick up a camera?  Tell me about that.  When did you know you had a talent for photography?  Natural talent or learned process?

I took my parents’ Easter photo with our tiny camera that shot in square format in 1976. I turned the camera to make the picture diamond in shape. My mother fussed at me for messing up the picture. I thought it was genius. 

What do you love to photograph?

People people and people. 

Who are some of your photographer icons and/or mentors?

I love to look at the work of the photographers that get to follow around the president. They are true story tellers making art out of the everyday!

You get to have dinner with 3 other people, alive or deceased.  With whom would you dine?  What would you ask them? 

I would like to meet my biological grandmother whom I never got to meet. I’d like to know if she ever thought of me.

I’d love to spend time with Caesar Milan…. I just got a new puppy, sooooo. . .

It would be fun to hang out with Betheny Frankel because she is a hustler like me.

Do you know when you have a spectacular shot, or does that come about in the editing process?

I know it when I take it, and they know it, too, because I get very excited about it and I want that excitement to run off on them so they really let themselves go and enjoy the process. 

What makes you feel connected to your subject? 

Honestly it doesn’t always happen, so what I do is make them feel connected to ME. This is their experience not mine. I know what I am there to do, and mostly they walk in wondering what will happen and how will it make them feel. 

What are your thoughts on editing?  Like it or abhor it?  Do it yourself?  

Love, love, love it!  Always do it myself. I always wished I was a painter so that’s what I call it… I have to go paint …. it raises an already great shot to art.

Is there any genre of photography that you’d like to explore further?

I just started shooting video as the B roll photog for what will be a major documentary. That was amazing and opened my mind to so many cool angles and ways of looking at the world. The producers loved it and want me to continue!!! Woo hoo!

What’s on your photographic bucket list?

I’ve filled that bucket….

What inspires you?

Movies. Angles and lighting 

How would you handle a difference of opinion with a client? 

Gently. People like to think they are right. So you agree with them and they calm right down… then refer to the contract. That’s why we have them.

What advice would you give an up and coming photographer?

Get another job.

Are you involved in any kind of continuing education or professional groups?

Not like I used to. I am so crazy busy with so may projects… photography is my first child and I love her deeply, but I have many other exciting things in my future right now.

What makes you feel loved?

A touch that you were not expecting.  A smile from across a room. 

What are your favorite conditions/lighting/circumstances to shoot?

All of them. I paint with light. 

What are your social media handles?

Instagram: lizdurenphotography

FB: liz duren photography 

Website: lizduren.com

What makes you feel pretty?

Any new makeup or skin care product.  Just love the newness of things and I’m a total product junkie.

Do you have any other thoughts or things to say about your profession?

(Don’t get me started. ) I have been grateful for the life I have had as a photographer and the people I have met. It’s been an amazing blessing. 

Candids provided by Liz

Liz and daughter, Daphne. Faces switched. Freaky Friday style 😉

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