an interview with maggie lochtenberg

in the time that i’ve been blogging here, i’ve posted a lot – and i mean a lot – of beautiful photography that i find around the web. one of the first photographers i “discovered” was maggie lochtenberg, and to this day she remains a personal favorite – one of her photos has been my computer desktop for months now. her photography seems to capture the elements of freedom, youth, dreaminess and magic that i always tend to love, and in a way i have never seen before. her work is so unique and recognizable, and also has such a nostalgic, vintage quality that leads me to think she must be wise beyond her years – an old soul that, without even knowing, i felt i could relate to. read on for an interview with maggie and to see some of her incredible work!

When and why did you first get into photography?

I had always drawn and painted, and for so long I never considered photography a fine art, but that was a long time ago and my existence was callow beyond my own understanding. I took photos to preserve memories, and to look cool on Myspace…you know how it was. It wasn’t until ancient photo albums belonging to my parents and grandparents resurfaced in the process of moving into a new home. The aesthetic of the vintage photos, and the time period they represented moved me to begin collecting vintage cameras and shooting on expired film. From then on I was hooked, and my photographic style continues to develop every day (pun intended).

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Is your goal to be a professional photographer? If not, what is your dream job?

I do hope to be a professional photographer someday, but my happiness is not confined to a single art form, and I’m open to any career that allows me time to work on a personal portfolio of both paintings and photographs. As long as I can exercise my creativity and get my artistic “fix”, I will be content. My dream job is probably to be the director of photography for a magazine or company whose vision is parallel to my own.

Do you carry a camera with you at all times?  What’s your favorite type of camera to shoot with?

My favorite camera to shoot with is my Mamiya RB67 with a Polaroid back. It weighs nearly 10lbs so I rarely carry it around with me, but I almost always have a disposable camera or a 35mm waiting to emerge from my purse in order to capture fun, beautiful, or just plain silly moments.

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If you had a time machine, where would you go?

I would go to prehistoric times. I want to see the earth before it was diseased by buildings and freeways and businessmen, and I have a secret crush on long neck dinosaurs.

Where do you draw inspiration for your work? Who are some of your personal favorite photographers/artists?

I draw inspiration from all around me. My brain and body seem to be in constant motion…  so it’s difficult to pinpoint any divine source of inspiration, but if I find a river, I drink from it. My personal favorite photographers are all females; I adore Sally Mann’s work, I worship Francesca Woodman. Amalia Chimera and Alison Scarpulla are amazing artists as well- they are so young and fresh, and their photographs, enchanting.

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Tell me five music artists you love right now.

1)      Iron & Wine
2)      Avi Buffalo
3)      Band of Horses
4)      The Velvet Underground
5)      The Tallest Man on Earth

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

So far, the best advice I’ve ever been given was to embrace human experience, good and bad, not just chase pleasures in life, and never accept numbness. Robert Frost told me that in a poem or two.

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If your life was a movie what would the theme song be?

Over the Hills & Far Away by Led Zeppelin

Tell me something most people don’t know about you.

I never ever play any sports, in fact I’m hardly active, but I used to play on an all-boys rugby team. My father is a big Australian guy, he used to play, and he somehow managed to get me to join. I was a tough kid; I used to get in fights every so often and beat up all the boys before they passed through puberty.  When adolescence rudely interrupted our innocent fun, I discovered that I wasn’t stronger than boys anymore, and my pre-pubescent tough-kid days were through. People who know me now may find that difficult to believe.

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Do you have a personal favorite photo that you’ve taken?

It’s very difficult to chose a favorite photo, because they all have deep emotional attachments to me, but I think the one of my two friends and I, fully naked, and about to leap into a little lake we found, is quite lovely and magical for me. We were swimming, to our fearful delight, with large catfish and surrounded by huge redwood trees, spied on only by spiders and squirrels. Lining the modest lake was a marshy shore teeming with the most beautiful red and blue dragonflies, and there wasn’t a house or human to be seen around us. In the bottom right corner of the Polaroid (near the rightmost girl’s calves), you can make out a blurry red mark… little do most people know that it’s one of the dragonflies gracefully passing by just in time to become my most precious and miraculous accident. (view photo here).

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go check out her flickr page and be prepared to be blown away! thank you so much maggie.

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Comments

methefree -May 7, 2011, 11:06AM

If you were a pizza, what toppings would you have?

Taylor -May 7, 2011, 12:13PM

AMAZING work! my favorite is the one of the couple kissing, and the bottom half is a field of flowers! I’m going to her flickr page right now lol!
http://www.forsurejadore.blogspot.com

Margot -May 7, 2011, 3:09PM

All these photos are amazing!!! Love everything on her flickr even more

Anonymous -May 7, 2011, 5:56PM

Haha! Secret crush on long neck dinos….love it.

Kirsten @ Triple Max Tons -May 7, 2011, 5:57PM

Haha, secret crush on long neck dinos…love it!

Anonymous -May 7, 2011, 10:42PM

way to go, Maggie! One of the most unique talents I’ve seen in a very long time…

Taylor -May 8, 2011, 3:12PM

how old is she? :)

Anonymous -May 8, 2011, 4:12PM

Can’t believe you featured Maggie! I know her!! And I have always admired her photography! She took the most beautiful pictures of one of my good friends wearing an native American headdress :)

Forrest -June 10, 2011, 3:23PM

These pictures are incredible, and truly inspire me to get involved with creativity. Maggie, your talent is amazing, keep up the excellent work.

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