Laura La France: Spontaneous, Prairie Photography

New vendor alert! We’re excited to welcome the awe-inspiring photography of Laura La France to the Bison! She’s consistently kept a disposable 35mm camera on her person since 2016. Her photography is dependent on spontaneity, grounded in Canadian prairie-life, and strives to capture the hidden beauty of what we see every day. Catch her at the Bison from December 7-9, follow her on Instagram (@queenbedhead) and Twitter (@laura_la_france) to see more of her work and read on to discover what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Laura La France:
When it comes to film photography, I’m just in love with the whole process. It takes patience, which is something I don’t often have to practice in other areas of my life, so it’s super rewarding. It takes weeks, even months, to use up my 27 exposures, then I have to wait for the film to develop, and then I have no idea whether anything has turned out the way I hoped. When I finally have the new batch of photos, it’s incredibly exciting to look through them and see how they turned out. I’m also drawn to how photography has made me see the world differently; since buying my first camera, it’s like I see the world through the soft, grainy filter of 35mm. Everything feels more beautiful and meaningful.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
I’m still new to vending, but since doing the Whyte Avenue Art Walk in July, I’ve learned a lot about the differences in what I think will sell and what will actually sell. I’ve whittled my collection down to a handful of my strongest pieces. Super excited to see what people think!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
Film is gaining popularity, but it could still be considered a relatively unique medium for photography. Since my little wind-up camera is easy to keep with me wherever I go, I have the ability to take spur-of-the-moment photographs that could not have been planned. I also use restored vintage frames, which create a unique art piece when paired with the right print. 

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
I love being involved in the Edmonton arts community because we’re all working so hard to do what we do. There’s no sense of competition or of getting lost in the shuffle. We help each other; we encourage and buy each other’s work; there’s this sense that we’re all in it together.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
Edmonton has so many amazing artists! I’m obsessed with all of you!

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
Helping my mother decorate her house on December 1st. She, my sister and I make a pot of chai, prepare a spread of meats and cheeses, put on the Neil Diamond Christmas Album, and open the several large boxes where Mum keeps her extensive collection of decorations. It takes us a whole evening, but the entire house is Christmas-ified by the end of it.

Visit Laura La France’s website to see more of what she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison:

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Big, Bold, n Beautiful Hassiblad Photography by JimShootsFilm

**EDITORS NOTE: This was writtten by Bison's intrepid content writer KYLE SCHNEIDER

Jim Johansson, aka JimShootsFilm, has been a huge part of Bison for around 6 or 7 years now, heroically letting everyone in the bigger room know when the market is over so folks can pack it up and count their gigantic sacks of moneys! We love Jim's work and it is so fascinating to see his work in a stunning large format. This is what Jim has to say of his work: "I am a photographer drawn to the margins of places, people, and things. I shoot only on film, using two old (and handsome) Swedish Hasselblad cameras." You can keep up with Jim's progress on instagram/twitter (@jimshootsfilm) and read on down below to get a glimpse of what inspires our Jim to create!


RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
JIM: I think, in the end, I equate photography with exploration. Exploration of new places, new things, new people, new aspects of the otherwise familiar. Taking photos is a giant shot of dopamine to the never-satisfied exploratory part of my brain.

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
JIM: I've been experimenting lately with printing my photos in a really large format, using super lo-fi techniques. Working with a local print shop, I've figured out how to print three-foot-square black and white prints using an architectural plotter, which is certainly not designed to print photos. The results are these really satisfying, grainy giant prints that work so well with black and white film photos.

RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
JIM: Playing more with these really large format prints. How big can I make them? Oh, and a trip to Australia in June - I can't wait to explore/photograph the outback.


RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
JIM: This may sound weird and unrelated, but I've really been into 70s French philosophy and theory. I love the work of Michel Foucault and Michel de Certeau and it has really impacted the way I think about power and resistance, two themes that come up a lot in my photography. Their work has helped me place it all within an endlessly fascinating theoretical framework. Oh, and I absolutely love the work of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. I swear every single shot he's ever taken makes me drool. <<< head on over to Jim's portfolio site to check out the rest of his stunning work!