L.M. Sorenson is a fellow freelancer who knows all too well how important it is to keep a stocked client list. Only he’s not peddling his take on pop culture or creating nostalgic listicles. Instead, he’s presenting the here and now with his camera in tow. A photographer shooting everything from breathtaking landscapes to musical moments to those two special words, I do. Now we’re talking to L.M. Sorenson about all of that and then some in this back and forth between two freelancers living that hustle and thrive life.
Kendra: Being a freelance anything can be a scary and unstable career. Have you always been in this line of work or did you start elsewhere and realize that photography was a better fit for you?
L.M. Sorenson: Definitely can be an irregular and sporadic profession. I try to be good with predicting, earning and saving but like a lot of things, you can only try your best. I also have many years of working in the healthcare/administrative role with our Department of Veterans Medical Centers. There are some similarities and some like skill sets you will use in roles like this as well as photography in working with strangers, people whom you have to create a quick relationship with. I am firm in the fact that I am much more invested in my photography work than anything else I have been involved with.
Kendra: For me, being a freelance writer, I’ve always felt like you have to hustle more than your friends with the typical 9-5. Have you found that to be true? If so, what is your number one hustle tip to aspiring photographers?
L.M. Sorenson: Hustle. No one is going to tell you your next step, there are not a lot of clients that will contact you, guide you, drive you to get a, b, c done. I think it is key to not only work hard to hone your craft but to get good at doing so efficiently.
I have had struggles “getting over things” so to speak, just letting go of small things, focusing on and getting the work done. There is usually a slight separation between your art and the work you are creating for clients; sometimes they are one and the same and that’s the magic right there, but it is very important to enjoy the work along the way regardless.
My advice would be something simple and I think universal for a ton of people. I would say keep engaging with people, not just during shoots, aimless networking at events or liking content arbitrarily but commenting, giving feedback, being honest and sincere. I always find being nice and connecting is always the way to create and keep creative relationships.
Kendra: You deal with a lot of different styles from the wedding/engagement shots to landscapes to live music. Where did you start and how do you choose which avenue to try and master next on your list?
L.M. Sorenson: With choosing what to do next, it isn’t always the straightforward process, it is a constant battle of what has inspired me recently, what do I think I can do better, and absolutely who is paying this month?
I would love to say I go with what moves me and try things as I feel, but what clients are asking, what is available and then sorting out my own projects, my ideas and creating something cool just seems to happen in the in-between.
Kendra: You’ve mentioned that you love to shoot music that moves you. With that, what’s the last song that moved you? Whether it be emotionally or it inspired you to go for something.
L.M. Sorenson: 100%…Photographing something that moves you, something that you enjoy I think amplifies the experience of it, makes your new work, new creations more special and rewarding. I would say I haven’t been moved by a particular song in a while, although I love music and I enjoy a ton of songs from many artists. But I would say I am more inspired by the energy of the concert itself I would say, moved by the passion of the artist. Watching someone create, getting lost in their craft, in the flow, as they say, I think that is incredibly inspiring and that definitely makes me keep creating as well.
Kendra: For you, what’s #1 on your photography bucket list?
L.M. Sorenson: I would love to be involved in the movie, music and entertainment industry more, whether that be a portrait photographer for a publication, on tour or working with musicians and record labels to create cool work. I also think I would thrive in an environment such as a stills photographer on a movie production set.
Kendra: As we head deeper into 2019 and soon into 2020, what do you have planned? More shows, Comic Cons? What’s going on?
L.M. Sorenson: Planned currently, I am working more and more at selling my own art and prints of my work. I am planning on a bunch of events; I am going to work with Salt Lake Comic Convention again here this September! A bunch of concerts, and a lot of shoots such as some BTS dance performances, working more with creative professionals, more headshots, more travel and landscape photography, more everything. I am wanting to get a start on a bunch of special projects as well, I have a whole notebook list full of ideas ready for the right mixture of time and effort.