Through the lens
For Eric Laurits '02, photography is storytelling.
Laurits is the founder and principle photographer for ":e:," a New England photography company based in Amesbury, Mass.
Laurits, who specializes in portrait photography, strives above all his subjects' emotions and personalities. "The story I am telling is all contained within [a subject's] eyes," he says. "Sure, [the eyes' movements are] small and subtle, but what lies there is the depth of [the subject's] character."
Laurits also does a lot of wedding photography, and when he photographs a wedding he tries to preserve in time a piece of his clients' family history and identity. "Much like me, [my clients] don't really care about the wedding...it is about people and human connection[s]," he says. At the College, Laurits majored in music, and he regrets that he never had enough room in his schedule to take a photography class. Nevertheless, Laurits states that his music education "has proven invaluable" to his current photography career.
"The professors taught me how to use my ears--not just to hear but to listen and process." According to Laurits, much of visual documentation is an aural process.
While on the Hill, Laurits did not have any set career plans. And he wouldn't have had it any other way. "There is something so wonderful and refreshing about learning just for the sake of learning," he says. "All I knew was that I was having a great time, helping others and gathering enough wisdom to go out and change the world for the better."
After graduating, Laurits stayed on the Hill for another year, running Colby Cares About Kids through AmeriCorps. It was then that he became interested in photography.
"Someone plopped a camera in my hands, and said, 'Here, document.' So that's where it started," Laurits says. His interest has only grown from there, and now he explores the craft of photography beyond the lens.
"Having a camera in my hand actually makes my life better and allows me to be a better person," he says. In a recent talk he gave at Inspire Boston 2010, Laurits spoke about his personal vision: to be a storyteller who documents incredible human connections. His current medium of choice is a camera.
Laurits says, "At the end of the day, I want to be able to lay my head down and know that I was honest...and I was true and I was good, that I gave my heart and my soul to helping people know how beautiful they are, and that I didn't have to use any tricks to do it. When I've told everyone's story, then [I will] rest. But not until then."