With photography in her genes and travel as a family tradition, it is no wonder that British-born photographer Lucy Laucht is a trendsetting travel photographer regularly contributing to Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR Magazine, Travel and Leisure and Vogue Australia.
Yet, even though photography was in her blood, it wasn’t the clear, linear path you may expect from a photographer’s daughter—it took Laucht straying from this original passion for her to return to it with a deeper appreciation for the camera, the prints and the conversation it evokes.
“Growing up, my dad was a photographer and before our annual camping trip to France, one summer, he gave us these little, white instant-film cameras,” recounts Laucht on her first experience with photography. “I carried my mine around for a long time after the film was spent, framing scenes that caught my eye and practicing, what I know now, as my way of making sense of what I see around me in the world.”
As Laucht cherished this camera, she discovered new angles, themes and subjects that ultimately led to her studying photography in college. During her pursuits, however, Laucht was discouraged by one of her tutors, saying she, “had no eye for a good photograph” and that photography “would be a useless pursuit.”
“That really stuck and, sadly, I didn’t pick up a camera again until 2010.”
This was the year that Laucht’s brother passed away. She inherited his Nikon DSLR and began shooting in memory of him and his work. “He took such amazing photographs—and with his camera it was as though I was able to see the world through his eyes,” explains Laucht. “It was the catalyst for pursuing what had always been an underlying passion for me—to capture the spirit of a moment in time.”
Recently named as one of Travel + Leisure’s top 50 photographers, Laucht continues to capture this “spirit of a moment” through travel—allowing her to create a memory out of a typically constant motion. “The concept of being in motion,” she says, “I’ve loved that feeling since I can first remember. And it’s what drives me, keeps me moving forward.”
Though she continues to move forward and her work for clients, like American Airlines, Aman Group and Hawaii Tourism, constantly have her jetting to new locations, Laucht admits that she has yet to master goodbyes. “I get terribly sad leaving places,” confesses Laucht, “I only remember the best parts and conveniently forget the worst.”
So, what’s one of the places that the creative has captured countless photos of, that has in essence captured her heart? “Italian beaches! I visited Italy for the very first time last summer and I was like, ‘Uh where the hell have I been all this time?” proclaims Laucht, noting the colors, the people and the Italian way-of-life by the seaside for the direct appeal. “The very specifically Italian approach to being a la plage is an art form. I could literally sit and watch all day.”
And the Italian color scheme of a laden seaside land is what you’ll find as a common motif across Laucht’s Instagram profile; a social platform that the photographer has an admittedly love-hate relationship with. “On one hand, social media has provided an incredible velocity, allowing me to put work out there and to refine and develop my style,” she explains. “ On the other hand, it makes me a little sad when I think about the thought, effort and hard work that goes into making a photograph and how quick we are to scroll past on various social feeds.”
Reverting back to her desire to capture a moment in time through photographs, Laucht is unabashedly “old school” with her mindset of quality and appreciation for the tangibility of print. “I like the idea of bringing longevity to my work,” she says.
Exploring ways to do this, as she continues to explore the world, will inevitably have Laucht hitting “pause” to discover a deeper angle in her work. In the meantime, Laucht has co-founded a line of thoughtfully created handmade hats inspired by the great American Southwest.
Founded in collaboration with Nicole Najafi (founder of Industry Standard NY and Johanna Peet (founder of Peet Rivko), Laucht joined the Tio y Tia team to redesign a hat that Najafi discovered in the Mojave Desert. “She found this gorgeous stiff wool hat while thrifting, wore it to pieces and we wanted to recreate the magic.”
So the trio did just that—selling out their first collection in the first few months, which quickly led them to prepare their next two styles for a spring release. “I’m a total hat hoarder and collect hats wherever I go, so it felt like a natural next step for me,” shares Laucht. “I love that one of our styles, The Gambler, packs down and retains shape. Mine has traveled around the world a few times and it wears the miles very well!”
Laucht plans to stay on the go by returning to Italy for a long-awaited, non-work trip, before deciding on a US-train loop, or new, Australian adventures. “The list is endless, which is very exciting.”
Follow Laucht’s next journey on Instagram @lucylaucht