I'm Laura Valenti, founder of Light Atlas Creative. Light Atlas exists to help photographers transform their vision and lead vibrant, skillful, wholehearted creative lives. 

On this site, you'll find many resources to help you improve your photography in meaningful new ways. I teach richly interactive online courses, work with emerging photographers in my creative mentoring program, present lectures to photo groups, and curate exhibitions for galleries and festivals around the world.  

My teaching centers on clearing creative blocks and cultivating the insight and confidence necessary to make deeply authentic personal work. Photography is so much more than a technical and mechanical exercise. I'm passionate about helping photographers become visionary artists. All my offerings are designed to support your creative journey and help you find your true voice as an artist. I absolutely love what I do. 

Image by Fritz Liedtke

Image by Fritz Liedtke

Professional Background

I've spent about twenty years in the art world as a photographer, curator, arts director, and educator. I worked for fifteen years in the nonprofit art world, most recently as Outreach Director at Photolucida - an organization that works to build connections between photographers and the gallery and publishing worlds. Before that, I was Program Director and co-Curator at Newspace Center for Photography, where I also taught black-and-white darkroom. I often serve as a reviewer at various portfolio review events (such as Houston FotoFest, Review Santa Fe, Photolucida, and many international reviews) where I help photographers fine-tune their vision and promote their work with more confidence.

Recent curatorial projects include shows at PhotoPlace Gallery, LightBox Photographic, Center for Fine-Art Photography, Photographic Resource Center, RayKo Photo Center, the Oregon Historical Society, and the Lishui International Photography Festival (China). I've also juried exhibitions for many different organizations over the years, including Center (Santa Fe), Photo District News, The Oregonian, Photo Center Northwest, Critical Mass, Rangefinder Magazine, and the KL Photography Awards (Malaysia), among many others.
 

Image by Douglas Beasley

Image by Douglas Beasley


Life, Love & Art

I spent the first fifteen years of my life in Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. At five, I got my hands on my first camera and made all sorts of kooky images of my stuffed animals, family, and backyard. I took my first darkroom class in high school and was officially hooked. I'm attracted to gorgeous light and scenes that feel poetic or transcendent in some way. I've been studying and practicing Zen for many years, and have a deep interest in the intersection of mindfulness and the creative practice. I live with my sweetheart and a nutty, lovable German Shepherd in rainy Portland, Oregon. My degree is from Reed College. Learn more about my photography and teaching philosophy on the Huffington Post. See more of my photographs here.
 

My first photo album, age 5. Love the backwards crayon numbers.

My first photo album, age 5. Love the backwards crayon numbers.

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