Artist Spotlight: Margaret Lampert

We have had the pleasure of working with photographer Margaret Lampert for the past ten years. Margaret’s work perfectly combines commercial and artistic photography. Her ability to capture authentic moments matched with her use of lighting and compositions creates images that are unique to her style. Margaret’s work ranges from individual and family portrait sessions to big companies like Target, Crayola, and Clorox.

  • What first drew you to photographing people?

ML: Initially what drew me to photographing people was making eye contact with my subjects. There was something about that experience of connecting so directly that I found completely thrilling. As the years have passed I feel less of a need to have my subjects look into the lens. Now their attention can really be anywhere as long as I feel I’ve found an authentic moment with them.

  • What do you think makes a memorable photograph?

ML: Photographs that are layered both visually and emotionally always stay with me. I think an image is memorable when it changes and/or challenges the way I see and shows me (or makes me feel) something in a different light.

  • When you go on a shoot what equipment do you usually bring? About how many images do you take of each person or family?

ML: When I’m shooting personal work my equipment is very basic. Usually just one body and one or two lenses. Until a few years ago I always shot medium format film for my personal work but have since transitioned to digital. For commercial assignments the equipment is completely tailored to the job at hand.

  • What is the most challenging thing about photographing people?

ML:  I think the most challenging aspect of photographing people is getting past their discomfort with being in front of the lens and identifying and capturing a moment when they are completely themselves.  In some cases, particularly with people who find themselves in front of the camera on a regular basis (well known people and teenage girls : )) it’s more a matter of getting past their well practiced pose and finding an authentic moment with my subject.

  • You work a lot with children and families, is there a secret to getting the perfect image? How do you make the clients feel relaxed in front of your camera?

ML: I think if you are patient enough eventually people become less focused (no pun intended) on the camera and the perfect moment unfolds.

  • When did you start working in advertising? Do you have a most memorable assignment you have done?

ML: I began working in advertising around 2001. One of the most memorable projects was a station domination campaign I did for Clorox. We captured all the images in one day in a park in LA and they ran as installations in railway stations all across the country. The way they were installed was very compelling in that there was no copy on the images themselves. People walked through the station initially not understanding why the images were there; it seemed just to be an exhibit of photographs. Off to the side of each image there was an illuminated Clorox logo and mention of the product.

What made this project so memorable was that I was hired for all the right reasons ie the creative director saw a certain quality in my work that was perfectly suited to the intention of the campaign. When this happens the collaboration is always a joy and the resulting images reflect that experience.

  • You recently made a portfolio book to showcase your photographs. Can you tell us your experience with creating the book?

ML: It’s still very important to have a printed portfolio when working in advertising. Even though almost everyone is introduced to your work online to experience the images properly printed and showcased adds a whole new dimension to a prospective client’s impression of your work.

Working with Panopticon on the recent portfolios (as well as the ones that came before) has made a difficult and daunting process about as seamless as it gets. From customer service to printing they are always a joy to work with and interpret the images perfectly. They take my work as seriously as I do and their passion for photography is always evident in the quality of whatever they produce.

  • What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

ML: Hmmm…that’s a tough one…can I get back to you on that?