What do I do when I grow up?
“It wasn’t until about 2015 at age 50, when I went on a spiritual pilgrimage and walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, that I just decided to stop talking myself out of my dream and go for it with photography,” says Anitra Lavanhar.
This moment led her to ask herself, “What do I do when I grow up,” while walking through an open field in the hot sun around mile 97 in the northern part of Spain for the Camino de Santiago. Her friend, whom she was traveling with, responded: What do you really want to do? Anitra answered: photography.
Anitra Lavanhar, like many artists, discovered her love of photography in high school but found the technical aspects of the Art to be intimidating. She explains that even though she loved it, she talked herself out of it because of the technically complicated learning curve of the craft. “It took me until 50 to feel like I could pursue my dream,” says Anitra.
The iPhone was actually what brought Anitra back into the Art because, suddenly, it was accessible and
not as technical. For Anitra, it was mostly about using composition in her eye to create compelling images. Once she mastered the Art of photography with her iPhone, she dove into the technical mechanics of a digital camera. Now, she works mainly with a Fuji mirrorless camera using multiple lenses.
After the Camino, she was in full force photography mode, going to places in downtown Tulsa and the surrounding neighborhoods, capturing diverse images, and training her eye to see Art, shapes, and sights all around her. Finding her style and refining her craft, Anitra discovered her unique style and started appreciating her surroundings here in Tulsa. Though Tulsa does have many photographers, and the market might seem saturated, Anitra states, “There are many reasons not to do it. But there were enough reasons to do it.” Every Art has its technical side, which can be intimidating to some, but for those yearning to follow their artist dreams, Anitra says go for it. “Go slow and keep moving forward. Find good instruction, and then over time, just by doing it a lot, the artful and creative side grows naturally” explains Anitra.
“Go slow and keep moving forward. Find good instruction, and then over time, just by doing it a lot, the artful and creative side grows naturally”
Purchasing her art
Most of Anitra’s art can be purchased on her website and Instagram, as well as at local exhibits around town. She specializes in Fine Art and Life photography. Fine Art can be divided up into street, travel, multiple exposure, macro, and landscape. And Life Photography comprises captured moments of life events like pets, seniors, maternity, headshots, and portrait work of many different styles.
Lately she has been especially enjoying experimenting with multiple exposure and ICM photography which was featured in her show Dreamscapes at Liggett Studios. The exhibit entitled: Dreamscapes and Urbanscapes, which she shared with another photographer,
Alex Haga, focused on her magical use of the ICM and Multiple Exposure technique. Explaining how she would take the original picture on her Fuji, then layer it with textures and interesting images she captures and keeps on her iPhone. “I love how it’s kind of like an alchemy magic- thing. Because often, when you layer an image, it doesn’t work and doesn’t look good. But when you can get it to work, it’s wonderful.”
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What’s Next for Anitra
Anitra recently came back from a trip to Spain and Morocco where she was working on a book about the street cats of Morocco. The book will be on sale at the Object D’art at Liggett Studios running November 18th-20th as well as a slide show and other prints for sale at the All Souls Craft Fair on November 19th and 20th.
Ready to Plan A Visit?
All Souls Unitarian Church is a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is one of the largest UU congregations in the world.
Local Hotels & Restaurants
While visiting All Souls, you will be in the heart of Brookside in Midtown Tulsa.
- Shades of Brown Coffee and Art. Hip hangout with artisanal coffee drinks & art displays, plus sidewalk seats & late-night hours.
- Elmer’s BBQ
- Churchills Cigar Lounge
DREAMSCAPES by Antira Lavanhar
The three pieces were selected to showcase intentional camera movement and multiple exposure.
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