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Laura Steffan's been photographing the charm of New Orleans since 2012 — along the way working with brands like French Market Coffee and New Orleans Tourism. She recently spent a year teaching in Spain, photographing its beautiful architecture in her free time. Read our interview and view her photos from home and abroad below.

Where are you from and how did you end up in NOLA?

I'm from Mandeville, LA. I went to college at UNO, moved uptown in 2012 and have been in love with New Orleans ever since.

Tell us a little bit about your time in Spain - why did you go? How’d you like it? What was it like coming back home?

I went to live and work in Madrid, Spain for 10 months. I was an assistant English teacher in an elementary school in a small town just outside of Madrid. I loved it! It was a really fantastic experience and I got to travel around Europe a lot. It also challenged me in many ways, from not being fluent in Spanish to having to find an apartment on my own. The feeling of returning to New Orleans is hard to describe - I missed Nola constantly and my experience of moving away definitely made me appreciate home more.

What did you takeaway your time in Spain that’s influenced the way you live  here at home?

Living in Spain has influenced my life in many ways. It has made me appreciate living a simpler, more relaxed life. In Spain, there is an emphasis on family, traditions and enjoying life’s little pleasures, with less focus on status and material possessions. I also walked everywhere or took public transportation, so I had to adjust in that way since it’s pretty different than the way we live life here.

Your work is obviously heavily influenced by New Orleans architecture - can you speak to that in some way?

My love for the houses and architecture here started when I would take walks and bike rides around my neighborhood. I started documenting the unique, charming details of the homes, from porches to pops of bright colors to funky plants and more. The architecture in New Orleans is so alluring and historic.

What has photography taught you?

Photography has taught me a lot about self-expression including discovering my passions and interests. I really enjoy sharing the beauty I see in New Orleans with others, so that has been fulfilling.

Goals for the next year or so?

My goals for the next year or so are to continue to work with more lifestyle brands that align with my voice and style, and to get to travel for work - that's the dream job.

Words of wisdom for other young creative people?

My words of wisdom for other young creative people are to find what you really love creating, and of course don't compare yourself to others. If you are happy doing what you like and challenging yourself along the way, that is success. Spend time and put in the work to perfect your craft, and don't be afraid to fail.

You can keep up with Laura on Instagram and you can buy her prints here.
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New on the Racks — DNO Disposables

We're now offering custom-designed DNO disposable cameras – take one to Jazz Fest, to your mom's place, to the swamp, down the street, or across the globe. And if you care to, feel free to post your photos to #DNOdisposables – we'd love to see them.

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