The Rotterdam-based pho­to­gra­pher Laura Zalenga (born 1990) is now enjoy­ing world­wide atten­tion and reco­gni­tion thanks to the explo­sive spread of her pic­tures in photo blogs. As an auto­di­dact, she began digi­tal pho­to­gra­phy in 2009, with a focus on self-portraits from the start. Equip­ped with an inex­haus­ti­ble wealth of ideas, Zalenga inces­santly ques­ti­ons her­self, trans­la­ting sen­si­ti­vi­ties, phy­si­cal chan­ges and inju­ries as well as spa­tial situa­ti­ons into an indi­vi­dual visual lan­guage that is given addi­tio­nal atmo­s­phe­ric den­sity with the help of digi­tal image pro­ces­sing. The artist avo­ids the dan­ger of fal­ling into irre­le­vant, sur­real bizarre sce­nes by crea­ting begui­ling pic­ture ideas to which the cho­sen means are natu­rally sub­ordi­nate.
Por­traits and self-portraits are jux­t­a­po­sed with nar­ra­tive sta­gings in the great out­doors — or in front of a mono­chrome gray wall. All in all, Zalenga’s works are cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a calm mood and clear visual archi­tec­ture. She her­self descri­bes her style as „silently pas­sio­nate“. The sce­nes, often rich in con­trasts and bathed in cold colors, are remi­nis­cent of the visual aes­the­tics of Tim Burton’s films as well as the style of the Twi­light film series. It is no coin­ci­dence that Laura Zalenga’s pic­tures now adorn the covers of suc­cess­ful fan­tasy books or thea­ter pos­ters. The artist has a huge fan base in social net­works and is one of those young pho­to­graph­ers who make a signi­fi­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the image per­cep­tion of the pre­sent.

Cur­ri­cu­lum Vitae
1990 born in Ulm, Baden-Württemberg
2010–2014 stu­dies of archi­tec­ture, Tech­nichal Uni­ver­sity Munich
2014– free­lane photo designer
Laura Zalenga lives and works in Rot­ter­dam, Netherlands
Exhi­bi­ti­ons (S = Solo show, G = Group exhibition)
2024 „DeKoe Gantar Vogt Zalenga“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
2023 „Schön­heit des Alters“ (S), museum vil­lage Kürnbach
„Don’t look at me“ (S), Sala Com­mu­nale d’Arte, Trieste
2022 „Female Por­traits. Part II“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
2019 „Schön­heit des Alters“ (S), Foyer of the town hall, Biber­ach; Gedächt­nis­kir­che Ummendorf
ALTER: vom geleb­ten LEBEN und der VERGÄNGLICHKEIT“ (G), Gale­rie Wied­mann, Stuttgart
2017 „A World of my Own“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
„vin­cent litt­le­hat . per­spec­tives“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
2016 „Foto­ar­bei­ten von Simon Gal­lus und Laura Zalenga“ (G), Gale­rie Knoll Art, Oberhöfen
„Augen­Bli­cke“ (S), Museum Laupheim
2015 „Junge Kunst stellt aus“ (G), Das Bureau, Biberach
„Grimm com­pact“ (S), Mini­bar, Biberach
2014 STROKE“ art fair, Pra­ter­in­sel, Munich
„Auf­ge­schlos­sen“ (G), Far­ben­la­den, Fei­er­werk e. V., Munich
2013 INTRO 15“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert – Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
(S) Kul­tur Fahr­schule, Ulm
„Mein Mün­chen“ (G), Far­ben­la­den, Fei­er­werk e. V., Munich
2012 „Sub­jek­tiv durchs Objek­tiv“ (G), E-Werk, Frei­burg i. Breisgau
2011 „Let the but­ter­flies cry!” (S), Gale­rie Win­ter, Hannover
Works for print media
2013 pos­ter for „Anti­gone“, Münch­ner Volkstheater
book cover tem­pla­tes for works by Lisa Steppe, John Green and Patrick Eudeline
2012–2013 book cover tem­pla­tes for works by Emma Mills
2012 sea­son bro­chure 2012, La Boite Theatre Com­pany, Bris­bane, Australien
2010–2011 book cover tem­plate for works by Seanan McGuire
Biblio­gra­phy (excerpts)
2023 Laura Zalenga: „In Front of the Screen“ IFFR 2023, (2/6/2023)
2022 Serah Alabi: „Inter­view: Kon­zep­tu­elle Foto­gra­fie mit Laura Zalenga“, (8/3/2022)
2019 Michael Brem­mer: “Ich ver­misse das Klein­stadt­ge­fühl die­ser Groß­stadt”, (7/30/2019)
„Laura Zalenga“, (6/2019)
Laura Zalenga: „How the Adobe Crea­tive Resi­dency Pro­pel­led My Artistic Moti­va­tion“, (4/9/2019)
2018 Serena Fox: „Pho­to­gra­pher Laura Zalenga Is Learning to Lis­ten“, (10/26/2018)
„Pho­to­gra­phing Seni­ors: Photo Walk with A Senior Model and Adobe Crea­tive Resi­dent Laura Zalenga“, (10/24/2018)
Laura Zalenga / Katja Kem­nitz: „Die Schön­heit des Alters“, (10/10/2018)
Jill Black­more Evans: „Pho­to­gra­pher Laura Zalenga Wants You to See Old Age Dif­fer­ently“, (9/19/2018)
2017 „Meine Tolo­meo Story: Laura Zalenga“, (10/2017)
Wil­fried Just: „Ange­sagt – Laura Zalenga“, (9/6/2017)
„Inter­view, Laura Zalenga – The Evo­lu­tion of an Artist“, (9/2017)
Cyn­thia Dre­scher: „Through the Lens | S04E05 – Laura Zalenga“, (8/20/2017)
„#Dream­Big­Prin­cess Pho­to­gra­phy Cam­paign Encou­ra­ges Kids Around the Globe to Dream Big“, Kam­pa­gne für Dis­ney zusam­men mit Annie Grif­fiths, Ami Vitale und Luisa Dörr (8/2017)
Chris Zacha­ria: „‘Self-portrait or sel­fie? They’re not the same’ – Laura Zalenga“, (3/2017)
2016 Denise Fern­holz: „Grimms Mär­chen ganz mini­ma­lis­tisch von Laura Zalenga“, (12/8/2016)
Sarah Ann Lor­eth: „Inter­view: Key Moments of Clas­sic Fai­ry­ta­les Revea­led Through Mini­ma­list Pho­to­gra­phy“, (10/24/2016)
2015 Tilo Jahn: „Laura Zalenga – Freunde in aller Welt“, (9/15/2015)
Mar­kus Spie­ring; „Die Photohaus-Interviews: Laura Zalenga zu Besuch in San Fran­cisco“, (5/2015)
2014 Luca Räd­ler: „Laura Zalenga“, (9/2/2014)
2013 „Foto­gra­fie von Laura Zalenga“, (8/29/2013)
„Laura Zalenga: ‚Ich könnte nie für jemand ande­ren so echt sein‘”, (8/8/2013)
“Phle­arn Inter­views Laura Zalenga”, (7/16/2013)
Bet­tina Pfau: „Laura Zalenga: S-Bahnstation Laim“, sz-jugendseite (6/10/2013)
Laura Zalenga: „1001 Stran­gers“, (4/4/2013)
Bet­tina Pfau: „Laura Zalenga: Pina­ko­thek“, (3/11/2013)
Bet­tina Pfau: „Laura Zalenga: Bal­lett“, (2/4/2013)
Laura Zalenga: „Don’t look at me — just feel my soul“, in: Tango – Maga­zin für Schule und Stu­dium 1 (2013) pp. 37–40
2012 Khánh Hmoong: “Inter­view with Laura Zalenga“, (12/21/2012)
„Pho­to­gra­pher Focus: Laura Zalenga“, (11/2012)
„Laura Zalenga“ and “An Inter­view with Laura Zalenga: Pho­to­gra­phy & Ownership”, #pho­to­gra­phy, Issue 2 Novem­ber 2012, pp. 20–25
Bet­tina Pfau: “Auf Knopf­druck gut”, in: Süd­deut­sche Zei­tung (Land­kreis­aus­gabe) No. 221 on 24.9.2012, p. 56, and (9/24/2012)
“Laura Zalenga”, (8/21/2012)
Bet­tina Pfau: „Laura Zalenga: Eng­li­scher Gar­ten“, (8/20/2012)
“An Inter­view with pho­to­gra­pher Laura Zalenga”, (7/2012)
Bet­tina Pfau: „Laura Zalenga: Alter Nord­fried­hof“, (6/11/2012)
Saman­tha Cliffe: “Haun­ting por­trait pho­to­gra­phy from Laura Zalenga”, (2/9/2012)
„Laura Zalenga“, (1/31/2012)
“From Munich with Love: Laura Zalenga”, (1/17/2012)
“Laura Zalenga”, Grae Magazine’s Gray Issue, Janu­ary 2012, S. 70–71 (1/10/2012)
2011 Reem M. Hab­bab: “Laura Zalenga”, in: Illu­sory Maga­zine issue No1 (2011) pp. 59–62
“Laura Zalenga – Feel the time”, (6/10/2011)
2010 Alena: “Inter­view mit Foto­gra­fin Laura Zalenga”, (10/28/2010)
Pri­zes / awards / jury memberships
2023 Refo­cus Photo Award, win­ner in the cate­gory “Con­cep­tual Pho­to­gra­pher of the Year”
Urban Photo Award Tri­este, jury membership
2021 Urban Photo Award Tri­este, win­ning Hono­r­able Mention
SeeMe “Natur/Nature”, com­pe­ti­tion finalist
Sony Lens Com­pe­ti­tion, jury membership
2020 “Shine a light” photo con­test by Fuji­film and Flickr, 2nd place
Urban Photo Award Tri­este, jury membership
Pho­to­kina Foto­wett­be­werb Expo 2020, jury membership
2019 Urban Photo Award, jury membership
2018–2019 Adobe Crea­tive Residency
2018 Pica­nova Top 100 Pho­to­gra­phy Award, winner
2016 Mas­ter of Pho­to­gra­phy (TV series), 5th place
2015 EyeEm Awards, Por­trait, 10th place
2014 #Flickr12Days, 12th place
2013 Flair Maga­zine photo con­test, winner
2012 Brooke Shaden con­test „emo­tion“, 2nd place
2011 Nikon photo con­test, 8th place
People (selec­tion)
Clara Louise, Fabian Buch, Fura­soul, Ima­gi­nary War, Michael Madsen, Rigna Folk, Secrets of Sin
Lec­tu­ring (selection)
für Sony, Adobe etc. auf: Pho­to­kina, TYPO, For­ward Fes­ti­val, UK Pho­to­gra­phy Show
Cli­ents (selection)
Adobe, Artemide, Baye­ri­scher Rund­funk, Die Zeit, Dis­ney, Domes­tika, Face­book Deutsch­land, Fiat, Fin­n­Air, John Green, La Boite Theatre Bris­ban, Luft­hansa, Max­mara, Mer­ce­des Benz, Münch­ner Volks­thea­ter, Nido, Patrick Eude­line, Sea­folly, Sky Arts, Sony, Tolomeo

Laura Zalenga

Don’t look at me — just feel my soul. I want the viewer of my pho­to­graphs not only to lin­ger on the sur­face of the pic­ture. My goal is eit­her to whisk them away into my pic­ture or to pass some­thing on from the pic­ture to them: an emo­tion, a story, a memory. I want to create an invi­si­ble con­nec­tion. For me, my pho­to­gra­phy is my diary and my the­rapy. Here I can be mys­elf and exhaust mys­elf. I can tell auto­bio­gra­phi­cal sto­ries in an encryp­ted way so that few can actually read them.
Kalie Garrett’s pho­to­graphs have always been my role model when it comes to honest, emo­tio­nal pho­to­gra­phy, whe­reas Lissy Elle Laric­chia has always inspi­red me to try crea­tive, new things and make use of the won­ders of modern image pro­ces­sing.“ (Laura Zalenga)