Laura: Writer & Photographer

My name is Laura Beyer and I am 24 years old. I am a 2009 graduate of Lewis-Clark State College with a degree in Communication Arts, and currently I am loving my job in the box office of a local theatre. I live with my parents, brother and two crazy Labrador Retrievers (Cody and Reba). In my free time I love to read (at the moment I’m kind of obsessed with historical fiction and the Amish fiction that seems to be kind of popular these days…but pretty much anything with a clean, sappy ending seems to be something I’d enjoy), listen to music and cook/bake, but my biggest hobby at the moment is photography. Until I got my first point-and-shoot camera about 6 years ago, I had no idea how much I would love capturing moments with my camera. About a year ago I upgraded to a Canon DSLR and I am so excited about the new worlds of photography that that is opening up.

I also run a blog, http://sharpiequeen579.blogspot.com, where I post book reviews, some of my photography, and random posts about my life.

As far as some goals I would like to accomplish in the future….I would love to become a better photographer. I would like to improve on my skills and actually start a small photography business. I have a little ways to go, but I hope to get there someday!

What is something that motivates you & why?
I am motivated by that feeling of accomplishment that comes after completing a task. I am also motivated by pleasing others. A recent example that encompasses both of those: At my job I had the opportunity to organize a special matinee for the underserved in our community this summer. We invited a long list of people to the show. It was a huge task inviting the organizations, making sure we had enough ticket vouchers, and making sure the event ran smoothly. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of that crazy day, and throughout the whole thing I was motivated to make the event the best that it could be because I knew that I was providing a bright spot in the day for some children and families who might not otherwise have been able to afford something fun like seeing a theatre production!  

What is something that inspires you & why?
I am inspired by people that get out and truly make a difference in the world. I am inspired by friends that believe in changing the world and then work to make that happen. I am also inspired by people I’ve never met, but whose lives I have been invited into thanks to their blogs….people who have made a difference in the world, and people who may have, at this point, only made a difference in their little family, but it is a difference just the same.

If you could recommend a movie, website, song, or book for others & their inspiration, what would it be & why?
I think there are several movies, songs and books that are inspiring. One of my favorite movies is Mr. Holland’s Opus. I love that movie because I think it is inspiring how he starts out as this average guy trying to use his “fall back on” career choice and starts out absolutely clueless as to how to teach music to high-schoolers, and then ends up as this well-loved, devoted and honored teacher and friend. The scene at the end where all of his former students perform Mr. Holland’s masterpiece, his opus, gives me chills and I admit, it made me cry the first 10-12 times I saw the movie (yes, I’ve seen it that many times).

I also found The Blind Side to be an inspiring movie. That story is so great, how the family takes in this inner-city boy who had so much potential but would’ve never been able to reach it on his own, and they  allowed him to reach that potential….it’s just a great movie and I think it is very inspiring. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it.

I also love listening to music and there are some great inspirational songs as well, including Dare You To Move (by Switchfoot), You Raise Me Up (by Josh Groban), What a Wonderful World (by Louis Armstrong) and Live Like You Were Dying (by Tim McGraw), among so many others.

And inspirational books? I would have to say The Bible is chock-full of inspiration.

I also look to photography blogs for inspiration….I love seeing the types of pictures other photographers are taking and to get new ideas.

What’s one thing you’ve done to Pay-It-Forward?
When I was about  13 or 14, my family began raising guide dog puppies for Guide Dogs of America (www.guidedogsofamerica.org) in Sylmar, California. We received a puppy at approximately 8 weeks old, and we raised that puppy until she was about 14-18 months old. We took the puppy everywhere with us and taught her basic obedience. When she was about 18 months old she returned for formal guide dog training. We did this with 3 dogs, all female black Labs. Our first dog, Fallon, was career changed and ended up becoming a service dog through another organization (she had an eye allergy that would not allow her to be a guide dog, but that didn’t hinder her ability to be a service dog in another capacity). It was so awesome to go to her graduation and realize that we had played a part in granting her new partner freedom. It was a bittersweet reunion to see our Fallon again, but so wonderful once we realized the difference we made. Our second puppy, Reba, was also career changed and is now our beloved pet, and our third puppy, Dandy, also career changed, ended up making a difference in the lives of the family she went to live with in the Seattle area. I think that raising these guide dog puppies is a definite example of paying it forward and it is something I would love to do again in the future!

Also, a story…my first job, when I was still in high school, was working at Arby’s. Definitely not the best job in the world, but I was able to make a little money. One day when I was working in the drive thru lane a lady told me, once she got to the window, that she wanted to pay for the person behind her. I will never forget that….it almost made me cry as I was telling the person behind her that their meal had been paid for, when I saw how grateful they were.

Do you have a goal list? If so, what are a few goals you would like to accomplish, small or large?
I can’t say that I have a list written out somewhere (although I think this is a great idea and something I should do!), but I do have one big goal in life and that is to visit all 50 states. So far I have visited 24 of the 50, so I am almost half-way there!

Who is your hero & why?
I think I am going to have to say my mother, because she has taught me how to be the person that I am. She also had the tenacity to put 16 years of her life into homeschooling my brother and I (even during those moments when we weren’t the easiest students in the world to deal with!), and she managed to work part time from home for part of that time. She also helped me learn that reading is so much fun. 🙂

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years it will be 2021. I will be 34 (yikes!). I know it sounds “fairy taleish” but I hope that by then I will have met and married my Prince Charming and we will have the beginnings of our own family. I hope to have been able to visit more states in order to accomplish my goal of visiting all 50, and I would love to travel somewhere abroad by then, too. Hopefully I will be rich so I can make that happen.

If you could make one wish right now, what would it be?
I would wish to actually meet Michael Buble when I go to his concert next month….is that a silly wish?  Okay, in all seriousness, I wish I could take some of my closest friends and set out to explore all the cool places that there are to see in the world, without money and time to stand in the way.

If you could motivate or inspire someone with one paragraph, what would it say? Take time to notice and enjoy the little things – the birds that sing in the morning, the beautiful sunset in the evening. Surround yourself with a great group of close friends so you always have a listening ear if you need one. And chase after your goals! Life is good!!!

🙂 Thank you so much for this interview!

Leave a Comment