Blog Post

Five Questions with Lauren Farris

We caught up with Lauren Farris ahead of Extant: Hear Nebraska. Farris is the featured multimedia journalist for the first show of our summer Extant series. Hear Nebraska is a Nebraska-based nonprofit which seeks to support and promote the state’s music scene through programming and journalism. Hear Farris speak about her work at the opening reception for Extant: Hear Nebraska on Friday, July 7 at Outlook Project in Turbine Flats (2124 Y Street, Lincoln, Neb.).

Jack Hotel at Porchfest in Lincoln. Photo by Lauren Farris.
Fly Over Media: How long have you worked for Hear Nebraska and how did you get involved?

Lauren Farris: I have been working with Hear Nebraska for just over a year. My good friend, Lindsey Yoneda, was working as a multimedia intern at the time and so I saw the work she was doing and was intrigued.

FOM: How has your time there shifted your approach to photography and multimedia? How have your ideas about the work changed?
LF: Before I started working for Hear Nebraska, I had only done portrait work, but then Hear Nebraska gave me an opportunity to shoot as a journalist. Instead of being completely in control of the subject and the shoot, I had to adapt to capturing and conveying my subject without inserting or interjecting myself. As I have become more comfortable with that, I feel like I have been able to really shift my focus to honing in even more and capturing the nuances of the people and places I’m shooting.
Plack Blague at The Bourbon Theatre in Lincoln. Photo by Lauren Farris.
FOM: What about Hear Nebraska has kept you working for them for so long?
LF: I have remained with HN for this long for a few reasons. First of all, I genuinely love the music community in Nebraska and furthermore, I love using photo and video as a way to contribute to it. Also, the work never really gets old or monotonous. There are always new bands to explore, challenges to solve, and something new to be learning. I am still learning and building different skill sets after a year of being with HN which I feel really grateful for.  
FOM: Can you tell us about a couple of your most memorable shooting experiences?
LF: I’ve had so many memorable experiences shooting for HN so it’s honestly hard to choose. I love my job. Most shows I shoot, I leave with a stupid grin on my face. Shooting Touché Amore at The Waiting Room was wild. I was shooting up front and getting smashed by the mass of people moshing behind me, so I was protecting my camera, but also having the time of my life. Touché is one of my favorite bands, so I was shooting and screaming along behind my camera and then all of a sudden Jeremy (Bolm, lead singer) had his face up in mine, so I took a break from shooting and sang along with him for a few lines. It was just a wild time. I thought that was going to be the end of my camera, but we both came out *nearly* unscathed.
I also shot a video featuring The Faint with (Fly Over Media executive director) Andrew Dickinson last year and that was an incredible experience. The Faint was one of the first Nebraska bands I was exposed to when I moved here and so getting to sit down and interview them was surreal. That video is still one of the pieces I am most proud of.
Cody Lockwood skates at Treefort Music Festival. Photo by Lauren Farris.

FOM: Do you see organizations like Hear Nebraska as valuable to creative communities? Why or why not? What part of their mission resonates with you?

LF: I think organizations like HN are incredibly valuable to creative communities. I guess ever since I was young, the importance and value of documentation through photography has been instilled in me. To me, the work that HN does serves as a sort of history book for our community. For example, I have only lived in Nebraska for a couple years, but I am able to look through HN’s old posts and get an idea of what the community was before I was here and how it has evolved and I think that is so important, especially to a community that is always changing and expanding. I think it’s a critical component to any community with longevity in mind.