Studio locations: “I have a studio in Los Angeles as well as New York,” Laita says. “I’m back and forth so often that sometimes I forget which city I’m in.”
Representation: Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles. Visit marklaita.com
Books: “Created Equal” (2010). Another is scheduled to be published by the end of 2011.
Inspirations and influences: “[Richard] Avedon and [Irving] Penn influenced generations of photographers in many ways. I was in the front of that line. I got a chance to get to know Dick [Avedon] when we shot a Carolina Herrera ad together. He helped me see that I could shoot portraits again.”
Preferred equipment: “For my own work I use large-format cameras, mostly 8x10, and Ascor 800 series strobes for speed and power. There’s nothing else like them. For advertising I use a Phase One P65 back and Apple computers. I’ve got a great retoucher, Tom Slatky, at my studio, who works on my advertising images.”
Hobbies: “I’m very into gardening. I have a studio at home, which I use for shooting flowers.”
Recent “accolades”: “My daughter put one of my images on her iPad’s home screen.”
Advice to aspiring photographers: “It’s a great career. It’s gotten very competitive now that digital technology has made photography so easy. The only advice I would give is to shoot things you love.”