Lara Jo Regan

Lara Jo Regan (Philadelphia, 1962) took up photography as a teenager, taking photographs for the school paper and her local newspapers. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, she majored in Anthropology and Communication Art and Theory, graduating in 1987. Afterwards Regan moved to New York City where she worked as a curatorial photographer for the Museum of Natural History. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she began shooting still photography on film sets. Her work was published in the Los Angeles Reader, L.A. Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Premiere, Business Week, Newsweek, Time and Life. For four years during the 1990s, she was the only photographer invited backstage at the Academy Awards. She joined SABA Press Photos during the agency’s first years, but was working freelance when she won the World Press Photo of the Year award. In a public discussion entitled, ‘Changing role of picture agencies as photographer’s representatives’ during the 2001 World Press Photo Awards Days, Regan explained why she decided to leave the agency. She said that SABA had been a great help in gaining access to picture editors at the beginning of her career. But after some years, given that she prefers to edit her own work and was by that point, getting most of her new clients on her own, she decided that leaving the agency was the right move for her. She now represents herself, using an agency only for resale. In her photographs Regan aims to combine painterly aesthetics with social commentary. She told World Press Photo in 2000: ‘I get hired mainly to do visual commentary rather than traditional photojournalism.’ Regan received Communication Arts’s Awards of Excellence in 1995, 1996 and 2003, and awards in the Best of Photojournalism competition from the National Press Photographers Association in both 1995 and 2000.