Laina McWhorter is a Street and Travel photographer, a vagabond, a mom, a wannabe rockstar and a really, really big nerd.
A Bicentennial baby, Laina McWhorter began using a camera during the early 1990’s for its obvious function - to record. Communication had always been a real struggle for her because of severe trauma stemming from early childhood sexual abuse. The more she shot, the more photography began to take on a new function. It became much more than a way to document everyday scenes in her life, it became a way for her to process her own trauma and how it has affected her on her journey.
Her desire to experience life, Kerouac style, grew after high school. She managed to make it to classes at University of Georgia for a couple of years before losing her scholarship to her insatiable appetite for exploring the world around her, which only continued to grow. She managed to do so by working at music festivals and touring with bands such as the Grateful Dead and Phish in the mid 1990s. She even managed an epic road trip from Arizona to Alaska. By the year 2000, Laina had traveled to 47 out of 50 states in the U.S., Bali, Canada, Mexico and Grand Cayman Island.
Over the years, she took on as many personal and professional assignments as possible: she shot for her high school yearbook, the college newspaper and she earned an internship with a local newspaper while earning a BFA in Photography from Arizona State University in 2004. Ready, willing and on her way to pursuing a career in Photojournalism, she had to alter her plans slightly as the newspaper industry began to fall with the rise of the internet in the mid to late 2000s.
Laina continued to freelance, fine tuning and refining her brand of Street and Travel Photography over the years. Her work often offers a critical view of social, political and cultural issues and has appeared in The Advocate, Inspired Eye Magazine, Nailed! Magazine, Voyage Phoenix Magazine, Drift Travel Magazine, The Sun Magazine, Skin and Ink Magazine, Five on Five Magazine, Edge of Humanity Magazine, The Phoenix New Times, The East Valley Tribune, The State Press, SLAM Magazine, Tempe Starving Artist Magazine, HBO's original television series: Enlightened, GSNTV's hit television show: Skin Wars, CBS TV's Hawaii 5-0 and several books depicting the growing sport of women's roller derby.