I’ve been featured in Voyage Austin Magazine! They interviewed me about my journey as a photographer and business owner. I’ve copied the full interview below, and you can read it on their website here >
Hi Lauren, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve been a working photographer for 13 years, and for as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to take photos for a job. Growing up, I didn’t know exactly what that would look like, but I never really considered any other career path.
In high school, I took a photojournalism class and began taking photos for the school yearbook. Later at Texas Tech, I worked for the university newspaper and became the Photo Editor of the yearbook. I credit these two jobs for building my technical skill because I took photos for hours every single day. I photographed everything from college football games to press conferences to “wild art” (better described as walking around campus until I found something worthy of being documented in the newspaper). I had to work with every lighting situation imaginable, and I learned to shoot quickly in situations that didn’t allow for do-overs.
During college, I photographed my first wedding when a coworker at the newspaper got engaged. A short time later, a second couple contacted me about photographing their wedding. They had read my name in the paper for years and thought I would be a great wedding photographer because they liked the journalistic photos I had taken. I laugh about this now, but I truly appreciate the first few couples who asked me to be their wedding photographer. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them each giving me a chance on their important day.
After college, while I built my own business, I worked for a company doing graphic design, photography, and videography.
After getting married in 2016, I officially created Lauren Garrison Photography. Every year, the business grew, and I knew this was where I wanted to put all of my time and energy. At the start of 2021, I left my other job to run my business full-time.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After I officially created my business, I still didn’t leave my other job for several years. While I was lucky to have two full-time jobs, it was difficult to balance them both. I struggled through lots of late nights editing photos until 3:00am, down to the wire on deadlines and feeling guilty about giving neither job 100% effort.
Maintaining social media profiles is also big part of marketing and running a creative business, and it can be hard to watch other people seem to progress more quickly. The truth is that social media is a highlight reel, and you never know what’s happening behind-the-scenes in someone’s business. There isn’t one path to having a successful business, enjoying your job, or going full-time.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m an outdoor wedding, elopement, and proposal photographer based in Austin. I work with laid-back couples who want colorful, candid, and FUN photos that will last a lifetime.
Natural landscapes are a big inspiration to me and to my couples. National and state parks are some of my favorite locations, and I love when couples ask me to meet them at a far away destination. I’ve photographed weddings all over the U.S. and Mexico.
I’m really proud of the candid emotion that I’ve captured in photos; from pure happiness during the best day of someone’s life to the real-life sadness of losing a parent shortly before a wedding or mourning the loss of a dream wedding during Covid. Weddings are amazing, but they can also be complicated, and I really enjoy being with my couples every step of the way, creating an amazing experience along with photos they love.
I’ve also photographed over 180 marriage proposals and counting! Deciding to specialize in proposal photography was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It can be a challenge to capture a really intimate and unique moment in someone’s life during a sometimes high-stress situation. It’s a perfect blend of my training in photojournalism and wedding photography.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I constantly listen to podcasts and audiobooks while editing photos or driving to photo sessions. Some of the best books I’ve listened to recently are Live Your Best Life by Jordan Lee Dooley, The Power of Moments by Chip Heath, Grit by Angela Duckworth, and Made to Stick by Chip Heath.
And when I need a break from business and photography-related topics, I listen to behind-the-scenes interviews from the creators of my favorite show, The Office. These discussions are equally inspiring to me!