Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Champion.
Lauren, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My love for photography started at a very young age. When I was little, I would spend a great deal of time at my grandparent’s house after school and on the weekends. I always loved their house as any young child would, but my most favorite part of it was this bookshelf full of photo albums they had. I would sit there for hours taking each album down and flipping through the pages.
I was always so intrigued by the photos, it was like stepping in a time capsule and going back in time. I remember finding some photos that were taken as far back as the 1890’s or so and being so fascinated that it was even possible to visually see a moment from the past in the form of a picture. A camera’s ability to capture light from a scene and transform it into a tangible object such as a picture for someone to see has always captivated me. I mean, could you imagine what the world would be like if we didn’t have photos?
Looking back now at the age of 25, I honestly can’t remember a time when I haven’t been taking photos or had a camera nearby. I got my first camera around the age of 11, just a simple point and shoot Canon camera. I would take photos of myself or my friends any chance that I got. I had no idea how to operate the camera on any other mode than Auto, but it didn’t matter because I was just happy to be taking photos!
When I got into high school my parents got me my first DSLR, and that’s when I started to watch YouTube videos and educating myself more on the concepts of photography. I would download whatever free photo editing software that was decent and sit for hours editing photos I had taken. By 2011 I started to get a notice from family members that I was actually pretty good at taking photos and started getting approached to do photoshoots for them. I started shooting weddings, families, senior photos, couples; whatever anyone wanted me to do, I did it! I was just flattered that they trusted me enough to photograph them.
After I graduated high school I continued doing photography on the side and quickly became known amongst my friends and peers as a “photographer”. In college, I worked at a hospital as a newborn photographer and on the weekends I would take photos at the Auburn football games! But back then I never thought that photography would be something I could do as a career, I always saw it more as a hobby. After I graduated college, I kind of took a break from photographing anything and didn’t pick up my camera for over a year.
Last summer though, I felt my heart pulling me back into the photography world and so I decided to upgrade my camera and start shooting again! I’m now pursuing it professionally and could not be happier with the success and recognition that my work is receiving!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh, it has definitely not been a smooth road! In 2017 I reached a rut where I was really just burnt out. I was shooting frequently but I was shooting sessions that didn’t inspire me. To be honest I think the large issue was that I was taking photos because people were paying me to take them but not because that’s what I was artistically driven to do. I lost a sense of drive and just felt like I was becoming really washed out artistically. I would look at other photographers and envy their work, and wonder why their photos looked so amazing and mine looked so average. I hated my editing style, I disliked the final images, and I even received negative feedback from some clients about their photos I had shot.
And so I just gave up. I needed a break. I put my camera down because I doubted my abilities to improve and felt really defeated. I felt like maybe photography was only a hobby for me and I wasn’t good enough to make anything out of it. I lost my drive and my purpose and so I just quit.
I didn’t pick up my camera for over a year until the summer of 2018. And honestly, that was probably the best thing for me. It gave me time to reflect and find what areas really inspired me. It allowed me to set goals for myself and figure out what I really wanted to do with this passion. It’s given me the restart that I needed in order to apply myself fully and make the most of it possible.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I’m a photographer based in Columbus, GA and operate under the name of Lauren Champion Photos. I specialize in portraiture, boudoir, and couples photography; but feel as though I am most recognized for my portrait work. I’m known for capturing a more sensual and intimate side of a person, which I achieve through shooting in natural light and using warm tones. I love enhancing an individual’s natural features and capturing their candid personality while we’re shooting!
What makes me most proud to be a photographer is showing someone the beauty that I see in them through my artistic eye! I absolutely love seeing their reactions when I show them the photos as we’re shooting and the genuine smiles that lights up their faces. It’s such a rewarding feeling to help empower someone’s self-confidence through images of themselves and showing them aside that they may not otherwise see.
I believe what sets me apart from others is how truly invested I am into each and every person that steps in front of my camera! I don’t approach the session as a business transaction, but more like a time to hang out and make a new friend! I genuinely appreciate everyone that I shoot with and make it a point to make their experience with me as personable and relaxed as possible! I like to have fun on my shoots so I’m usually always playing music and building a connection with the client as well. My favorite thing about this career is all of the amazing people I get to meet through my art!
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I have so many future plans and goals for myself haha! Within the next year, I would like to open my own studio here in Columbus and also focus more on boudoir and editorial/fashion photography. I would love to start working more in Atlanta with brands, designers, and models. Although I love my town of Columbus, I want to move into the bigger city scene and make a name for myself there. I also want to get into more conceptual photography, and producing images that really express more personal emotions and creativity.
My long term goal would be being a published photographer, I hope to one day see my work in Vogue or fashion magazines. I would also like to create images that would be displayed in art galleries or something of that nature.
- Portraits: $175, 30 minutes, 10 edits
- Boudoir: $350, 30 minutes, 10 edits
- Couples: $250, 30 minutes, 10 edits
- Website: www.laurenchampionphotos.com
- Email: email@example.com
Lauren Champion Photos