We are thrilled to introduce something brand new here to this space- Fount Community Spotlights!
LAUREN JOLLY PHOTOGRAPHY
Lauren is a birth and new life photographer living in Winston-Salem, NC. When I’m not photographing life’s most beautiful moments, you can find me with a coffee in my hand, snuggling my son, Finn, and my husband, Vaughan, on the couch, watching Friends on Netflix.
How long have you been in business?
I started my business almost 5 years ago.
Did you always want to be a photographer? Would you share a bit about your journey into photography with us?
No. In fact, I really didn’t enjoy my photography classes in college. I graduated with a bachelors degree in art and pursued a graphic design career. It wasn’t until after the company I worked for went bankrupt that I “re-learned” my way around a camera and started enjoying photography. It seemed like the perfect time to jump in so I started my business and here I am! This past year, after having my son, I transitioned into birth and motherhood photography and absolutely adore capturing the special bond between a momma and her baby.
What kind of camera did you have when you first started?
I had a used Nikon D70s that I bought off of Craigslist!
What would you say was a pivotal moment for you in your business?
Definitely when I admitted to myself that I didn’t HAVE to shoot weddings to be successful. I realized that focusing on birth photography (something I’m extremely passionate about) was my answer to the looming “burnout” and got me excited in a whole new way. I also started shooting film this year which has completely transformed the way I take a picture and run my business.
Do you have any advice for photographers who work a full time job in addition to their photography?
Give yourself grace. We’ve all been there and it’s not easy. You can’t be everything to everyone so be kind to yourself and keep up the great work! One day, you’ll be able to look back and be proud of those long days building the foundation of your business!
Image by Lauren Jolly Photography
As a mother, do you have any advice for building a business while balancing the joys and demands of motherhood?
Oh my, this is such a hard question! I’m still learning how to navigate running a business while being a mother, but it gets a bit easier every day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and always remember you didn’t build your business so that you could be working 24/7 and never see your family. I will always prioritize my family life because, as we all know, babies don’t keep!
What’s in your camera bag today?
These days, my camera bag is always filled to the brim as I’m a hybrid shooter. I bring 3 cameras to every session! I have my Nikon D600 + several memory cards, my Nikon F100, my Pentax 645n, and a ton of Fuji400H film. I also have my light meter, extra batteries, chapstick, and my water bottle.
What is a fun photography “toy” that you’re obsessed with?
I pretty much stick to the bare minimum when it comes to gear. But one of my favorite “props” that I use for newborn shoots is the gauze table runners from Adorn Company. They photograph beautifully (especially on film) and I’ve already started a collection.
When you aren’t behind the camera, what are your favorite hobbies?
Honestly, when I have a free day, I love to lounge. Whether that’s at home or at a coffee shop, being still and quiet is one of my favorite things. It doesn’t happen often, especially with an 18 month old, but when it does, it’s glorious.
If you could photograph anyone in the world, who would it be?
I can’t think of a specific person, but I’d love to photograph mothers in different countries. I’d love to see how motherhood is different in other societies and how we’re all the same. I think that could be life-changing.
If you could be photographed BY anyone in the world, who would it be?
I truly have always wanted to be photographed by Tiffany Farley. Her images truly encapsulate motherhood to me. It’s breathtaking.
What does your editing playlist sound like?
Either some acoustic playlist on Spotify or the soundtrack to Hamilton. I can’t listen to Hamilton every day because I’ll annoy my entire family by singing it for the rest of the day!
Image by Lauren Jolly Photography.
Will you share about an obstacle or difficult season in your family?
I had a really hard time keeping up when my son was under a year old. I was only able to work during nap time and I felt like I was drowning. I was shooting mostly weddings then and I hated leaving him on long wedding days. I almost gave up. It was a truly freeing moment when I realized I could scale back, I could shoot what I’m passionate about, and I could charge more and work less.
Where or When do you feel most inspired as an artist?
I definitely feel most inspired when shooting at a birth. There’s just nothing like it. The emotions are raw, the excitement is palpable, and I get to shoot in a completely documentary style. I’m a fly on the wall during the most beautiful, real moments you can imagine.
Describe to us your dream portrait session:
Right now, I’m dreaming of shooting a home birth or surrogate birth, shooting a lifestyle session on a boat, or shooting an intimate elopement in the mountains.
What are 3 of the top best financial investments you have made in your business?
(1) Switching over to film. This has enabled me to slow down, challenge myself, and spend less time editing. It’s definitely a large, on-going investment but so worth it.
(2) Education. I always walk away inspired and most of my big business changes have come from something I learned or discovered at a workshop or retreat.
(3) Branding. I re-branded this year and it’s been the best decision for my business. Having a professional, well thought out brand is so important!
What is your best piece of advice for a photographer who is just starting out?
Invest in education. Your clients are investing in you, so make sure you feel confident in your craft. Workshops and retreats are also great ways to meet others in your industry!
Do you have a favorite quote to live by?
“Life is beautiful.”
What do you want people to say about your work long after you’re gone?
I want people to say that I captured the moment and emotion perfectly. I want them to see their loved ones just as they were in my photographs.
Can you share 3 of your favorite business resources with us?
(1) Photographer groups on Facebook. I know it sounds lame, but I’ve learned so much from some of the groups I’m in. Plus it’s so nice to be a part of a community of people who understand where you’re coming from if you have an issue and who will celebrate with you when you have a triumph!
(2) My film lab. Working with my lab (Indie Film Lab) to get everything just right has helped me to hone in on my style and aesthetic. Your lab should be happy to talk to you and tweak things so your work will be consistent.
(3) Instagram. It may seem obvious, but many of my clients find me through Instagram. Using strategic hashtags and making sure your feed is consistent is so important. I’m also a believer in sharing some of your real life – people want to get to know you as much as they want to see your beautiful work!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
To ask yourself what makes you stand out and chase after that hard.
What is something in your business, brand, or work that you want to grow in for 2017?
I’m changing my entire pricing structure in 2017 and I’m really excited to be focusing more on printed photographs as art next year!
Lauren’s beautiful work is published in our printed publication, Volume 04, which is now available for pre-order. Head on over the shop to be sure and reserve your copy!!