Lauren Coffey is truly an authentic person and she captures that same genuine spirit in her photography. Living on a farm and following her heart, her work makes you smile and feel all warm inside. From newborns to weddings, it’s time to find out more about the talented woman behind the camera.
The Lauren Coffey Interview
Hi, Lauren! Tell me more about you.
I was born in Florida but grew up in Alabama so my heart belongs at the beach. I am a stay at home mom/photographer and I love that I get to do what I am passionate about. It’s not work if it’s something you love doing!
An interesting fact about me…hmmm…I don’t know if I’m that interesting. My favorite food is spaghetti. I like to run but only on a treadmill. I want to skydive someday. I can’t stand when people eat a banana and make that smacking noise. I prefer to watch a movie at home with a bowl of popcorn rather than going to the theater. I’m a JEEP girl (I’ve owned three so far), and if I could carry my camera everywhere, I would.
Tell me about the moment you decided that being a photographer was the right choice for you.
I don’t know if there was an actual defining moment where I thought I could actually turn my passion into my career. I graduated from nursing school with absolutely no passion for becoming a nurse but I knew I always wanted photography to be a huge part of my life. I remember pouring over my mother’s scrapbooks as a kid and as a teenager. I could remember when she took every single photo. I drive my husband crazy with the amount of pictures I take at home, but I know one day my children will cherish every single one of them.
What do you primarily shoot with and do you have a favorite lens?
I shoot with a Nikon D4s and I love it. I used semi-professional cameras in the beginning and they just weren’t cutting it for the type of work I was doing. Lenses…boy do I love my primes! My favorite lens right now is my Nikon 50 mm /1.8. I like to shoot wide open most of the time and this lens is fantastic! I am holding out for the 85 mm. 🙂 If you’ve never shot with a prime lens, rent one and try it out. They’re magical.
You spoke on how saturated your market is and I completely agree. How do you strive to stand out? What personal touches do you try to add to your images?
In a field like photography, it is so important to stand out. I live in a very small town. and it is full of photographers! Most people are bothered by it. I love it. There’s something for everyone. I struggled with finding my creative style to set me apart for a while. I got lost in doing things everyone else’s way. Once I found my style, it clicked for me! I have no problem throwing the rules out of the window and running for it! I always ask my clients what made them decide to book with me and every answer is the same… “We wanted something different.” I take a limited number of clients and weddings per month to guarantee high-quality work. When they see their gallery for the first time, they know that I poured my heart and soul into their images.
You’ve obviously had to deal with a lot of negativity. I believe many photographers do but don’t always talk about it. What helped you to deal with it and what tips would you give others to help them deal with similar issues?
I think there is negativity in every creative field. Someone is always trying to be the next big thing and if there are people threatening that, it scares them. Many photographers compare their work to other photographers rather than just trying to improve their own work and stand out. I think that is why so many photographers end up closing up shop. They focus too much on what everyone else is doing.
You also mentioned Jasmine Star, and she is an amazing photographer. What are some of your other inspirations?
Oh man…there are so many people that inspire me!! I guess it really depends. I adore Rachel Vanoven and Erin Tole. I think they are, hands down, the best and most creative newborn photographers out there! I also really admire Nancy Ray Photography’s work. There is just something about the look of film that makes me swoon! Also, Simply Bloom Photography. I have admired their work even before I started my business. They just really now how to capture beautiful light – and I am a sucker for some good light! I could go on and on all day about photographers that inspire me.
Do you have a favorite type of shoot?
I love all types of photography. I have yet to dabble in macro or landscape, but those are on my list. I really love photographing newborns. They are my passion. There is something so magical about puckered pink lips and flaky newborn skin that I just love. I am also hooked on Senior photography. I love taking pictures of people who are excited to be in front of my camera and try new things.
Do you recommend all photographers second shoot? What benefits did it have for you?
I think it was a great experience for me. I was second shooting for a new photographer, so we were both learning at the same time. I think if you could shoot with an experienced photographer, yes! By all means, do it! I think second shooting with the intention of starting your own business is a great opportunity to find out what you do and don’t want to do with your business.
Please share your favorite image at the moment and tell me why.
This is a picture of my husband and my son that I took one day while they were watching the storm roll in.
We live on a farm and whenever the weather gets really bad, the cows start to move across the field. My son loves to watch them. This particular week had been a rough week on my husband. I just love that he can have a rough week and still come home and spend quality time with our son.
The photography genie has granted you one wish. What would you wish for?
I would wish for an endless supply of money to support my “gear” buying habit!
Visit Lauren’s website to keep up with her latest projects and see more of her work.