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Day 164: First Friday Feature: Lauren Jenkins

I has the pleasure of meeting Lauren Jenkins early on in my photography career and have been amazed both with her photography and with her. She is truly one of the sweetest people I have the pleasure of knowing and in 2018 I had the opportunity to be presented in a gallery exhibition with her and several others. It is my honor to feature her on my blog and I hope you will enjoy her art as much as I do.

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a conceptual photographer currently living in California with my husband and two sons. When I am not busy chasing them around I am off being creative. I started creating conceptual pieces back in 2016 and haven’t stopped since!

2. What got you started in photography?

I have always loved to express myself creatively. I got my first digital camera in middle school and I was always taking pictures. In high school I took a photography class and I fell in love with film photography. The dark room became my favorite place. I went on to study photography in college, but it wasn’t until after I graduated that I discovered my passion for creating conceptual pieces. 

3. Describe your workflow, what is unique about your process?

All of my photos are sketched out beforehand. I like to know exactly what I am doing before I begin to shoot. I have recently started building “mini terrains” to composite myself into. Since moving to a new place and having my second child I find it hard to get out and shoot on location, so building these terrains not only gives me another way to express myself creatively, but they are also convenient.    

4. What do you enjoy most about creating an image?

I love everything about it, my favorite part is seeing an image come to life exactly how I imagined it in my mind.   

5. What camera equipment do you use?

I currently use a Canon 6D. My go to lenses are a Sigma 50mm and a Canon 85mm. 

6. Is there a certain theme you try to express in your work? Why do you feel a need to share that?

My work stems from my personal experiences. Mainly my struggles with my biggest fears and anxiety, but also the hope and freedom that comes with overcoming them. I began creating as a way of coping with feelings that I never expressed aloud. This is still the case, but now I also feel the need to create in hope that my work can reach others going through similar issues.

7. Where do you find inspiration?

Daydreaming, music, movies and personal experiences. Now that I think about it, a lot of my photo ideas have come to me while listening to music in my car. 

8. Out of your images, which is your personal favorite and why?

This is a hard one! I’ve been going back and forth between two images, but I think “Swept Away” is my favorite. The image represents hope and light to me. I created it at a time in my life where I finally started to feel good enough. Not only as a creative, but just as a person in general. It’s also the first image I created where I felt I had finally found my editing style.  

9. What is the biggest piece of advice you have ever been given? What advice would you give your younger self, the you who has just started creating?

I have heard a lot of advice over the years, but I think the most valuable is to not compare my work to others. When I first started creating I was always worried that what I had to offer wasn’t good enough. It would make me second guess myself and sometimes it would keep me from creating at all.  

10. What do you hope people will take away from your images? 

I hope they feel a little less alone. Realizing I am bigger than my fears changed everything for me and I want to share that with as many people as I can!

You can find Lauren on Instagram and on her Website.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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