We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Houser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, why did you pursue a creative career?
I didn’t always know that I wanted to pursue photography and design. Originally I went to school with the hopes of one day becoming a physician. So, I got my Bachelor’s in Biology and ended up completing two years of medical school before I realized that my heart just wasn’t in it. Deep down I knew that I was being called to follow a different path, one that was more artistic and creative. In a way, it was a terrifying prospect, at the time, stepping away from a career that was safe and stable, to follow my heart and dreams toward the uncertainty being a photographer, but it’s a decision I’m so thankful that I made. Whenever I’m on an assignment, whether it’s during the shoot itself or post-production editing, I feel like I have been incredibly blessed to be able to do what I love. For me, I love everything about photography—the angles that help create “the perfect” shot, the planning that goes into lighting your subjects, and those split second expressions that are captured at just the right moment and end up telling a story. Working with clients takes that natural love of photography and amplifies it ten fold. There is no greater feeling than seeing my clients’ faces light up when they see the finished product and glimpses into their own, uniquely beautiful lives.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I decided to enter the world of photography and design because I love creating. Art is a very powerful thing; it can inspire, evoke emotion, or bring about change. Photography has always fascinated me because one image could be capable of eliciting an infinite number of emotions, thoughts, or even conversations without using a single word. In addition, through design work, I have always adored how one can begin with a mere thought or vision and transform it from an abstract concept to a tangible product that could be held in your hands. When I decided to pursue photography professionally, I wasn’t exactly sure what type of photography I wanted to explore. I ended up beginning my career as a travel photographer and captured the world around me as it caught my eye, always striving to have my images elicit some sort of visceral reaction for those that saw my work. I loved being a travel photographer because it allowed me to explore, meet new people, and experience new things. Over time, however, I began to transition into family photography, especially after I had children of my own and found myself feverishly striving to capture all of their precious little moments on film. One lesson that I learned in photography and design was if you truly feel compelled to do something, do not be afraid to do whatever it takes to follow your dreams. You don’t have to be a seasoned veteran with years and years of experience behind your name to get out there and start working, because everyone no matter how many years they’ve been working, started at the beginning at some time. In addition, I think it’s important to share that if you have a dream to pursue something, you don’t always have to have all of the stars perfectly aligned for you to take that first step. Trust your heart, listen to your head, develop your skills, and believe in yourself. When all of those things come together they will lead you where you’re supposed to go and it will be magical.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Central Texas, so if one of my best friends was visiting I would be sure to take them to Magnolia Market at the Silos for some shopping and sightseeing around downtown Waco. We would be sure to visit The Cameron Park Zoo, go to Cameron Park for a walk or bike ride along the Brazos River, and walk across the historic Waco Suspension Bridge, a structure that was vital to cattle driving along the Chisholm Trail, being sure to toss a tortilla or two to the ducks and turtles swimming below. I would also love to take those with little children to the Mayborn Museum to see either the Jeanes Discovery Center, a fantastic children’s exhibit, or one of the special exhibits that visit, like the Paw Patrol exhibit which is there now. In the past we have thoroughly enjoyed the Titanic exhibit as well as Doc McStuffins, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and Eric Carle exhibits. When it was time to eat I would insist that we take a quick sojourn down I-35 to Belton and eat at Schoepf’s Bar-B-Que. They have some of the best bar-b-que and live music around! Most of my friends enjoy being outside soaking in the bright Texas sun, so I would love to take them to Lake Belton where we could rent jet skis for the day and ride over to see the waterfall by Westcliff Park—it’s beautiful! To those individuals traveling with children, I would also recommend Hawaiian Falls in Waco, a water park that is the perfect size and always busy, but never too crowded. If my friends were traveling with very small children, I would also recommend the splash pads at West Temple Community Park in Temple or Harris Community Park in Belton. Harris Community Park has the cutest little western themed splash pad complete with a Conestoga wagon and old fashioned water tower.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to take a minute to recognize my family, especially my husband, Joshua. You have never wavered in your support and have 100%, wholeheartedly been there, every step of the way, encouraging me. Your steadfast support means the world to me. Thank you! I’d also like to thank my dear friend, Diana Castaldi, for your constant encouragement and guidance. You have showed me that it’s ok to follow your dreams and put yourself out there.