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Life & Work with Lauren Jones of Excelsior Springs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Jones.

Hi Lauren, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve always been interested in photography, participating in the photography classes in 4-H when I was younger, playing with my point and shoot, and collecting old cameras. I did not attend college for photography, though. After graduating from SBU, my husband would ask me what I wanted to do more than anything-what would bring me the most joy-and my answer was always “to be a wedding photographer and mom,” and he encouraged me to pursue my dream. I purchased my first business camera in the summer of 2013 and began shooting everything I could and learning all the basics. I followed and researched everything from how to shoot in manual to photographing a wedding, posing, lighting, etc. I studied other photographers in the industry that I admired, including Katelyn James, Amanda Hedgepeth, Tara Card, Jasmine Star, and many more. Every extra minute I had was spent photographing friends and family and compiling all the “how-to’s” so I could become a wedding photographer. My first wedding as Lauren Jones Photography was in June of 2014, and I’ve been shooting weddings every year since! I dabbled in newborns, families, and seniors, and while I stopped taking on new clients for those types of sessions as of 2022, I don’t regret my time shooting things outside of my niche! It allowed me to grow, meet many new people and friends, and learn much more that can apply to wedding photography!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I can’t say it’s been a rough road, but it’s not been easy either. Anything you aspire to do takes time, dedication, energy, and a passion for succeeding. I’ve spent countless hours studying and educating myself on my gear, client interactions, how to run a business, etc. My biggest struggle is that I’ve been self-taught 100%. I didn’t go to school for photography and haven’t formally taken any classes or workshops. So while I see other photographers in the industry graduating with photography degrees or taking all the educational classes they can and just exploding in their careers, it’s been a gradual process for me. While it’s been a struggle to grow slowly, I wouldn’t trade it, though, because it has allowed me to be more present with my babies at home while also having the opportunity to run my own business!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m a wedding and maternity photographer based out of Kansas City. I’ve photographed families, newborns, seniors, etc., in the past, but in recent years have focused more on my niche-weddings and maternity. I genuinely care about my couples and their marriages and am honored to be chosen to photograph the most important day of their lives. I strive to create timeless memories they will cherish for a lifetime and pride myself in treating my clients as friends and family, not just as clients.

What were you like growing up?
I was raised in the agriculture community with generations of farmers in my family. I’m most comfortable on the farm or out in nature. I’ve always been an introvert, so being a photographer has forced me to come out of my shell while shooting; you may be unable to tell that I’m an introvert if I’m doing my job right! As a child, my family traveled all over the states, which has only fueled my love for travel more as an adult. A book lover from a young age, it’s hard to pull me away when I get into one! I find adventures in a good book when I’m not dreaming of traveling.

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