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Interview with photosanity mentor Lauren Nygard

Today's photosanity workshop interview is with Lauren Nygard of Lauren Nygard Photography. She will be mentoring the San Diego, CA group.

Lauren Nygard (San Diego, CA)
Lauren Nygard Photography
(also on facebook)
Based in Oceanside, CA, which is a little north of San Diego proper, Lauren has officially been in business for almost three years and primarily shoots weddings and portraits. She also runs a small photography group out in San Diego and loves helping people improve their photo skills.

1) How and why did you decide to become a professional photographer?

Like most photographers, photography was always a hobby of mine - my mom let me borrow her Nikon when I was in high school and I was hooked! A camera was my high school graduation gift from my parents, so I continued to dabble in photography through college and grad school. When my husband and I got married, I made a (really!) bad decision and hired a photographer off of Craigslist. The day after our wedding, I got a horrible email from him: he had lost all of the images from our ceremony! I was devastated. After several weeks passed, we received the images he did have, and I was even more upset because I didn't love them, as I thought I would. A few months later, my husband was sent to Oklahoma for 5 months for work, and I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. I started taking more photography classes to fill my evenings, and asked friends if I could photograph them. Before I knew it, I was applying for my business license and having the time of my life! I knew I didn't want other couples to have the same experience with their wedding photographer as we did, which has really influenced my wedding photography.

2) How would you describe your style?

Natural and fresh.

3) What do you most enjoy photographing?

I love photographing love! I love when you can see how much a groom loves his bride, or a mom loves her son, or a wife loves her husband, through just one image. Capturing those precious moments are so important and I love being able to do that!

4) Which is your favorite lens?

I purchased a 50mm f/1.8 a few years ago and it's hardly ever left my camera body since then!

5) What have you most enjoyed about being a photosanity mentor so far?

I love seeing the growth in the participants' photos, and feeling the excitement when they've mastered new techniques.

6) What is your favorite photography tip for parents?

Have patience!

7) Share three of your recent favorite photos (personal and/or professional) - why are they favorites?

I love the first photo which is from a recent family session I did. Little Sophie was taking a while to get warmed up to me, so I asked her to help me get her mommy and daddy to smile at the camera. She was a fantastic assistant! When I showed her the image I captured of her parents, she had a huge smile on her face! I told her it was her turn, and I was able to catch this precious shot.

The second photo is one of my favorite wedding images from 2011. This was taken immediately after the ceremony, and the bride and groom had naturally slipped into a short dance while I was capturing a few portraits. I love the tenderness in the image--the way he's gently kissing the top of her head as she looks down and smiles.

The third photo is of my husband! I turn our living room into a studio if my clients want a studio set up, and usually use a teddy bear to test the lighting before the clients arrive. This time, my clients were coming over on a Monday evening and I set up on Sunday afternoon. I asked my husband to sit in for a few tests shots, and was being goofy as he sat there, looking down at his iPad. I told him he needed a new Facebook photo and demanded that he look up at me. This is the image I got. I don't know why I decided to shoot so tightly, so we now joke that it'll be the perfect headshot for him to be the next soap opera star. I just think it's fun, and looking at it reminds me of how helpful he is, especially when it comes to my business!

8) Choose one photo from a fall 2011 participant that you particularly like and explain why.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the expression captured here in this photo by Shayna Gehl! Everything about this photo is right: the colors, the background, the light, the expression. It's an amazing portrait!

Check out the photosanity website for more information on cities and mentors (and of course to sign up for the workshop if you are interested).

nyc baby, child and family photographer & architect alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn. she specializes in baby photography as interior design & interior design for babies. view her portfolio of babies, children or families or send her an e-mail here!

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