Building a career as a Full Time Photographer, Traveling for Photoshoots, Finding & Pursuing your life's passion & confidence in facing the unknown with @lauraraephotography
Hey, everyone, welcome a Twin-Cities collective podcast. I'm really excited here with a special guest. Laura from Laurie Photography. She is an amazing photographer and influencing Twin-Cities. Welcome. Thank
Laura: you. Thank you for having me and excited to be here.
Jenna I'm excited. We have never met. The forces are first time, but we've been following you for a long time. Even Instagram friends like pfft, standing those Diaz, I think you were like, when the first people that I saw using stories really well, thank you. Like I was like, I like her stories looked just like her feet.
Thank you. Such a compliment. So there could be a disconnect. And And it's interesting, because, like you, you kind of hopped on that pretty quickly. How? How did that? Because you have been You've been enough time. I actually still stocking. And I would go if I went through your entire feet. Don't know when it started. Like, I want all of that. And I'm like, how long has she been doing this? Like, she seems like she's been on Instagram for I think their first post was in, like, twenty twelve. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like and she was still, like, really good back then. Eyes, it's possible. Like I didn't even like, know what? I was in college and I didn't know anything, but so let's tarry a little bit about your story. How did you get into photography and like with your background?
Laura: Yeah, definitely. So, you know, like any eighteen year old, I was kind of like, What should I do with my life and coming from a really small farm town? We did travel a little bit, but I would definitely say, like my heart and soul was in that little town, and I definitely want to do things for others. And for me, the natural progression was like, Oh, education or something, The medical field and like no, not medical room. Like going to the doctor at twenty nine years old. And I was like, I want to teach, um So I pursued a degree, an elementary education and three and half years into my decree, a k like, almost done with college, like had my student teaching placement and everything. I was on my family beach up in Lake Superior, and I have five aunts and they're all sisters and, you were talking about childbirth and how beautiful but difficult it is and how much it changed their bodies. And then they were comparing themselves to Victoria's secret models, which those models air stunning. But as are my aunts and my mom and just different types of beauty. And so I was like, Okay, you guys like you're in your bathing suits for you do like a Victoria's Secret like shoot on the beach and they were like No, like, there's a shot. You're going to do it. It's going to be fine. These pictures and I are going to go anywhere, and I am picked up my mom small point and shoot camera camera And I would say I was I've always been creatively inclined, but had never pursue photography more than maybe taking him with pictures of boys at football games in high school on and started taking images of them. And I showed him within the first ten frames what we were doing. And you know what I was taking and they started crying in the South Korea while we've never felt this beautiful, and then it clicked and mean, like, wow, photography can be so much more than just a picture. And so my family was like, You know, you really need to pursue this like, this is what you should be doing and I was like, You all are crazy. Like I was good at taking out the trash, which I'm not. You would tell me that I could should be a drunk truck driver and I'm like, or if I was great with animals and better than I am. Maybe I should like, you know, own fifty cats or something, but I can't on DH. So I had prayed about it, and I came across this National Geographic competition and they choose one of the twenty thousand entries per category each year to be published. And I had this wild prayer and I was like, You know what I like If I get published in National Geographic, I'Ll be a photographer. It if not I'm going to be a teacher. And I am a way cool with whatever happens on DH three weeks later, just a week before my last semester of college started. Um, I got an email from National Geographic and they were like, You've won this category. We wanna publish you And yes, that kind of just everything changed there. And I went into my advisor and I was like, I am going to change my major and She's like, you start. You're like you're almost done, E. I was like, Well, I'm going to take a different path. So
Jenna: So did you then go more through more college?
Laura: Yes. Oh, had another year and a half by I was definitely obviously done with my generals and a lot of those major classes. And so I just kind of had to add on that extra a year and a half, and I took eighteen to twenty two credits for three semesters to kind of just be done.
Jenna: Yeah. Was that what degree was that?
Laura: Mass communication of the emphasis inventor journalism. Okay. And what school was that?
I went to Winona state.
Jenna Oh, yes. Pretty clear. I have a few friends that went there. I extras Communications major as well. But I was more video, actually. So I'm in school for video. Awesome. That's cool. And I actually was a wedding videographer for about a year, and I was like, Yeah, so So how did you then get started in your business? So you graduated and where you started. Did you start working well, like in your new manager?
Laura: Definitely. I kind of just hit the ground running and was saying put my name out there calling myself like a beginner and saying like Hey, I'm really trying like I'd love to take photos for you and was really saying yes to anything that was available. I like in photography kind of the pursuit of it in the sense of as a doctor, you're like, What type of doctor do you want to be like or what type of nurse? That there's a million different types, like in photography? I didn't want to just learn one thing. I wanted to learn everything and then from there, or trial everything and from there then decide what I wanted to do. So my degree is photojournalism, um, got that down. And then I came across a conference that Jamie Collar it was having up here in Minneapolis. And he celebrity photographer does a lot of things for, like, non profits as well has couple of his own and just more well versed in like lighting and things like that. Where is photojournalism isn't as much lighting, and they so got an internship with him, which is that that was amazing. He came up here and the end, the conference I walked up to when I was like Hey, like I would love to intern for you Like I've never had an intern. I'm like, Well, I've never been an intern, So let's figure this out. So after a month or two of interviewing, I then graduated college, packed my bags for an unpaid internship down in Nashville, put a several months into that and then at the end decided I was like, Hey, what Jeremy's doing is incredible. And I would love to do what he does with his wife at the time. Now she's a realtor NW. She's incredible. That butt was hurt his producer on. And I was like, I don't know if I have the capacity to be the mom that I want to be and also be the photographer in the capacity that Jeremy is. And so I'm like, Okay, packed my get bags again, Like credit. I'm like, What should I do? And Minneapolis, for some reason, was just speaking to me. I have no family here. I have a family lives. They're gonna have ourselves if here But Minneapolis just seemed like I don't know, let's go for a critical place. Yeah, three place. So packed my bags, packed my car and drove up. And I realized halfway here that I didn't have a place to stay. And I was like, What? Do you think that out? So I stopped at a gas station, looked up on Craigslist, a place I don't really have much money at all. China Price Place on Craigslist That was two hundred fifty square feet, a small little hole practically just a room in Saint Paul. And for four hundred dollars a month. And I signed the lease, I had to share a bathroom with two other people on my floor and didn't have, like, I was just determined to do it. And in the beginning I shared a bathroom and then also, like, bartered with different coffee shops and things like that, to take photos for them in exchange for, like, gift cards. When like OK, then I can even have a place to stay like it, Really, That's like definitely how it started. It wasn't glamorous, and still at times isn't
Jenna: so that I feel like that's a very common story with a lot of people in the creative field. They, you know, take all the jobs they can experience, you know, maybe work for free. Like, is that something you probably recommend? That's how you started.
Laura: Yeah. I mean, you need to do a lot to figure out what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are because you can't just show up to any type of job or any client who's seeking a photographer and say, Hey, I can take pictures on there like Okay, cool. Well, like a lot of people can take pictures like What makes you different? And through saying yes to so many things, I figured out what I would best say no to, So I could make more space for those things that, like benefited and I guess, played in to like my strengths and photography.
Jenna: And what are those
Laura: for me? I would really say people Okay, I want to take images, whether it be in a wedding or family sessions or larger commercial clients, that you can't just see what something looks like, feel it. And so if there's images like that that someone's in need of, that's kind of that's my thing. And I know that I can benefit that client and in turn, that's going to be great images, your portfolio when it kind of builds from there. But had I not taken photos of like animals and, like building Anterior decided all these things I wouldn't have known Like what I really love and impassioned about. Yeah, because this market is definitely oversaturated it and one of my favorite quotes. I have no idea who said it, but if you let yourself on fire with passionate people will come from miles to watch you burn on DH.
Jenna: That's a great quote. It is,
Laura: really. It's just its stuck with me. And I'm like, If I love what I do, if I'm passionate about it, people will want O me. And so I had to figure out what type of photography, what things, set it on fire. That's
Jenna: so cool, because I was actually a photographer. But I was a product photography, which is like, and you not rational way because I was like, I kind of like like doing on my own time. I don't work with people like I love people, but I don't love photographing them for some reason, and it's totally found. That's I
Laura: like had you not done that or if you were pushing yourself into photographing people. It might not have been a success for you because it's not. You want to do that for me. I'm not. I don't want to photograph product. I wanna have like, a connection. And like I wanted that emotion. And I'm like you've shown a motion from a product to in a certain way, I suppose. But for me, it's really people.
Jenna: It's interesting because I did weddings and I, yeah, didn't love it. Yeah, it was just fine, you know? And it's interesting because, like, there, like I would say, Wedding, What is the most to you? What is the most like stress? Because I feel like weddings are stressful to shoot because it's it's like you only get one shot and it's like I just couldn't handle that stressed do like that part of it.
Laura:I love it. I truly do. If some someone who'd never photographed weddings before was like, should I do it? I would say yes. But there is a stress level and you do need to figure out so many parts of the day, whether it be like equipment workflow and process and and things like that. But Yeah, it can be really stressful, but that's one of the reasons why I love it, because it is stressful. But it's an environment that I thrive in, and so I know I'm going to keep pursuing it.
Jenna: So we had a influencer event last night, and one of the questions that somebody asked was, How do you evolve and change your direction in your business? Because I thought that was and I want to ask you this because I feel like you've changed. Like I went back again and went through your Instagram and a lot of your old post were all of your clients, like weddings and stuff. And now it seems like it's a lot of you and your personal branding. So how did that transition over time,
Laura: Yes, I mean, I definitely probably post one in ten images is impossibly like a picture that I've taken otherwise. It's of me, and why I do that is like it mentioned earlier. This market is oversaturated. There's a lot of people who take incredibly beautiful, thought provoking like images and what really, at the end of the day sets you apart, is you and sometimes that is your work as well. But also, when you're working like a wedding and you have, like, a ten to twelve hour day and then you have engagement session with them and you also have e mails and things like that, you really want to like that person, if not love them and be pretty, like excited for them to be a wedding. And so for me, showing more of who I am and what I'm about, it really helps me find, like my ideal client and more so them find me often even these bigger commercial shoots that I get. I'll get an email and it's like, Hey, Laura, we saw that you were drinking whisky and hewing last night. We were there in town last time. It was awesome to like PSC works awesome. Let's like work together. And so often a lot of emails that I'm getting start with something they saw about Instagram, and then it makes them feel that I'm like I am but like or approachable, they know something about me. They're coming in, not just saying like, hey, great work like, but I don't know if we're gonna work well together. And now from on online and social media and the CIA. The same hands like I also post a lot about about myself. And if someone doesn't like that, that's okay that I'm sure there's another photographer out there that's going to be awesome for in them. It's okay to not be loved by everyone and not be every client's person.
Jenna: That's so great, because I think a lot of people they get upset when like someone doesn't like their work. And I'm like that they're not the right one for you and and you have a much darker editing style. And some people love the light. Mary, you know, absolutely different. So how did you discover what style photographer you like to do?
Laura: Yeah, so I will say my images tend to be a little bit more saturated and and have a little bit more mood to them, I would say, But whether it be like a wedding family session commercial shoot to evoke that sense of emotion and feeling, I really want to photograph a day as it is so a wedding for me if I show up and it's like an April August day and it's assumedly, maybe like very sunny, but on that day it's raining. It's going to be more saturated, going to have those tones, but I have other weddings in August that are beautifully bright, and they're photographed in that way. So I really want to photograph something, as is opposed to changing someone's day and making something that it actually is. And so there are some people who are like, Hey, I want to hear photographer who I know, like even if it's raining that day is going to bright and airy images. But I even tell my clients upfront. If you're hiring me for a wedding, I'm going to photograph your day, as is and as it is, is beautiful, and I want it to be shown that way because in thirty years, if you had a rainy day and you're looking back on your images, you won't remember that rain and the beauty of it by seeing something that's super bright and non went. Yeah, it's
Jenna: like almost fake,
Laura: Yeah, and and there is beauty in it, like there's people who want those specific images and you know what, then? Then they should find someone who that's that that's their forte. And for me, I find beauty in, like each person's individual story, so the editing can change.
Jenna: that's so interesting because I think people struggle with their identity as a photographer. If they are a photographer with the saturation in the market. And I feel like you have really distinguished yourself as more of a brand, then even a photographer. So I have a question. So you said you have other people, take your photos, then do is a tripod, and then you edit them yourself.
Laura: Girl, Half time I'm travellng. It's a random person on the street. Really? Hold this here and keep pressing on and they're like, Cool, that's great. That's on me. And then you obviously, yeah, I mean, they're like my boyfriend will be with me on trips or some type family trips, but any of the solo trips that I've taken Yeah, it's just random people. Thank goodness no one stolen my camera. And I just say, How much of it is your phone versus your camera? I would say when it comes to Instagram alone, probably ninety percent. It's just my iPhone. Oh, yeah,
Jenna: it's amazing.
Laura: I really feel that there's so much grant. I love a good DSLR and awesome lenses, but people email there like, what should I start with? I'm like the best camera equipment you can have is whatever is in your hands and for me, I don't feel as versatile when I'm traveling with large equipment or even a bigger camera. And so for me, I'm like, I throw my phone in my bag and I'm like, Hey, that where this is going to work with today And you can really do awesome things that that you don't need to be professional in a sense, on Instagram, our hat, in order to be like legit, have some, like big camera and specific lens like there's a lot you could do with a knife.
Jenna: I always say that. I mean, I I think that there's some great editing that could be done to photos. Yeah, that and the phone's just get better and better. So let's talk a little bit about what what does your business look like? So you travel a lot, but you also are in town and you like, what does your day look like? What does your like business look like?
Laura: Oh, there. Every day is different. I really cherish my mornings because I feel it's the only thing that's ever consistent and that I have complete control over so think it's been a crazy couple weeks, so I haven't the last couple weeks, but I'm usually try to wake up at five or five thirty, and then I go to Alchemy in the North Loop at 6am. It's awesome. It's type a little pitch in there. It's really great. Try to go the six or seven am class, and then I'll let go home and make my breakfast and from there, like check out my email, see if there's anything that second important like that, have to answer right away. And then my day starts out with, like meetings, editing photo shoots all the way up and tell anywhere between depending on time of year like five and ten pm Yeah, they're Long day. I think people think sometimes I'm I'm just going to copy shop to coffee shop for drinking my old fashions just hanging out with people, and it can be that. But most often it's a lot of work, and I just enjoy it so much. And I think that's why it comes across as easy as it does. Because even the long days and long weeks, I walk away from them being like Hell, yeah, yeah,
Jenna: well, I mean, if you're passionate about something, it's almost like it's not work. Yeah, I mean, that's why I think I don't know, absolutely. So that's interesting because you so you do travel a lot for work. And we're talking about this before the party started. Is that you work on all these trips?
Laura: I did go to Tulum this January end of January for three days, and that was one of the first true vacation. Like, didn't answer email I didn't even do much in Instagram that I've had in probably five years. Otherwise, I'm like, have my computer. I'm answering. Yeah.
Jenna: Ah, how those trips get started, then like are you are you booking from Instagram? How like, are they just people reaching out saying like, can you shoot in the city? How does that work?
Laura: It is now to begin within the photography world or in any creative world. I really feel it's You want to show what you want to shoot or you want to show the work that you want to get. And I wanted to do a lot of traveling. And so in my first two years, any money that I had I spent on going on location and whether it be like I know a friend in California So I'm gonna go there and, like, look a shoot. And then I started posting. But all of that and then people assumed rightfully so. Like, Hey, she'll travel for photo shoots. You can't just say that you do something and not show it. So then I kind of showed the process of, like, this is how I create the shoot. I show up, we execute the photos and then I go home.
Yeah, And since stories has come out, you've kind of shown some of the behind the scenes of that, too. I feel like that is kind of showing your actual work. Like I remember watching and be like, Oh my gosh, look at how many people involved in like that shot? Yeah, like that's so how How did the story's evolution starts?
Laura: So the story's kind of started because people would obviously DM me questions and I have these images and I really love creating cool images and content, but in camera, not like in a photo shop after you take them. So it was kind of these crazy shoots and often times it wasn't crazy. It was holding a piece of paper up in one of the lens or things like that. And also so often people are messaging saying like, I don't know, like, if I can do what you do And so I want to start showing the behind the scenes of like, Hey, I'm not doing anything like super crazy And if I am, here's how I'm doing it. But anyone can do this like I just decided to like, look fear in the eyes and walk past it and be like Hey, yeah, I'm gonna be a photographer And it might be scary. And there might be days I'm like, Can I pay this bill or not? But I just go for it on Anyone could do that that doesn't make me like unique er cooler better than anyone else. I just went for it so kind of in stories I wanted to show the realness of, like, the process of how I go about things and hopefully that made someone else feel more comfortable in the pursuit of their dream to be like okay, like, it's really that simple. Like I could do that.
Jenna: This I think that's so valuable to show the realness of what it takes to be a full time entrepreneur, you know, because I think a lot of people are like, I just don't know what you do with your time. Yeah, Yeah, like time management. How do you deal with time management?
Laura: Oh, gosh, I've really It's I feel less balance and more about harmony because I kept kicking myself in the back like being like Laura. Like you got a balancing Laura family and friend in, like, Time and Blue. But you have to do emails and you have to shoot. And I'm like, You know what? I'm going to stop pushing myself in the pursuit of balance and instead find harmony. And for me, that means like this. Last week I went to Palm Springs, but prior to that, I had a forty eight hour like crazy amazing trip to Florida for chutes and days prior to that, I was super busy. And then this week, sense I might play The plane landed on Sunday night. I've been Go, go, go! And to me, that's that's okay. Like that's the harmony of this week. Maybe next week I'll have a little bit more time to, like, chill and sit down, have a cup of coffee. But this week and last week, I don’t. That's okay, and it's, I don't know, made me a happier person.
Jenna I love that balance vs harmony. I've never had such a good quote something like and they like All right, well, we'LL take a quick break with Laura and we'LL be right back with the Twin-Cities collective podcast. All right, we're back with Laura, and I want to talk a little about Instagram, so you've really built your Instagram over the last few years. How How is that really affected your business over time? Oh,
Laura: wow. I mean, I think I my business itself has doubled, if not tripled because of Instagram alone. And it is funny. As you mentioned earlier, I post more about myself and my trips and come behind the scenes of photography and not as much of my work. And I think just a testament to show you and who you are and make people want to pick you over someone else because of who you are and not just your work. Because your work as I was in a change, probably he was a person I wasn't remain true to who you are. Yeah, and using Instagram and social media, I feel like it's more of a buzzword now, but to be, like, vulnerable and authentic and real for me, Instagram really started blowing up. When, three, maybe, four years ago. I kind of realized I was like, Whoa We are the first generation our kids can Google us through and I'm like, I want to have something to say. Like I don't want them to Google me and be like Mom. What? What did you do like I don't know are like, really? Yeah, like, I don't know or like, have something to say. Like if I were to be gone tomorrow, what footprint did I leave? And for me, that kind of like directly correlated to instagram like, Hey, this is a place And at the time I probably had three or four thousand followers and I was traveling a lot, and I've been saying just started dating someone who's pretty incredible. But for the last five years, I've been single. And so I was talking a lot about, like traveling solo and being single and how to navigate that because it's not always easy on, but also sort of talking more in a real way about business and like the ups and downs of it. And it was less about the images I was posting and more about what I was saying, and it just kind of just float with it. So, yes, that I started the #Lauraraetravels and just whenever I travel, I kind of post something in I geotag it, and then hopefully in the future, my kids and now I'm realizing a lot of people here, Minneapolis or in different states like, Hey, I follow that hashtag and then when you go somewhere, I save it. And then I travel there. When I go there on, I'm like, Wow, that's cool, Like that's really awesome.
Jenna: That's what I feel like. I got the word influencers weird, but like you are influencing people in terms of like, What you do is so inspirational to people that they want to do it, too. Yeah, I
Laura: mean, if I were to say I want inspire people to do anything, I just truly want them to live as an action, not like the daily type of thing that you do but really like, push yourself to kind of like experience new things and go out there and to know that, like, you can do it alone &, you could do it with someone, but like just because you don't have that person in your life doesn't mean you can't be in pursuit of it. But
Jenna: that’s amazing. And I think a lot of people need to hear that because it's like, Yeah, I almost I'm also single, just like I get that like I'm like, I just could do about myself like I don't have to have someone with me. I was I wouldn't do anything and
Laura: I mean, I wouldn't I mean, I still have it all up, obviously, and I'm in the relationship Nazem kind of a relationship stuff, But I'm like, even prior. I'm like, I think the number of people and girls in particular who would email me and just be, like, message me and send me a dm like you went out to eat last week by yourself and feel like I did it last night and it was awesome. I'm like, I got a movie by yourself. Exactly are there was a guy handed that messaging me, and he's like Laura. I questioned if I shouldn't say anything, but, like, I have three weeks of vacation saved up. This isn't a two days before he was supposed to leave, and he's like, I took three weeks off and I'm going to Europe, and he's doing it all because, like, it looks awesome and like you're doing it. So why can't I on we grabbed a coffee and he just wanted things like, I just want to say thank you, like I don't think I would have ever pushed myself to go on a solo trip if it hadn't been for, like, following you on Instagram. And I'm like that like that. I wanna show people that they're capable of and can do.
Jenna: And I think it's cool that, like travel, is your other passion. And I feel that everyone needs to talk about beyond just like photography, you know, And it's like and that's how we get to know you as a person is through your other passions, like I forget what your your bio says but something about like, if you're mixed between like
Laura: Yeah, Carrie Bradshaw, Olivia Pope and Pocahontas. Yeah, travel with whiskey in one hand and coffee in the other
Jenna: I to me that, like, is so different than every other photographers bio like you stand out. I remember it. I was like She's like a mix of ah ah, bunch of people that, like that's a really random mix. How did you come across with that? How do you choose that?
Laura: People would always, you know, say, describe myself in three words or like tell me about you and I think I'm odd and weird in like the most incredible, beautiful, best way and I didn't want to tell people about that. So, like Carrie Bradshaw, like single in Sex and City, she writes. And she kind of navigates her city. And I'm like, Okay, that's me. And I'm like, Pocahontas, I love the outdoors. I'm all about, like, experiencing nature. And it's the most incredible WeII paying it and all that type of stuff on DH then, yeah, Who's the other one? Olivia. Pope Girl is a bad *** like, and I just Maybe I'm not her, but I would really like to be. And if nothing else, I really feel and try to fight for others. Yeah, and care about other people. And I think she does. That's that's kind of how that came about
Laura: yeah, but that was interesting. So how did you develop your sense of confidence in yourself? Because I feel like, you know, I feel like you're very confident and knowing how you're work does in like you're just as a person. How did you develop the sense of confidence?
Laura: No one has ever asked me that That's pretty awesome. Honestly, I wasn't confident, and I think I and that was right after college. I was in a really awful relationship and I got out of it realizing that I had made so much of his identity, my identity and I was like, Girl, come on. Like who are you like you don't know? I couldn't answer some question of like, what's your favorite ice cream? I was like, I don't know. But like his was this like whoa, like Come on! And so then I truly took a full two years of not dating honestly dating myself like, Who are you like? What do you want to know about yourself? Who do you want to be in the future on? And man did that help me gain confidence because I can confidently tell you what type of photographer I am because I've pursued it. I can confident, tell you, like what whiskey I like to drink and like where I want to drink it and like where I want to shop on what type of people I want to friends be be friends with and who I am as a person only because I've really pursued knowing myself, and I think that how we often are pursuing dreams. We forget to pursue ourselves, and I will say it's one thing that I've done a good job of only because I was in such a rock bottom place. But yeah, so I would really say, like, pursue who You are like find out who you are confidently because then if someone doesn't like me, that's OK because I'm confidently like myself. I didn't try to change myself for them and they liked me because of that. Or didn't I? Could be like, cool. So this is me, and I try to be a good person. So, yeah,
Jenna: I think that your twenties and I'm in my twenties. So it's like my mom always tells me she's like they're really hard there, the trying twenties. And I think that's so true. And I think once you get into your later twenties or starting to kind of, like, understand yourself a little bit more so if someone's like, maybe like in college right now, like what's like some of your life advice that you may be learned in the last ten years? Yeah, definitely do like about whether it's maybe following those passions. How do you find those passion? I think that,
Laura: like my one line type of thing that I would tell anyone is do it scared.I think you feel in your twenties that you have to be perfect or ready in order to pursue something, whether it's a relationship, a new job financially, like getting a new apartment, something like that. And it's like if you wait until you're ready, if you wait until you're excited. If you wait until you feel you're financially stable or emotionally or anything like that, you're never going to be ready like I'm still not. I have never been ready for half of these dreams that I've pursued, but I'd just gone for it. And he and being scared, just another emotions. It would be like saying, Don't flinch at the heat of a flame or duck a punch like to be scared like we're going to be. Yeah, it's were naturally scared were naturally going to be happy. But don't let being scared stop you from pursuing something. Nor should you let failure stop you.
Jenna: So I was going to ask you about that. Like how have you overcome any obstacles that you've maybe run into, Or maybe something failed, like you launch something and it didn't do well like, how did you get through that and, like, transition to something else.
Laura: Yeah. I mean, I'm a firm believer that if something's meant to be and and sometimes failure is meant to be, like, I have learned more from failure than I have from success. And I always also believe like it sucks when you fail. Sometimes like I can get down on myself or like, upset and hurt or even with a break up, You're like, Dang it, Why did that happen? But if you sit in that too long, you're only wasting time, and it's not going to help anyone else or yourself. And so I'm like, Hey, I failed. Cool, write down. What did I do wrong? How why did this not succeed and then pursue something else?
Jenna: Yeah, so that is such great advice. I feel like we're getting into, like life coaching here, because I think that a lot of people are struggling with social media and kind of comparing themselves. How do you like not let social media affect you? I'm sure you have a lot of followers, so there's a lot of, you know, comments and stuff. Has there ever been any negativity or is it always been positive with
Laura: people saying things to me. Oh, I mean, there's definitely negative of comments and people who feel that they could say whatever they want. to you in a dm. But I really just tell myself they don't know me just because you follow me and I try to say share as much as myself. It's possible, doesn't mean, you know, me and I also, when it comes to the self talk of like, Oh, I could be that person could do this. I'm like I really go back to Would I say to someone? Hey, you're not pretty enough. Hey, you don't have as many followers. Hey, you know, I wouldn't say that to someone I wouldn't never. So why do I give myself that negative self talk? And it happens often weekly, if not daily. Sometimes whether it be with, like looks or my dreams or in pursuit of like new business moves and things like that, Like I just catch myself in like OK, Laura, would you say that to someone else on If the answer is no, stop saying that to yourself.
Jenna: That's amazing, because I think that Ah, lot of people struggle with that the social media and a lot people kind of avoid it because of the if, especially if they don't have that confidence in themselves and they really take it. I could be very sensitive to Oh, my gosh. Criticism or people thinking things about me. So, like, what are some ways that you kind of make some time for yourself Or like, you know, I always see you hang out with friends, you know, and all that stuff, like, how do you, like, enjoy yourself and kind of just let that go by?
Laura: Yeah. I mean, I think truly something that I've always thought to myself. It's like, you know, if you got hurt yesterday or like what happened today, five years ago without looking anything that will you remember, Probably not so don't waste time today. You are going to remember it in a couple weeks. And though that's difficult to think about getting in that mindset helps me move past things without one thing someone said in a dm like, it's probably more like something about themselves and like something they're put putting on you. But you're not remember it in three years and look at all the other kind things that people are saying.
Jenna: I think that's so true. And I think that a lot of people like I think it back at the high school and how everything was so important in High School like you, like I remember I didn't make a choir that I want to get into, and it was kind of sad because I didn't get to go to Italy with the choir. So I was like that like a man. But like, if you think about it, I ended up going on a trip to Mexico with my church instead. So it was like, You know, things like that were like, It's like things happen for a reason and it's it's It's not as important at, like, ten years later that it was at that time and it was just like I was so like emo about it. And I was just like a man like my life sucks and and looking back, I'm like, Why was it so important to me? You know, and you know, and answering
Laura: those questions like I answer that for myself to like things that I fail on are things that I don't get to be a part. Likely. Why did I want to be a part of that? And if it's for you, like you're really trapped like Okay, well, then ten years I'm to go to Italy. Exactly. And you just change your mind that you're like, fine and then make this a new goal.
Jenna: It's like I probably wouldn't have even, like, like that trip anyways, because I didn't really know anyone you know, like, if you think about that kind of stuff. So what are some of the Let's just kind of like wrap up like if someone starting a business like photography business like, what would you say? Like is like your biggest pieces of advice for beginner photographers beginning business owners. Any any business?
Laura: Definitely. Honestly, Like just keep taking baby steps like, don't look at the huge picture of like, Oh, my gosh, I want to be so successful. That's daunting, because Khun B like crazy, like overnight. I'm here because of five years of hard work. Not because I, like, woke up one day and did the three step program of like, Well, I'm here. Yeah, um really just start and whether that's as basic as, like, pick up your camera or your iPhone and look at, like, different lighting situations and get familiar with that. Like, don't make a dream but not make, like, pick the steps to get there. So, like, write down like Okay, I want to learn about lighting this week. I'm gonna learn about lighting next week. I'm gonna learn about how to like get an LLC on the week after, OK, right down this week or this month, like just baby steps. Whatever time you have, write things down and just start.
Jenna: I think that's such great advice because everyone wants to get to where you are now. And I don't realize how many years it's taken, like even Twin-Cities collective people like, How do you, like have a like I literally spent the last three years every single day. Yeah, like you're reading this. It is So it's like I don't have an answer for you beyond like, just put in the work and he had in the time, really, And I think that's that's my advice. But it's just I think that's so interesting. Actually, I think you're actually one of the first photographers I've ever had on here, which is so weird I didn't mention you. Actually, I think you won our best of awards and number. It was also the first three words and you won. And I was so excited for you because I was like, I know like I follow her. Teo. First God ever voted for you. Ah, but it was just like I think that photography is something that a lot of people are starting to get into and realizing, you know, it's it's harder than it looks like to have a successful business. You know, I just said anyone can be a photographer, but you really have to follow your passions. You know get at your craft and, like, get those connections and get those referrals. Absolutely no need to
Laura: build a pyramid. Often, people, they're like, Oh, my gosh, I see where you're at. How do I get there tomorrow? And I'm like, okay, I spent a good two years like I have a degree, which I feel you need to have to be a photographer, but I do have it, and it did help. And then I spent two years like figuring out like I said, all different types of photography and like what I want to do. And I built that base. So then the second level, I was like, Okay, yes, to this no to this because I know that's not my thing. And this is and then you build off of those successes till you get to that like never a top. Like I'm always striving for more. But I definitely feel like I'm not going to fail right now because I am like, I'm at least good at what I do. And I, like, work really hard to find clients.
Jenna: And I think that's so important. To have in your back pocket is like once you learn those skills you have, um and it's like you just build on them and you get better. And I'm sure you're probably like a look back at your old stuff in like oh. Gosh, you know
Laura: Oh my God, girl. The first year that I died was in my mom's bedroom. I nailed up a backdrop in It was fifty dollars for trash. Like you, we also somewhere way absolutely do like
Jenna: I always say, everyone starts their instagram at zero. Yeah, that's like something I say all the time I'm like everyone started zero even someone that has, like, a million followers
Laura: And I'll even still go through weeks of like, Oh, I lost thirty Oh, I just gained two hundred like you can't let it get to, you know, end of the day like Instagram could be gone And what do you What are you gonna have?
Jenna: And it's that's why I like for me I have I network a lot. Yeah, And I like I go out to know And so it's like i'll never ever lose those actions
Laura: Just as I'l never lose my connections nor will I lose my portfolio So I care about instead I do. I think the connections you can make for it are through it are unbelievable. Bye, aunt Solely base Everything is well and And I think that's just like like a *** Everything I freaked out, I guess.
Jenna": Awesome. Well, how do we find you online? What's your Instagram? What's your website? How do we reach out to you
Laura: Oh Instagram It's @lauraraephotography. I'm gonna actually releasing a new website this Friday which I'm really excited about so that they all by the time this comes out. Oh, great. Something amazing Goto Within a week you'LL be able to go to it. Yes, I'm pretty excited about that. And side note I have not had a website up for two years. Wow, So just it's another piece of like, people. You have to have this like, you know what I haven't had up for two years. I think it's a good example of like, I built a really solid connections and they’re for me and I'll just tell me and I'll send them like my portfolio. Or like different images they need. So, yeah, websites going gonna be there for you guys to check out is an awesome lauraraephotography.com
Jenna: Well, thank you so much, Laura.
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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