Lauren Miller got her first camera in junior high. By high school she was already being hired (and paid!) for her photography. At that age, most of us were still taking duck-faced selfies on our Razr flip phones (Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about.) or developing our film at Walgreens. (Double prints, anyone?) After finishing her degree in Applied Science and Digital Photography from Harrington College of Design, Lauren buckled down and began focusing on her business, Liller Photo.
Recently, Lauren has branched out into engagement and wedding photography. As she told me, it’s a whole new ball game.
“My goal was always fashion photography. I still love it, but my goal was to be in the pages of Vogue. I thought it would be a big deal, I would be a big deal," said Lauren, describing her transition from the commercial to the personal. “Then I kind of had this realization after doing my first client that wasn't just a friend of a friend. It was a family session and afterwards I just felt great. Thousands of people won’t see my name attached to a photo in a magazine, but to this family, my photos were important. That's enough. I get to make people smile.”
Knowing that she loves working with couples, Lauren branched out into engagement and wedding photography. But not without hesitation.
She explained that wedding photography is a very big responsibility. She stated, “It’s hard because you can’t control much, and photography is all about control and manipulating light, etc. You can’t tell a couple, ‘Nah, I don’t like your location.’ And you definitely can’t miss the first kiss.”
Lauren admits that it’s all about the love. Her love of taking engagement photos is obvious as she explains, “They’re so much fun. It’s like a little, mini love story you get to watch. There’s so much love, it’s amazing to capture it.”
She mentions a tip for newly engaged couples: hire the photographer you plan to use for the wedding for your engagement session, as well. It gives the photographer an opportunity to get to know you and find out your taste and expectations for the big day!
Speaking with Lauren was such a pleasure. She has a young, vivacious attitude, paired with a completely calm demeanor. Somehow it all works to create a photographer who is driven to create lively, emotional images -- without stressing out the couple.
I wanted to end with one last anecdote that Lauren told me, in her own words:
“One of the things I just discovered over time was the deep relationship between the couple and photographer. There’s just trust there.
“Once, while I was acting as an assistant photographer at a wedding, I was in the dressing room with a bride right before the big moment. Her father was set to walk her down the aisle, and we were the only ones left in the room. The bride just stopped and looked at me with panic on her face, and said, ‘It’s going to be okay, right?’ We had just met! We were strangers! It was a heavy question. But I was so happy to be the one to say, ‘Yes, you’re going in front of your friends and family to marry the person you love. It’s going to be perfect.”
And perfect it was! (So were the pictures!)