Today we’d like to introduce you to Loren Barker.
Hi Loren, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
For most of my childhood and teenage years, there was a camera in my hand. My basement still stores several photos I took with my first camera Santa brought around 8 years old. So the logical path for college would have been a degree in photography, right?? That would have been too easy. I threw a curve in the plan and went for a degree in interior design.
In 2011, after having my first son 11 weeks early, I decided I wasn’t happy with my career path and was ready searching for a change. It wasn’t until 2 years later, after my second premature son was born that I decided life was way too short to be spent not pursuing a career that I loved. I picked up the camera my husband bought me, enrolled in college again not too sure where I expected it to take me. After countless hours spent learning how to work a Digital SLR and many late nights working towards a photography degree, I feel like it is all paying off. And it did because as of this coming This May I will have owned my photography business for 7 years!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have certainly been a few hurdles along the way but the hard work really is rewarding. Photography is one side of the business. Learning how to juggle many hats when owning your own business has been challenging. When my computer is acting up I don’t have an IT department to call up and ask to fix it. When bills are due I can’t hand off the statements to accounts payable and go to lunch. I have had to learn all these skills to support my dream. Learning the business side was challenging but I think I am handling it pretty well. Doing all this while raising two boys with my husband has been chaotic but I would not give it up for anything. Showing our kids that persistence and hard work pays off is a great trade off for the lack of sleep.
Just when I felt like I had really figured it out, 2020 came along and, like many businesses, I am learning to navigate through a Covid world. I am blessed that I have been able to keep working during such a hard time for many small businesses.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a portrait photographer but truly I love taking pictures of almost anything. I would say that colorful, timeless, and authentic is what I would best describe my style as. When working with clients during their sessions I try to make them feel relaxed, confident, and happy so they enjoy their time during their session. The more clients have fun in front of the camera, the more that shows through the finished images. I work really hard before, during, and after each session to pay attention to details in hopes I can create an experience for the clients that is remembered long after their framed prints are hanging on the walls in their homes. I have been blessed to have so many clients that I now call friends. It is pretty awesome to be in their homes and see my work displayed all over.
What are your plans for the future?
In 2022 I am hoping to take bring a few ideas to fruition. The project that I am most excited about is going to include tweens and teens, their hobbies, and making them feel empowered, confident and show them how much they are loved. Ideally, I plan to interview the tween’s parents, siblings and other important people in their life to tell me all the amazing things about each client, then feature them in an online magazine. If everything works out the way I hope, the end game is to display all the images at a show with the tweens and their families. I am booking sessions for spring 2022. Head over to my site if you are interested.
The experience that I create in any of my portrait sessions is what is most important to me. I enjoy doing this job everyday and I hope that I have several more years ahead of me.
- Email: Loren@Lorenashleyphotography.com
- Website: Lorenashleyphotography.com
- Instagram: lorenashleyphotographystl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorenashleyphotographystl
Main photo is taken by Tin and Type Photography
Rest of the photos by Loren Barker