Long-time IFL client turned friend, Lauren Kinsey, has taken over our Instagram feed this week. If you don’t already know her, she’s a Florida panhandle photographer and mother to a sweet, little soul that’s been behind the camera for almost half her life. You may recognize her beautiful and unique style from Martha Stewart Weddings or Once Wed, and we assure you she has a sincere and lovely personality to match. We’re delighted to have Lauren spend the week with us — it’s like a great friend coming over for a visit. She’s already got some soul-searching conversations started, so head on over to our Instagram and catch up.
IFL: How did photography become a part of your life?
LK: I began photographing weddings when I was 17 years old, and I shot the wedding of a navy admiral as my first paid gig. I actually shot that on film, and turned the undeveloped rolls over to the couple. The next week, they shipped out and I never heard from them again. So the running joke is, I don’t know what my first work looked like. I hope the images were good!
IFL: What/who/where gets you inspired?
LK: Natural elements and gestures of love and kindness are what inspire me. Over the course of my career, I find myself trying to focus my energy on photographing small things that make big impacts, whether it’s the gentle way a mother holds her child or the embrace of lovers.
IFL: Why film?
LK: I learned on film so that is what feels the most natural to me, but the big reason is that the slow nature of film appeals to me. I try to live my life both slowly and with intention. The act of shooting film is an organic process for me, and it’s the most direct extension of who I am. Much like the language we speak, the photos I make are the dialogue I am having with the viewer.
IFL: What’s your favorite film stock?
LK: Portra 400 and Tri-X are my go-tos. I love the warm, rich colors and highlights.
IFL: Do you have a favorite geographical place to shoot?
LK: I travel for about 50% of my work, but would love to shoot more internationally. I had the chance to shoot in Germany last year, and it was soul filling. I would love to shoot more in Europe. The mindset there is dramatically different than here in the US.
IFL: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
LK: First and foremost, I am a mother and wife, so spending time with my family is at the top of my list. Aside from that, I am always seeking other ways to express myself creatively, so there’s that.
IFL: What other art forms or artists are you drawn to?
LK: Interior design has always held a certain attraction for me. I’m constantly remodeling my own home, which I feel will always be a work in progress. My personal taste changes a lot, and there are many different things I like, so I tend to “try on” different things all the time.
IFL: A favorite moment you’ve ever captured
LK: I honestly can’t narrow this down to one thing. I think everything I shoot becomes my favorite thing.
IFL: Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist?
LK: Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who fully supports me in all of my endeavors, but this is not to say that it has been easy to make a living. I still try and bring in half of the family income, and since my work is never predictable, sometimes it’s scary not knowing whether I will have anything to contribute from one month to the next. I just try and be smart and plan for meager months.
IFL: Any gear secrets you’re up for sharing?
LK: Less is more, and i’ve found this to be true in every area of my life, not just in my work. I have things that I love to work with all the time, and i’m not a gear hoarder, so I stick with what I know.
What makes you feel awesome?
Music. Weather. Great food. My home and those that inhabit it.
Favorite thing about your current home/town.
It’s a beach community so things move on beach time here most of the year.