There’s an abundance of heart in what happens between our trigger and the images we share with clients. Sometimes they sit waiting on digital media without the privilege of getting out in front of eyes and making a place of permanence in our clients’ lives. Lauren Kinsey gives us a few thoughts and the reasoning behind why printed products are a large and no-compromise portion of her of the heart of her business and client experience.
My friends and family call me an “ old soul” because I place a lot of value on the tangible and how important that is to the overall experience. If you think back to when our parents and grandparents were married, they didn’t have their photographer turn over a disc of images or USB drive to them—they had printed photographs and albums. How important it is to slow down and be able to sit down with those you love and look back at a printed photograph. It’s sad to me, as a photographer, that we have gone away from that idea and let our clients experience everything through a screen.
Our society has evolved to be digital-based, how do you balance your desire/affection for the printed piece with the demands of the digital world?
From the first conversation I have with my clients, I am very candid with them about my desire to deliver printed photos to them, and why. When we talk about these things, they begin to see that there is so much value in having printed photos, and the disc becomes secondary to them in their mind, because they now have an heirloom piece that they can pass down to their children.
What feedback have you received from clients on your process/products?
By and large, this is the most favorite part of my process for both myself and my clients. When they open their box, it’s presented like a gift that they are opening. I get so many excited calls and emails about how much they loved receiving their photos and spreading them out on their living room floor or kitchen table and reliving their wedding this way. Even now, years later, I still have clients that make it a yearly tradition to look through their photos on their anniversary. It’s incredibly moving to me to hear this from my clients.
The statement on the heirloom portion of your site sums up so much so simply. At the heart of my work is the belief that we should value the process and the tangible. I have carefully curated a full line of beautiful products that every client receives as part of their wedding and portrait collections.
How did you choose which products to include in your collections?
A lot of trial and error. I only present to my clients the things that I would love to have in my own home and what speaks to me. I try and choose products based on how my heart feels when I see them and hold them. There are a lot of beautiful products on the market though, so this process is always ongoing for me.
What prompted you or helped you know including heirloom pieces was a must for your collections? Do you edit collection pricing to not include them?
Printed photographs have always been included in some form in all of my collections from the inception of my business. Before I was born, my maternal grandparents lost everything they owned in a fire. All they had left were the clothes they were wearing on the day it happened. When they began sifting through the remains of their home, they were able to recover a few charred photographs, and one of those photos hangs in my home now. It’s a constant reminder for me of how important my job is, and why I do what I do.
Do you select images for clients? Design albums?
I will recommend my favorite images for print and display. For albums, I do design albums, but I allow my clients to pick their own images, but I usually recommend that they limit the number to 50 or less images, so the album tells the story of the wedding without being too visually overwhelming.
What’s your favorite part of the print-selection and/or packaging process?
Packaging prints for delivery is my favorite day. I send out thousands of printed photos each week, so it takes a full two days to sit down and sort images, package and ship them.
If a photographer feels it’s the right move for their business, how would you encourage them to begin the process and communicate that to their clients?
As with anything, and not just in regards to whether or not you offer prints, don’t be afraid to speak passionately and from your heart about why something is important to you. If you feel lukewarm about it, your clients will too, and won’t place as much value on it. If it’s something you have a deep conviction about, suddenly you will feel more confident in talking about it, and your clients will reciprocate that. Whenever I’m on the fence about something, I sit down and really think about why I am doing it, and if it’s something that I don’t feel 100% confident in putting my name on, I won’t do it.
More on Lauren Kinsey at laurenkinsey.com
Fall is officially upon us. Daydreams of popsicles and swimsuits are slowly (so slowly for some us) finding replacements with the promise of changing leaves and more hours to sit fireside. We’re sinking into morning routines and evenings of light leaving us early. If you’re not feeling it just yet, it’s okay. Day 1 has room for sandals and a fruity cocktail still. Humor us though. Check out these finds and let us help put some shake in your corduroys. To everything there is a season, and we’re greeting this one with a new Indie Film Lab Get Movin’ playlist to make mornings and afternoon lulls something to dance about.
Head over to Spotify and jam along with us. And give us a shout on Instagram at @indiefilmlab to share your favorite tunes with us. We’ll add them to our playlist!
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.
High-five to Friday! Weekends are for filling the day with whoever makes your heart go pitter-patter. Yeah, these shots make us smile a little wilder and anticipate a little love and laughter before ‘ole Monday rolls back around. Tag your shots #indiefilmlab
It’s this Indie dude’s birthday today. We get to call this guy one of our own. Jon Kohn, we sure dig your dedication to soulful black and whites. Y’all share some love with him via instagram and feast your eyes on some recent work below.
The summer season is sneaking slowly out of our lives in Alabama. We’ll be daydreaming over summer love soon enough. Hot, humid temps hang around, but the hustle, bustle and juggle of back to school and more will snatch up all the long, summer days in the sun so instantly. Let’s linger in these days just a little longer, please y’all. Let’s let the simplicity of school-free days and water calling for a dip rule just a few more weeks. Close your calendar and squeeze the last little bit of summer with us!
Yan said it best (like she does): summer is trying to pull a disappearing act.
Squeeze the sun
Don’t trade summer’s free spirit for fall loves all at once. There’s so much more hopscotch, cold beer, pool-partying left in you— and we know it.
Bare your soles
Simple lives need simple means. Kick off your sneakers and put your toes in the sun, green grass or some cool ocean waves, if you’re that lucky. Shoes are a whole lot of trouble for days that are better left for doing a whole lot of nothing (and loving it).
Stop and smell the flowers
Share a little love with mother nature. She’s showing off big-time and it may have been a few weeks since there’s been an “ooh” or “ah” over something green—how easily we forget the happy, joy, joy of watching things bloom. Cut some branches, bring them inside and let nature’s beauty give you a little wink this weekend. You’ll thank us on Monday.
Awesome summer-love shots: Yan Palmer (y’all, she has it going on)