Let’s meet the wonderfully talented Lauren Barber. A photographer with a passion for storytelling and a beautifully serene style.
Lauren styles and captures lifestyle imagery for small creative businesses. Being self taught and with a wealth of experience of creating beautiful engaging photography for her clients, Lauren understands what it takes to adapt and learn how to capture products in this online & competitive retail world.
For Lauren, it is important to represent the life and beauty of the subject she's capturing in the most authentic way, using only natural light to encapsulate the essence of her subject.
We are big fans of Lauren’s work and style, so of course, we had to get her involved in our Hh Interviews series for a sit down and a natter…
Introduce yourself and what you do
I’m Lauren, I am a brand photographer based in the Peak District. I style & capture lifestyle imagery for small creative businesses. I love to create storytelling imagery which helps creative brands share their story and encourage engagement with their aspiring audience.
How did you get started in photography? Is this what you always saw yourself doing?
I was running a Party Decor company and someone asked who does my photography, I said I do and I got my first customer! It was doing better than the Party Decor and it still gave me the opportunity to style, which is what I love doing the most.
I always wanted my own business. When I was 16 I loved sewing and was obsessed with the french fashion houses like Chanel and Dior. I wanted my own fashion brand, I always dreamt of a little boutique store and my studio above it. I went to Uni to study Contour Fashion at DeMontfort, I loved it but loved university life a little more! I had a boyfriend who was an event organiser and I soon discovered I enjoyed holding events myself. I organised an event which raised so much money for our end of year fashion show and gained me a job before graduating. My first few jobs before starting on my own were all for independent businesses. It opened my eyes to how you could make money, especially via the internet. Without those experiences I wouldn’t be as confident and knowledgeable to start my own business.
How would you describe your photography style and creative ethos?
I feel that being a lifestyle photographer it’s important to represent life and its beauty. I only use natural light when photographing, I find it encapsulating and can really control the narrative of the imagery. I style props and clients products to showcase their brand in the best way, providing them with aspirational content. I feel my clients and their customers are like me, that they appreciate beauty. That there is a sense of care and joy in the beauty I capture, they then sell and their customer enjoys.
Has your style changed through your career?
Yes absolutely. I used to be very much driven by the trends I saw on Pinterest. If you scroll back on my Instagram you can actually see the change. Neon pinks, flamigos, to blush pinks and eucalyptus and now I feel I’m starting to find my own style of props and styling. As for the style of my photography, I would say I have always loved a light and bright edit. I have refined my editing style, but working with brands I know I have to adapt my style to capture the mood for their story.
I think the one constant is that I love every shade of white, on my walls, linens, accessories and clothes. Even my new car is off white! Apartmently from a young age I would say to my mum, “I want to live in a white house, where everything is white inside”, I’m not far off that dream! My personal taste is very much represented through my styling in my photography, especially the interior touches. I own quite a few Hudson Home items which are brilliant props.
What inspires you creatively?
Home interiors are a huge inspiration because I am creating aspirational settings for my clients products, most of which are homeware or to be enjoyed in the home. I use Pinterest and Instagram to source most of my inspiration. I also love to visit new places and stay in beautiful hotels and holiday cottages, again this really inspires my work. It's a bad habit, but buying new props always gives me a wave of creativity and styling them in my studio just fills me with creative ideas.
What do you love about your work?
I love that I get to style interiors. My husband and I don’t own our own house yet, so I am chomping at the bit to design and style my own home. Having my studio has provided me with an opportunity to experiment with my style and given me a place to indulge in this beauty I get to create. I feel at my happiest and calmest when I’m surrounded by beautiful interiors. The stories I curate for my clients are an extension of the life my husband and I are working towards and it gives me an insight into the aspirational life we are striving for. It’s also so rewarding knowing that I’m helping small businesses. The visuals I create are a little part of their journey.
Can you share some advice for aspiring creatives just starting out?
Go all in and don’t let self doubt get the better of you. I have procrastinated so much time and got in my own way. If I believed in my ability more it wouldn’t have taken me so long to get round to things I really wanted to achieve. Also focus on what you are doing. Comparing yourself only feeds that self doubt. I find that every year I need to spend some real time focusing on my brand. Asking myself am I in alignment with my business, what have I achieved and what do I want for it in the future. My mini workshop, Brand Style Blueprint, helps you really focus on your brand, where you are going and what you visualise for it. The workshop officially launches this month (december), in time for you to begin your year with clarity.
What is your go to podcast?
Now and then I dip into Your Dream Life with Kristina Karlsson owner of the Swedish stationery brand Kikki.K. A great little business podcast I used to listen to a lot when I first started is Explore Your Enthusiasm by Tara Swiger. My secret indulgent podcast is The Archers. It’s a family tradition and there's something comforting about it. I grew up listening to it, both my Nan & Mum listen to it religiously. Before the days of Podcasts you could only listen to it on Sunday mornings on Radio 4. The nostalgia of those slow Sunday mornings is brought back everytime I pop it on.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m afraid to say I’m not! I love reading but when I am busy with work I listen to an audio book. At the moment we are listening to The Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes, which I love. Mostly because Steven Fry is reading them and I love his voice it’s so soothing. In the Summer i did read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, I loved it so much I have bought another of his to read over Christmas called How to Stop Time.
What have been your favourite Hudson Home products to shoot with?
I adore my Brass Salt & Pepper mills, I actually asked for these as a Christmas present. We use one at home and the other lives in the studio. I’m looking forward to reuniting them at some point! Hudson Home napkins are always a lovely go to, especially when styling a coffee moment.
What current Hudson Home products do you love?
That’s a tricky question, I love it all! I adore the Harper collection in the Pearl, it is divine. It’s definitely the sofa I would choose for my all white house. The Botanical Prints are beautiful too, especially Botanical IV.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love spending time with my husband and our dog, Alfie. We love to travel or go out for dinner, we are foodies! I am always visually planning, it could be our home, my studio, my garden or a place I want to visit. I consult with Pinterest when I am doing that. I love being outside, whether it's a walk, soaking in the hot tub (not right now though as to heat it would cost us a fortune!) or pottering in my garden. I love a bit of telly, especially when I just need to switch off. I like watching period films or old 80’s films, Harry potter (film 6, The Half-blood Prince on repeat) or The RHW!
What can't you live without?
A Candle! I love, love, love candles. They are my comfort, they make the room feel cosy, the smell is so calming and the flame is the nearest thing I have to a real fire in our rented house!
What's next for you and your business?
I am working on serving my community more. This year has been so tough for so many small businesses. I want to ensure my community is still supported through this time and I love sharing what I have learnt. Therefore I am in the process of launching three workshops, which cover the essentials for capturing your brand story. I am also hoping to work with one or two brands on a retainer basis to have some regular income and give my more free time to work on the resource side of my business. It can be challenging as a small business not having regular income, it is something I have struggled with this year. I am pleased to say I have secured my first contract with the Devonshire Group, which is such an honour to be working with such a prestigious and local business. Without this work I was seriously considering getting a job and ending my business but this year has taught me to believe in my craft, be proactive and focused. I am really looking forward to seeing what the next chapter brings.
You can find Lauren Barber here: