We are pleased to announce Lauren LaBeau Steadley / artLaBeau studios – www.artlabeau.com as our March Photographer of the Month. See more of her amazing work on her facebook and instagram @artlabeau.
What inspired you to use Woodland Albums? I absolutely adore the natural, organic design of Woodland Albums. I am primarily a natural light photographer and the spirit of the products lends itself well to my style. As a painter, the fact that Woodland offers albums with fine art watercolor paper is a unique bonus and adds an artistic flair!
What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Woodland Albums? The gorgeous leather covers!
Share with us your favorite Woodland album and why. What materials/ options do you choose? The Legend Album is my favorite. I lean toward the dark drown leather cover with fine art watercolor paper. I love the fact you can wrap the cover like a treasured journal with the leather strap. The photos within the album are a secret treasure and as you unwrap the leather cover you are unwrapping beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. It’s truly an experience.
What type of clients do you think will enjoy these albums? The clients who are searching for something unique with an boho flair. These are the people who yearn for the good company of others, the great outdoors, and are lovers of life’s simple moments.
Any suggestions for Woodland Albums? I would love to see Legend Albums offered with Fuji deep matte paper. I would pay extra for the incredible high quality.
How long have you been a photographer? I’ve always loved capturing moments through photography, but I have been a professional photographer for nearly 2 years.
How did you discover your passion for photography? I adopted my heart dog, Sophie, six years ago. I’m a dog mom through and through, so eventually Sophie took over my Instagram page. At first, I simply posted iPhone camera photos of her, but the quality just wasn’t up to par. I purchased my first DSLR just to photograph my dog!
How do you define your style? My style is natural, joyful, and true… with hopefully a little bit of whimsical added in!
What would we find in your camera bag for a typical shoot? For a photo session, I’ve got my Nikon D750 strapped around my neck and primarily use my favorite two lenses: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 and Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4. I often bring a calibration target for white balance and depending upon the client, I like to bring fresh flowers for added color and joy.
Your favorite lens? I love the lens compression and shallow depth of field I can achieve through my Sigma 85mm f/1.4.
Share with us your favorite image and why. On a working trip to California, I went on a hike with a client and her two dogs. We talked about everything from dog rescue to our travels in Europe. I was able to pick out picturesque spots for her photos as we hiked and proceeded to snap away. This gal absolutely adores her dogs so it was easy to capture the love. After the incredible time we had, we returned to her house. The light was gorgeous, so I had her join her pups on the couch for one last shot. They snuggled right up to her and one leaned over for a doggie kiss. It was such a simple and precious moment that I was able to experience behind the lens. That’s what photography allows us to do: to peek inside the hearts of others and freeze those moments in time with their most cherished partners in life, human and animal alike. The working trip to California allowed me to meet and photograph absolutely amazing people and I will forever be grateful to every client for inviting me into their lives.
When you are shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned? I am hyper organized and love to go into a session with a plan. Now, do I always stick to that plan? The reality of photography is a big NOPE! A session shouldn’t be incredibly meticulous and strict, it really should be fun. I find comfort in creating a plan, but understand there is a unique person in front of the lens and I need to bring out that personality!
What are some of your rules of thumb in photography? You are truly only limited by your imagination. You don’t need the perfect location, the perfect weather, or the perfect model to create magic.
Whose work, photography or otherwise, are you inspired by and why? Meg Bitton has been a huge inspiration of mine from the start of my photography journey. She turns photos into art with her vision and incredible skills. Twig & Olive Photography always inspires me with their candids and truly joyful captures. My Four Hens captures love in every single image which is what life is all about.
What is it you like the most about being a photographer? Through photography you are not limited by reality. I recently took my dog out for a game of fetch. I saw one tree with just a few branches that were blooming. I grabbed some tulle and my camera and created a whimsical portrait from a very ordinary setting. Photography is about capturing the very best this life has to offer even if it seems like slim pickings at times.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you be? If I wasn’t a photographer, I’d go back to teaching. I was an elementary school teacher for six years and truly miss the kiddos. I taught math, so I think I’d look into teaching something art related this time around!