October Feature Story: Lauren Shambo
Lauren Shambo, Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Lauren Victoria Photography
In the beginning of 2019 I began researching local photographers for our Upstate NY wedding. How I found Lauren, I have no idea, but I am so glad I did. There are many photographers popping up throughout the North Country and I couldn’t be more grateful to have found Lauren. She lives an hour and a half away from us and was thrilled to be traveling to shoot our wedding.
I first met Lauren at our engagement session and we immediately clicked. It may have helped that we are around the same age, but it’s not often you find another female entrepreneur your age working her butt off to make her dreams come true. And since, our relationship has flourished.
Having a friend photograph our wedding day was a blessing! You feel comfortable and you trust them. We wouldn’t have had this connection if we didn’t book our engagement session with her.
Don’t skip out on your engagement session!
Our wedding day was a huge success. It was perfect and magical in every way imaginable. And I’ve got to give Lauren credit for most of it. Not only was she photographer, she was coordinator, she was chauffeur, she was tissue finder, and so much more!
I can’t wait to work alongside her for future weddings as event coordinator so that she can thrive as the amazing photographer that she is while I handle the coordination. It’s difficult as a photographer to be both coordinator and photographer. You are hiring a photographer to create timeless images. How are they supposed to do their job if they also have to herd the group, find the car, grab the tissues, etc. And so I leave you with this…
Hire a day-of coordinator!
Laurens business is thriving and I can’t wait to see where the next few years takes her professionally! As a professional event planner, I’ve got a list of photographers in my back pocket in case anyone is in search of one. With that said, Lauren is and will always be my number one choice in the North Country.
Not only is she a photographer, she co-hosts a podcast with one of her good friends and fellow photographer, Jeannie Lytle. She is constantly seeking out new ways to improve her business and connect with the community. And y’all, she’s only 24!
She’s a Momma to two beautiful girls, a handsome step-son and a wife to a super supportive husband.
Enjoy her story below.
Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what do you wish to be when you grow up?
My name is Lauren Shambo. I currently reside in Fair Haven, New York. When I was little I didn’t have one specific thing I wanted to be. I just knew I wanted to do something that involved people. No job where I was left alone or behind the scenes!
What brought you to where you are today?
My family. They’re my drive and my “why.” I have two little girls, and I want them to have a Mom who inspires them and shows them you can accomplish anything you put your mind to!
What do you do professionally?
I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer. I ensure couples receive timeless images that they can share for a lifetime. It's important that couples receive images that bring back fond memories of such a special day. From styled images to candids. It's important to catch them all.
What year did you start your business and how long did it take to acquire a consistent client base?
I started three years ago in 2016. The fall of 2016. I had my daughter, and I knew I didn’t want to go back to my 9-5. After some consideration, I decided that photography would be perfect for me. I invested into education, and applied myself. By 2017 I had shot 10 weddings, and I now book 15 a year.
How long did it take to become a profitable company?
It didn’t take me long. Photography is not an insanely high investment. I took what I had and I learned it, inside and out. I would never go into debt for my business. But any time I made money, I invested it into education and better equipment. It took a year until I walked away with equipment I loved, and some money in my pocket.
What does a day in the studio look like?
Coffee first, then responding to emails is always step number one. Client experience is SO important in my industry, and so that’s the most important thing. Then I edit, cull, blog, whatever else needs to be done. Once all that is done, I work on new projects. Try to brainstorm, and always continue to improve my client experience.
What do you do to stay involved in the community?
I try my best to bring awareness to Fair Haven itself. It’s such a small, Mayberry type town, that not a lot of people know about. I advocate for hosting photo shoots here. Once people see what our little town has to offer, they just adore it. While there isn’t too much to get involved in during the winter, I love being involved in my community during the summer months. Library book clubs, Festivals, Community Gardens…it’s just a great place to live.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
My goal is to book 20 weddings a year, and delivering a client experience that’s unlike anyone else’s. I’d like to also be offering a workshop as well as a course or two on how to thrive as a mom and entrepreneur.
What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business?
Work. I’m 24. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I don’t often see people my age working as hard as they can to achieve their goals. They seem to think that this is something that just falls into place when you turn 30. I’ve learned that dreams don’t work unless you do. Put in the time. If you have to stay up until 12:00 AM, do it. It’ll pay off. Just work.
If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Love God, and love people. Those are the two most important things in life. If you love God, I believe that he’ll bless you. If you love people, forgiving, having grace, being kind, and not allowing others to steal your joy will come so much easier.
What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?
Meeting people! I’m a people person, and I get to enjoy the highlight reel of everybody’s lives with them! It’s such an amazing job! I’m blessed beyond measure!