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Authentic Imagery at Its Best. An Interview with Lauren Marek

By Maddie - 5 min read

Hailing from the South, Lauren Marek captures the simple beauty of small town Texas in her stirring and sincere photographs. Today we catch up with Lauren to learn more about her craft and what keeps her inspired.

Hailing from the South, Lauren Marek captures the simple beauty of small town Texas in her stirring and sincere photographs. Her love of the still image blossomed in college, and she has since produced an impressive body of work, collaborating with many high profile brands. Today we catch up with Lauren to learn more about her craft and what keeps her inspired.

Hi Lauren! So tell us, when did you first begin photographing? And when did you get your first camera?

I bought my first camera, a Nikon d40, in college about 6 years ago. That’s when things changed. I had always wanted to be a filmmaker growing up and that passion for storytelling transferred to photography and the challenge of telling a story in one image.

domestic animals

Can you walk us through your processes of framing and taking a shot and then editing it?

The way I shoot, edit, and share differs from iPhone to SLR. Doing mobile photography on the go is a very quick process. I usually shoot, edit, and post within the hour I come across a shot. I don’t tend to overthink what I’m shooting with my phone and I really like that.

For my full frame photos, I tend to be very methodical with my photos – taking my time, editing them and uploading them. The whole process just takes a long time. That’s why I currently prefer shooting with my iPhone. Plus, VSCO Cam makes editing so simple and easy without degrading the image quality.

Woman standing on grassy field against cloudy sky during sunset

Many of your images include people. What intrigues you about photographing people?

I’m really interested in gesture and action. I like capturing something about to happen or right after it happens. People are complex with such a range of emotions – there’s always something new to capture.

rear view

What’s in your camera bag?

In my ONA Bowery bag I have:

– Sony a7R with Sony Sonnar 55mm f/1.8 & LEICA 35mm f/2.8
– iPhone 5s with a Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro
– Tiny business cards from Copygram
– Wallet, car keys & toothpics

real people

What aspects of photography are challenging for you?

Mostly talking about my art and what I create in a way that fully communicates what it’s purpose is to me. I’m not the best with words, so I try to let my work speak for itself.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Family. Middle school. Texas.

Who are some of your favorite photographers?

Mary Ellen Mark, Henri Cartier-Bresson & Vivian Maier

Children playing baseball against clear sky
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Can you please share the story behind the above photo?

I took this photo a few weeks ago in my hometown after a long day of work. It was kind of a stressful day and I wasn’t really feeling like going home, so I was just driving around town to see if anything was going on. I stumbled upon this young girls softball game going on in the park.

I didn’t know any of the families or players but I had played softball all through school so it brought back a lot of nostalgic emotions. I took a few shots; I wasn’t really trying to capture anything amazing, but ended up with this great moment. I love photos like that.

Person standing on arid landscape against cloudy sky

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Your images look and feel true and authentic—as though they are actually windows into your world. What is most important to create an authentic image?

I think the goal is to be in the moment. I’m an observer. I don’t usually go out of my way to create scenes or shots, but I try to find them and capture them as they are. You’ve got to be patient, and a lot of times nothing turns out the way you want, but that’s the way for me to be authentic.

chair

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Thank you for sharing Lauren! Want to see more of Lauren’s work? Check out her EyeEm portfolio, her website or follow her on Twitter.

Or if you’re craving more inspiration from talented photographers, check out these interviews with Ed Kashi, Warren Guthrie and Cedric Blanchon.

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