Behind the Lens – Loren Ferguson @ Think Elysian Photography

This week on the Behind the Lens series I had the pleasure of interviewing Loren from Think Elysian. Loren is a native Houstonian, and a photographer, blogger, boutique owner, wife, and mama to her fur baby boxer, Cowboy. I met Loren through a blog collaboration with Think Elysian. Since then we have become friends through our blogging networks here in Houston. She is an amazing photographer and videographer, and I love that  she has branched out on her own and started her own boutique and photography business. She is the definition of a girl boss. Check out her interview below and her business tips for future aspiring photographers.

How did you get started in photography?
I started photography professionally after my wedding – I started working with my wedding photographer! I never thought photography would be where my career would ended up. I was finishing my media communications degree at the time. I wasn’t quite sure where I belonged in the corporate world or what I was aiming for until I started working as a part of Mustard Seed Photography. Kat and I got to talking during our after wedding session and since we clicked so well I decided – what the heck I’ll give it a try! It’ll be fun!
Describe your style.
 Elysian means beautiful, creative & divinely inspired and I strive everyday for my photography and videography to encompass that. I have a very clean, natural aesthetic that will never go out of style. I love to capture love just how it is standing in front of me so I don’t like to use any of those heavy color filters or editing effects in my photos. I want my clients to be comfortable so that I can capture their real moments laughing, playing, kissing, and just being themselves.
What kind of camera do you use? Brand preference?
I use a Canon 5d Mark III – I don’t have any crazy beef against Nikon or any other brand. 🙂 I just started photography with a Canon and it just kind of stuck!
What are your top 3 lenses and why?
I typically only use two lenses: Canon 50mm 1.2 and 85mm 1.2 – tried & true and have never let me down! I am looking in to a 35mm, but haven’t made the commitment just yet!
What do you love most about being a photographer?
After it’s all said and done I look back on my images and I am proud of them. I can look at each session and remember the laughter, the mid-session toddler meltdown, the awkward “where do I put my hands” panic, the crazy bugs attacking us, the real moments from the session. What I love most about it all is that not only am I proud of them images, but my clients are in love with their photos and we all share those fun memories together.
What has been your greatest challenge in photography?
 I struggle a lot with the professionalism (or lack there of) with photography. Nothing gets discourages me more than losing clients because they found a photographer that charges $35. Photography is an art. Photography is valuable. Photography is worth more than $35. I spend hours and days pouring over my images, culling, editing, marketing, advertising, bookkeeping, emailing – I wear many hats to keep my photography business running and that to me is worth something. I believe that my photography is worth it. It’s taken me a long time to be confident and not apologize for my pricing. At the end of the day, I love what I do and am so blessed to be able to live it out as a career – but I still have to think of it as a career. It is my job and it gets me so down when I see photographers undercutting the market. I love the quote, “Charge what you’re worth and don’t apologize.”
 What is your favorite type of photography to shoot and why?
 Every day it is something different! I don’t have a particular type of photography that is my favorite, but recently I am so excited to start shooting more editorial fashion blogger sessions! I love fun, styled sessions as well, where I can work with my clients to create a vision and bring that vision to life!
Where is your favorite place to shoot? 
 My session locations are random – you’ve probably driven past them and wouldn’t think twice about it. I love locations that have their own character. I don’t shoot at popular parks that are swarming with other photographers. That is literally my nightmare. 😛 The more remote – the better!
What type of editing software do you prefer to use? 
I use to just edit my photos in Camera Raw in Bridge, but have recently tried my hand at Lightroom so that I could more easily edit my videography as well. I am still getting use to it and sometimes I have the urge to just close it and go back to what I know best, but it’s slowly growing on me!
What is one advice you would give to aspiring photographers?
My advice: 1. I would love to see more aspiring photographers perfect their craft and charge what their worth. You will get a high volume of clients if you charge $35 – but that comes with a price: no sleep, no rest, no family time, no weekends. You will be working so hard and after it’s all said and done, are you even making any money? If you want to photograph sessions as a hobby – keep it at that! Don’t charge – just do what you love!
2. Explore your own style. It is great to have inspiration and photographers to look up to, but when you find yourself copying exactly as they do you’ve lost your creative touch. I believe a great photographer takes risks, pushes out side of their comfort zone, and tries out different angles and poses. Photography is ever-evolving!
3. Don’t give up! Rome wasn’t built in a day! 🙂 I know some very successful photographers that still don’t think they’re “successful”. Invest in a photography workshop to help you get started the right way, like Develop Retreat. Everyone has their struggles and gets discouraged, but it is great to have a community around you that will support and help you along the way.
Hope you enjoyed her interview and if you like her work and would like to work with her please visit her website by clicking the link here. Thanks for stopping by!
🙂 Dawn
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