We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Lang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I currently own my own headshot photography business, and I do some freelance videography work as well. I’ve always been enthralled with cameras, but I backed into the photography part of things.
I started as a videographer when I was very young. I was lucky enough to attend Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, CO, which had a robust television production program. I was fascinated from the moment I first walked into the classroom/studio and got really into video editing throughout my high school career.
I left Colorado and went to college in Iowa. Because of my high school experience, I had an internship at KWQC TV 6 News in Davenport, IA, the day I arrived. I was hired as a video editor a short time later. I moved up in journalism until I made it to Channel 9 here in Denver.
I got into wildlife photography while I was working at Channel 9 as a way to deal with job-related stress. I loved being outside in nature and felt rejuvenated both mentally and physically when I was photographing wildlife.
I had an executive producer at 9News who encouraged my wildlife photography and even put some of my work on air. However, it wasn’t until I started working for a company in Northern Colorado that I got heavily into other forms of photography besides wildlife.
I did instructional video production at that company, but as part of that, I also took behind-the-scenes photos during the video shoots.
The company not only produced instructional videos but was responsible for an array of magazines as well. The magazine editors started requesting my photos for use in articles and marketing materials. Eventually, I had multiple images appearing in publications every month.
After some time, I decided if my work was good enough to be consistently published, I could probably get paid as a photographer. I went freelance, and here I am.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I was working as a multimedia journalist at Channel 9 when I got my first camera, which was a gratifying but very stressful job. I needed a way to center myself, so I started taking my shiny new camera out into nature.
I was very drawn to birds, and I loved observing them. Watching the birds through my camera lens allowed me to see a level of detail that wasn’t possible with the naked eye. It also taught me patience. I was used to a world that moved very quickly by necessity, so taking my time and slowing down were not things that came naturally to me.
I jumped the gun, scared a lot of birds away, and took a couple of thousand shots of bird butts those first few years. I think every wildlife photographer goes through that phase, but I feel like I may have gotten stuck in that place a little longer than most. Eventually, I did learn to calm down and started getting shots that I was proud of.
I think what people notice about my work first is the color. Color is not always an easy thing to capture when it comes to the wildlife in Colorado. There are a lot of brown animals that live here. However, there are many beautiful and very vibrant species as well. I enjoy showcasing animals in their natural habitat, which often explains why critters look the way they do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think Denver and the surrounding area have a lot of gems that people don’t know about. There are the big obvious places to take visitors, like Rocky Mountain National Park, Mt. Evans, and Garden of the Gods. Those places have beautiful, sweeping views that are iconic to the state. However, they can also be very crowded because they are so beautiful.
When I get people in from out of town that want to experience the outdoors in Colorado, I first pack a ton of water and have them slather themselves in sunscreen. But after that, I tend to take them to Jeffco Open Spaces. I have a few open space areas that I enjoy visiting, and while they can get busy, it’s nothing compared to the massive crowds I’ve seen at some of the more popular tourist spots.
I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the great state, county, and local parks and open spaces across Colorado. I think the various agencies across the state have done an outstanding job of preserving our landscape for future generations, and I appreciate all the work they’ve done. That’s the Colorado I like to share with people.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been so many people that have embraced and mentored me. It’s staggering when I start to think about it. I have been incredibly grateful to benefit from the knowledge and experience of everyone, from my high school teachers to bosses across multiple states and an untold number of co-workers and friends.
I’ve learned from everyone in my life, and I’m incredibly grateful to all of them. I definitely would not be where I am or be as happy as I am without the time, energy, and effort so many people have invested in me and my success.
Many people took a risk on me, and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude adequately. They believed in me, and I just hope I’ve repaid their faith in me.