We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Neale and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose an artistic career because art fuels my soul. The fact that I can cultivate my creative passions into a career has been a game changer for me, I have never been a desk job, 9am-5pm kind of gal and I’m thankful that I have realized that I don’t have to fit into that mold to be successful.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Photography has always been a huge passion of mine. I asked my parents for a camera on my 13th birthday and ever since have loved looking at life through a lens. It wasn’t until I moved to California from Washington about ten months ago that I was inspired to start my business. The California coastline became my source of artistic inspiration. I was drawn to the different hues of sunsets and the way the ocean sparkles across the horizon. I began to realize that the composition of the photography I had taken here in California and the way I edit them were so unique. Maybe even unique enough that someone would want my photography on their wall. I love to capture bright colors and edges but to make my photos have a soft vintage film type of feel. I had never really thought about turning my photos into prints or believed that someone would want to purchase them. As I made new friends and connections, I showed them my photos and I got comments like “Woah, this is something you would see up for sale at Urban Outfitters, why don’t you sell your stuff?” or “These are amazing!”. I started to gain confidence and was inspired and excited about the possibility of my hobby becoming a stream of income! My path hasn’t been easy and there have been a lot of ups and downs. But I have learned that starting a business is hard. It takes a lot of work, determination and patience. My biggest take away has been that it is so important to focus on small success and not be so hard on myself. At the end of the day, I am so lucky to be where I am at in my journey and am grateful for all my triumphs big and small. This is just the beginning!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles is such an amazing city. There is so much opportunity and things to do and see. The particular place I live in is Redondo Beach, located in the South Bay. If I had a friend come into town, I would have so many amazing ideas on how to make their trip amazing. We would hang out at Rat Beach after grabbing acai from Paradise Bowls. The beach is so easy to get to and the perfect place to relax. I would bring along my volleyball, some drinks and we would bask in the sun and take a dip in the ocean. In the evening I would take them to the Riviera Village where we would grab food and drinks at Rebel Republic. My personal favorites are their Beach Babe cocktail and German Style Pretzel appetizer. For shopping I would take them to downtown Manhattan Beach. There are so many cute shops and eateries to check out. I would definitely stop by The Kettle to see Rebecca Simms’ This Must Be The Place mural, which is one of my favorite mural pieces in the South Bay. Hermosa Beach is home to lots of nightlife so we stop by the pier on the weekend to bar hop. Venice Beach is my favorite place for thrifting. The thrift shops are full of treasures and the boardwalk has so much amazing jewelry. I am always looking for cool, funky rings and Venice never disappoints. The boardwalk has rentals so I would rent us electric scooters and we would cruise around Venice and see all of the cool houses and canals. Malibu is a classic hangout spot. There is nothing like cruising down PCH through Malibu with the windows down, looking at the beautiful coastline and sight seeing or chilling on the beach. Malibu Farm Pier Café is definitely a must to stop at along the way. My favorite gem of LA is Laurel Canyon, home of some of the best music ever written in the 60s and 70s. I would drive us through the canyon and stop to see Jim Morrison’s house for photo ops. We would then head down into West Hollywood, onto Sunset Boulevard and up to Griffith Observatory to catch the sunset.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out a couple people that have helped me get to where I am at today! Firstly, Dylan, my fiancé has encouraged and motivated me from the very beginning. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and his reassurance helped ignite the spark I needed to put my work out there! Secondly, I want to shout out Emily and Brian Poage, my dear friends and owners of The Aloha Bungalow. Their retail shop was the first place my photography was up for sale! They gave me an amazing platform to sell my work and gave me the confidence I needed to grow my business. These people have shown me that with a little bit of love, support and inspiration, anything is possible.

Website: bluejeanbabyphotography.com

Instagram: @bjbphotographyy

Facebook: facebook.com/bjbphotographyy

Image Credits
Image 1: Kimber Collective Image 2: Dylan Harrell Image 7: Errrge Photo Image 8: Annie Wolk

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