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Daily Inspiration: Meet Lara Howell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lara Howell. 

Hi Lara, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I’ve been doing photography for roughly a decade. It started in High School when I would take senior pictures of friends and family photos. At the time, I didn’t think it was something that was eventually going to be my career. It was my passion but I thought I had to do something else to make a living. So, when it was time to go to college, I decided to attend a local University and pursue a degree in Graphic Design. Well, after two years of studying at the university and two changes in my major, I decided that something didn’t feel right. I wasn’t happy in anything I was doing and knew it was time for a change. I wanted to take a year off and really think about what it was that I was missing in my life. I dropped out of the University and really began to think about what I wanted. It didn’t take me long to realize what I wanted to do. 

I then attended a local Art School, where I got my Associates’s Degree in Photography. I had planned on using that degree to pursue Commercial Photography and work closely with Outdoor Apparel brands. I honestly had no desire to go after Weddings but had no idea that that’s where my path would take me. After graduating, a husband-and-wife photography team reached out to me to see if I would be interested in being their 3rd shooter/assistant. I took it because I thought it would be a fun opportunity and a way to make some money after college. 

I really like to think I found myself through shooting weddings. I use to be incredibly shy and reserved but being a wedding photographer has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve met the most incredible people and have found a job that doesn’t necessarily feel like work. I. LOVE. MY. JOB. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not. The creative industry is a place where comparison creeps around every corner. I still find myself comparing my work to others and it’s exhausting. It’s been a hard feeling to overcome and honestly, I still haven’t. I am grateful for the community of fellow photographer here in Nashville that view each other as ” Community over Competition”. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
So, I specialize in Wedding/Engagement/Couples Photography and that’s what I’m most known for. I’ve studio work for a local boutique for a few years as well but recently just shifted all my focus to weddings. I like to think I take a more “Journalistic” approach to photographing. It’s not about the poses but all about the moment. Obviously, I’ll pose you but then I try to let the emotion take it from there. Raw emotions. Whether it’s moody, intimate, happy, excited, etc. I’m there to capture it. I like to think outside of the box and do some fun and funky poses if you are into it. 

I feel like I’m most proud of the journey itself. I’ve really come so far and I’m so happy with where I’m at. It took some years to finally nail down my style, and I have. 

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Really sit down and think about what you want and then go for it! Plan shoots with friends. Practice with couples you know. Put time and effort into your craft and soon you’ll be exactly where you want to be. It takes time. SO be patient with it and don’t give up. Also, take advantage of your photo community. I literally would not be where I’m at without so many talented friends who were gracious enough to put time into me! 

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