Lauren Rutten: Is Your Heart in Your Art?


In this workshop we will explore the experiences of the mid-career photographer. We tackle topics such as loss of passion and purpose, wrestling with self-doubt, the conflict of our career reality versus our dreams as a young artist and selling out to please our clients. This workshop will be both experiential in nature; providing opportunities to explore creative solutions in which to navigate through this period and reconnect with your love of creating. "The plight of the mid-career photographer is frequently one of secret self-doubt. Many of us come to this career with dreams of shooting covers of Vogue Magazine or stories for The New York Times. Perhaps you imagined you would have your photographs hanging in the Museum of Modern Art. The reality of being a photographer and sustaining a career over many years is one of soul-searching and often re-defining our goals. We must find a balance between the opportunities that life presents along the way with the passionate dreams when we entered this business. How we define ourselves in relation to the work we create for our clients and for ourselves often changes over time. We will be exploring this terrain throughout this workshop with the intention to gain clarity about why we make photographs and how we can cultivate an attitude of curiosity and play to discover what we love to create. Subjects we will be covering include:

  • Discover what you love and feel passionate about
  • Find balance so your business doesn't consume your passion
  • What to do when you are yearning for something you can't define
  • Strategies to work through fears and self-doubt
  • Branching out: opportunities to recharge are everywhere
  • Authentic Branding: Staying True to You
  • Seeking connection: Photography as a spiritual practice

I will share my personal experiences of how my career has evolved and changed from shooting as an editorial and advertising photographer for 12 years to becoming a wedding and portrait photographer for the next 12 years. The choices I made in re-defining my goals, my client base and eventually my brand have been a journey of self-discovery that has made me more confident, self-aware and satisfied in the work I create. "

Lauren has been a photographer for a long time. She lives, breathes, dreams, and loves it. She shoots every day as an art and spiritual practice. It's her way of staying to connected and sharing in her gratitude for the beauty that surrounds her. Lauren's photography business is based in the NY/NJ Metro area, where she also teaches as an artist in residence. She just sent her son off to college to study photography and is starting to think about the next chapter in her life. Someday, very soon, she will be riding her bicycle across America.