Our Local Stories with Lauren Sandford from The Eternal Second Photography

by NillumbikConnections
5 mins read

It takes time to learn the trade and become successful. This story of Lauren Sandford and her business The Eternal Second Photography explores this progression including the hard work, the learnings, the challenges and then the rewards. 

Let’s learn more about what it takes to develop a family photography business… 

About Lauren

Lauren has always been an artist at heart. All through school, she only enjoyed art and loathed maths and science subjects! She started drawing portraits when she was only 14 years old. Lauren’s art teachers were a huge inspiration throughout high school. Then life took many twists and turns. She was pretty lost when she finished school, not knowing what to do. She worked various jobs, falling into Visual Merchandising. Lauren worked for Officeworks for about ten years until she started her family.

In the beginning

Even though Lauren had a drawing and painting background, she always loved photography. She would draw and paint from photographs. Either from people’s portraits, or flowers from her own photos. Photography appealed to her more so, she was getting tired of spending hours and hours sitting in front of the easel. Before the birth of her son, she knew she wanted to explore photography. After her son was born, she bought her first camera and fell back in love with portraiture, this time, through the lens. The birth of her son and then her daughter is what inspired her to start a business. To have the best of both worlds, be home with the kids and have a business that suited Lauren.

The business’ main focus is on family and children photography, including newborns. The Eternal Second Photography focusses on the entire photography journey. From the beginning of the process, Lauren is planting the seed of the end goal for her clients photographs. She helps her clients drill down to what suits them and their homes.

There are many photographer’s that hand over digital files, for Lauren, this is the job half done. Let’s face it, life is busy. Whether you’ve recently had a baby or are busy with growing kids. To then have to organise printing your photos, can be a hassle. Lauren says that 90% of people will not do anything with images on a USB! Not only that, it opens up new questions and problems that need answers and solutions. Such as ‘what size do I print them? Where to display them? Where to print them?

When Lauren works with her clients, they work out the end goal first. It’s important to understand the reason for the photoshoot and what the customer wants to achieve with the photos. For some, it could be something to admire on their wall or it could be to create an album. If a client invests their time and effort into having a professional shoot, then Lauren wants her clients to go home with a professional product.

Lauren loves the people she meets. She is a people person. She feels like she connects well with all her clients and enjoys getting to know them. It’s lovely when they come back with baby number two or more, to update their family photos. The dream is to become that family’s photographer to capture the family’s growth – it’s a privilege.

Progress of the business, The Eternal Second Photography

The business has changed a lot over the last eight years. In the beginning the focus was on learning technical skills. Composition, lighting and editing etc. Learning the art of newborn posing was a considerable part of the first 5-6 years of the business.

The time Lauren has put into workshops and online courses has been a significant investment in learning the craft. She started with a small set-up in her front lounge room of her home, as most photographers do! And as Lauren began to get busier, she felt like she wanted to have a professional space. In 2018 Lauren found a small office space/studio near Watsonia shops and occupied that space for 18 months. Around that time, the focus had shifted away from the technical side and into learning to market her business.

Lauren is part of a fantastic Photography Group that focuses on marketing. It has been the biggest thing that has changed her photography from a hobbyist to a business.

In 2019 Lauren’s family moved from Viewbank to Hurstbridge. This meant that The Eternal Second Photography business could set up at home again. This time there was a perfect little bungalow on the property that Lauren could convert into a studio. It was great to be home again to manage family and have the convenience of a home studio – Lauren calls it her ‘mum cave’!

Evolving…

At the beginning of 2021, Lauren switched gears again. This time she was working with a photography business and Mindset Coach weekly. If Lauren didn’t have her Mindset Coach, she doesn’t think her business would still be open after the last 18 months of lockdowns.

Over the last eight years, Lauren has predominantly been a family and newborn photographer. She had a couple of years in the middle where she explored fine art children’s portraiture. Lauren has recently made a shift away from studio newborn shoots and decided to concentrate on outdoor family sessions. Which can include newborns, of course! Lauren also adores photographing one-year-olds. Celebrating the 1st birthday is just as important as celebrating the birth of a baby. At one year old, babies have all their personality – smiling, crawling or walking. But they are still small enough for hugs and cuddles!

Lauren has some exciting plans for 2022! The Eternal Second Photography will be offering in-home lifestyle newborn and family sessions!

Biggest challenges and most rewarding moments…

The biggest challenge has often revolved around the pricing of photography sessions. Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for photography. Usually, the perception of what it ‘should cos’t varies from person to person. Often clients have had a previous experience where they paid only a couple hundred dollars for a service and thought it was too much. Others spend thousands and say it’s worth every cent. As Lauren has learnt more about the business side of things, she’s learnt to believe in her work and what it’s worth. This is something she’s managed to overcome.

Without a doubt, the most rewarding moments are when Lauren has clients sitting on her couch, eyes welling up as they watch their photographs up on the screen. Knowing she has created images that will stay in her clients lives forever is why she loves what she does.

When we asked Lauren what she would do differently, this was her response “I would have believed in myself earlier. But, unfortunately, I had many blocks surrounding my worth and running a business. The other thing I would do differently is work with a photography business coach from the beginning.”

They say ‘word of mouth is the best form of advertising’. And Lauren totally agrees. Word of mouth is where approximately 80% of her clients come from. Lauren is also extremely generous to the community. She is always happy to donate a session voucher to fundraising events for sporting clubs, schools, kindergartens, dance clubs etc.

You can follow The Eternal Second Photography on Social Media and share or/and comment on her stunning photography. And refer a friend who may be looking for some updated family shots.

The Eternal Second Photography is open to collaborate with other local businesses for promotions. If you think your values and business align with The Eternal Second Photography, please feel free to get in touch with Lauren.

Did you know…

When Lauren is not in work mode, you’ll find her in her veggie patch, chatting away to her chooks! Since moving to Hurstbridge in 2019, Lauren has fallen in love with her gardens. Although a gardener may be necessary to help Lauren maintain them!!

Thank you Lauren, we loved getting to know you and learning about The Eternal Second Photography. Click here to make direct contact with Lauren.

Read more from our Articles here. And if you’d like to write for us or work together on an article as Lauren and I have done, contact us to chat.

Thank you for reading, we hope you loved learning more about this beautiful local business.

Feel free to leave a comment for Lauren below.

Click here to see other local businesses listed within our online directory.

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