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Proof of Concept: Lauren Schoepfer

Engagement shoot overlooking a private lake in Orlando

Orlando-based photographer and graphic designer Lauren Schoepfer incorporates subtle conceptualism and professional graphic design for an elevated yet accessible personal photography experience. Whether it’s capturing sun flares to illustrate a hopeful future for an engagement shoot or curating a rainbow-toned Pride Month photo series, Lauren seamlessly blends conceptuality and accessibility to produce works that are simultaneously inspired, approachable, and authentic.

A former full-time graphic designer, Lauren credits her uniquely layered approach to her background in producing corporate branding materials and client-focused deliverables.

“Just like every design client has different selling points to showcase and a unique aesthetic to capture, I approach personal photography clients the same way. I think every person also has different qualities they’re proud of and a unique presence, so I try to play to and capture those strengths in every client,”

Lauren explained.

While Lauren’s portfolio originally consisted of primarily portrait photography, she is currently working to expand her client base to include more mission-oriented corporate clients and nonprofit organizations elevating social justice issues. “I’m really passionate about working in the intersection between art and social justice to educate, uplift, and inspire people about a better future,” said Lauren.

To create elevated yet accessible art, Lauren approaches every client interaction in the same vein­­—with an elevated sense of purpose and an accessible demeanor to put her clients at ease. Since there is little opportunity for personal interaction during the photoshoot scheduling process, Lauren is intentional about creating a personal connection and comfortable atmosphere during every shoot. Whether connecting with her clients means crouching down to bond with the children in a family portrait session or joining business partners for a latte at their favorite coffee shop, Lauren prioritizes “knowing my audience and the subjects of my art.”

Reflecting on her passion for photography, Lauren loves “how there’s something to gain from every single shoot.”

“Every time I work with someone, I feel like I get a glimpse of a day in the life of that person, and that helps me understand the world—and my role in it as a creative— in a much more beautiful way,” said Lauren.

A mixed media graduation portrait

During the recent quarantine period, Lauren experimented with self-portraiture to understand what she needed to feel comfortable in front of the camera so that she could do the same for her clients. Realizing the difficulty of following even her own creative direction, Lauren credits her self-portraiture for helping her develop what she coins as a “memory-based method.”

“I try to help clients channel the feeling that creates the look they want rather than just saying, ‘look fierce.’ If you want something that looks authentic, you’ve got to evoke an authentic emotion,”

said Lauren.

Looking forward, Lauren is eager to continue pushing the boundaries of traditional portrait photography by blending the thoughtful detail of personal portraits with mission-oriented meaning. For Lauren, good photography strikes the perfect balance between emotionality and professionalism, conceptuality and accessibility, and consistency and creativity—resulting in a photograph personal enough for your nightstand, professional enough for a brochure, and probing enough for an art exhibit.

Photographed for UCF's Pride Month photo series

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