Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Lejuwaan.
Laura, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Glendale, California and moved to Whittier at age three. My interest in photography started when I was in grade school. I would set up a studio in my bathroom using natural light and shoot dramatic portraits with my film camera. Then at age 17, I took a beginner photography class at Cal State University, Fullerton (CSUF). We had to develop our film in a darkroom – that was the “fun” part. The “not-so-fun” part was first loading the exposed film onto a reel in total darkness.
I can remember fumbling around in the dark for what felt like an eternity until my teacher would finally knock on the door to see if everything was all right. While at CSUF, I tried my hand at other art mediums like watercolor, oil painting, typography, two-dimensional design and pottery. I graduated in 1989 with a Minor in Art and B.A. in Communications (emphasis in Advertising).
It was just about that time that my grandfather Dr. Irwin A. Moon passed away. Grandpa Moon had an impressive career combining his love of photography and science to produce award-winning educational films that illustrated the connection between God and nature. Interestingly, he used his bedroom as a studio and his bathroom as a laboratory.
I believe every journey can be broken down into steps. One “step” for me was inheriting my grandfather’s Nikon film camera. I began using it to photograph my children, then my friend’s children and then their friend’s children…you get the picture (no pun intended). In 2000, I officially became a professional photographer by charging $175 for a family portrait session. After that, I spent the next seven years building a successful family, engagement and wedding portrait business.
In 2006, another step appeared in my journey. I took a part-time job at the Fullerton Arboretum and started photographing flowers in my spare time. That is when I first discovered the beauty of seeing a flower through my lens. I fell deeply in love with their little faces staring back at me… faces of strength, beauty and poise.
For over ten years now I have been photographing and creating my bloom collection. And more recently have started taking macro photos to get even more intimate with my flowers. I now have a fine art photography business that provides high-resolution floral images to home decorators and commercial interior designers for framed wall art, murals and wallpaper.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not all the steps in my journey have been easy. In 2007-2008 the financial banking crisis hit and I had to pack up my downtown Fullerton photography space and get a corporate job. I was a single mom at the time and couldn’t provide for my four children when most of my clients decided to save money by hiring “Uncle Tom” to take their wedding pictures.
It wasn’t until 2016 that I was finally able to go part-time at my corporate job and spend more time on photography. In June 2018, I quit my job and returned to photography full-time. It feels great! It’s been a long and slow transition back into my artistry but I wouldn’t trade the process for anything. It taught me to be patient and trust God that I would someday be able to focus on my passions. And in the meantime, I developed quite an extensive skill-set out in the “real” world as they call it.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Laura Lejuwaan Photography – what should we know?
I own Laura Lejuwaan Photography – a fine art photography business that provides high-resolution floral images to art collectors, home decorators and commercial interior designers for framed art, wallpaper and murals. And if my clients do not find what they are looking for in my collection, all they have to do is ask me for it and I will create it.
I also offer family, engagement, senior, maternity and headshot portraits.
What is my favorite childhood memory?
I would have to say growing up in the 70’s (Darn it… I just gave away my age.) It was a safer world back then and there were fewer channels on TV and fewer distractions like cell phones and social media. I was allowed to stay outside and play with my neighborhood friends until the “street lights came on.” Or sometimes I would just play by myself in our backyard. I had an active imagination and would pretend that I was Laura Ingalls Wilder from the series of “Little House” books. Those really were the good old days.
- Website: www.lauralejuwaan.com
- Phone: 714-366-1796
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/blooms.by.laura
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/lauralejuwaanphotography/
South Coast Wholesale Flowers, Heidi Reed, Steph Girard