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Meet Lauren Belknap of Lauren Cate Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Belknap.

Lauren, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In High School, I taught myself Photoshop, and was always fascinated with photographs, but never took a photography class or knew how to create images. I then decided to attend Brooks Photography Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. My first day of class was the first day I ever picked up a camera. During my time at school, I studied multiple types of photography:  fashion, commercial, food, nature, architecture, and portraiture. After school, I interned with a high fashion photographer for a year, but then decided to stick with portraits, I loved being able to freeze a moment in time for people to look back on.

I photographed weddings with a company for 6 years, during which time I learned the ins and outs of the industry while still running my own business/brand:  Lauren Cate.  I have traveled to many countries, worked with celebrities and have been there to capture moments for hundreds of people and their families. In 2014, I was recognized by Rangefinders Magazine as one of the 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography, which was during my 3rd year of shooting weddings.

Being on that list, with so many photographers I admire, was a very humbling and exciting experience. While running my business and working for another, I also kept up with submitting and winning multiple awards for Fearless Photographers and Junebug Weddings. These are such prestigious awards, and I am continuously inspired by the art that other photographers are creating it pushes me to work harder at every shoot.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Initially, I felt overwhelmed by all of my classmates’ knowledge of photography. This made me work harder, and in the end, I graduated at the top of my class. Another struggle of mine was figuring out whether to be an employee of an already established company or to branch off on my own.

The answer ended up being pretty simple: Do both! This allows me to continue learning the industry while simultaneously pushing myself and my personal brand forward.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Lauren Cate Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
Currently, Lauren Cate specializes in Weddings and Portraits, with an emphasis on weddings. It’s my bread and butter.  But that’s not to say I don’t love shooting other things.  I’ve recently photographed a lot of commercial work for various businesses, and I’m looking forward to doing more of that type of work.

My images are fun, it’s not your typical ‘boring’ or ‘stiff’ portrait work. I get to share a lot of beautiful moments with my clients. My goal is to always make people feel something with my images. Being photographed isn’t fun for everyone, so another goal is to make it fun and seamless; I want my clients to forget that there is a camera is even there.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Meeting such wonderful people in the industry has been incredibly good luck. I have made friends and connections with some very talented photographers, the best in the industry. I have been helped and helped others time and time again. And yeah, along the way I ran into some bad luck as well.

Things get broken, things get lost, travel doesn’t always go as planned, but when its over, you walk out the other end better at the job and learning from your mistakes. I wouldn’t trade the experiences, the good and the bad, for anything.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 716 N. Santiago, Santa Ana CA 92701
  • Website:
  • Phone: 7143495431
  • Email:
  • Instagram: laurencbelknap

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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