Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Dinh.
Lauren, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got my first DSLR back in 2007 when I was heading out to explore Europe for the first time. I fell in love with photography immediately but it wasn’t until a few years later did I start doing it professionally as a side job. Initially, I was only interested in styled shoots with models where I get to bring out my creativity and do whatever I wanted. I enjoyed photographing people and seeing my vision come to life. Then in 2013, I reunited with a friend who happened to be my photographer for a shoot I did long ago. We bonded on photography and after several second shooting events, I joined Playful Soul Photography and the rest is history!
Interesting fact about me is that I never went to photography school. Never even took a photography class a day in my life. I actually have a background in biology and a master’s degree in biochemistry. I was self-taught who just decided to pick up a camera one day and didn’t give up. After numerous trials and error, I got to where I am today. Now I photograph mostly weddings, engagements, families, and portraits. I still occasionally put together a styled shoot with local models to bring back some inspiration.
Now, we have locations in both Southern and Northern California! I cover SoCal while my partner covers Norcal and together we make quite an awesome team.
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?
I don’t think there is such thing as a smooth road for small businesses. However, it definitely was helpful having someone who was already in the business and so willing to help out another colleague. He seriously opened doors for me, gave me pointers, and most importantly opportunity.
I think the biggest challenge of all, and this is true to all businesses, is marketing. It is super hard especially in this industry where you have literally thousands of other competing photographers in the same area. So I had to learn how to market myself, gain new clients, and how to stand out from the crowd.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Playful Soul Photography is literally how it sounds. Our company is all about having fun and being silly. We want to capture real emotions and candid moments between you and your loved ones. We hope all out clients will experience a fun, relaxed session and love it so much they’ll keep coming back for more!
We specialize in primarily weddings and family photography but we also do a bit of maternity and portrait sessions. I love photographing couples and getting to know their story. I think it’s one of the amazing things to witness a beautiful love story and also get to capture it.
I am pretty proud of how far we’ve grown as a company and that regardless of how long we’ve been doing this for, our mentality for our business has never changed.
We have pride in our product and service and it has only gotten better with time never less.
What sets us apart from the others is that we’re personable, which is actually what one of my brides has told me herself. There may be other photographers out there who are just as good if not better but we believe in one to one interaction with all of our clients. When you email me for a session inquiry, you definitely will get me as your photography, not someone else. I handle all emails and phone calls with my clients directly and make sure I get to know their needs and specific request prior to the shoot. Therefore, when the session comes around they already know who I am and have already interacted with me on several occasions.
What were you like growing up?
I was oddly enough a very shy person as a kid but at about nine years old, when I moved to the East Coast, I started to build up my sense of confidence. As a daughter of an Asian family, I grew up with a strong respectful mentality. Personality wise, I’ve always been highly optimistic kind of person. Combine that with my talkative and energetic nature and you’ve got a kid that is pretty enthusiastic about everything. I am quite easily amused and if you’ve ever gone hiking with me, be prepared to make lots of pit stops as I get excited about how pretty everything is.
Aside from my personality, I’ve always been interested in art (of any kind). I grew up loving ceramics and in high school I took fashion class (sewing) for three years. Now, when I need something to take my mind off of life and sometimes photography, I take on projects at home whether its crocheting, knitting, macramé or just anything DIY.
- Family session – $250
- Weddings – start at $1500
- Website: www.playfulsoulphotography.com
- Phone: 7143169958
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/playfulsoul_oc
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/playfulsoulphotography
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/playful-soul-photography-irvine