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Here at Children of the Tribe, we love that a myriad of creative also call this magical part of the world home. So when it comes to collaborating, working with photographer Lauren Phillips from Love Her Wild has been nothing short of inspirational - this beautiful lens-lady has such a natural aptitude for capturing moments of pure authenticity – kids being kids, living completely in the now. We spoke to Lauren about professional growth, what it’s like working with children, the not-so-easy side of motherhood and how she hopes her daughter Lucy will describe her in years to come.
Tell us how you started out as a photographer?
In hindsight, it all started growing up; my mother was a Photographer and I was always one of those kids with a disposable taking photos of anything and everything. People had always said I should do it and I always knew I wanted to do something creative.... but it only came to fruition when I was 29... I had moved back to the bay area and couldn’t get work. My daughter Lucy and I had been crashing at various friends’ houses for 3 months and it was wearing thin. A friend surprised me by setting up a ‘Go Fund Me’ account, telling me that ‘if I could just get a camera, I could make money (and afford a place to live!) The money was raised in three days, I got my first camera and hit the ground running!
You’ve recently been nominated as one the Top 10 photographers for editorial / fashion in Australia by Capture Magazine. What was that like?
It’s funny you know, the first thing that came to my head was to respond with ‘it was just a competition and a fluke’, but then I remembered, ‘heck, why are we SO hard on ourselves?!’ When you put your art out there, your heart on your sleeve, for the world to judge, it’s easy to put yourself down for fear of rejection. But I’ve worked my absolute butt off to get where I am and having Capture Magazine place me as 3rd for the editorial and fashion category and in the top 20 for the portrait category is a massive achievement; I’ve got to learn to be more graceful in accepting praise. We all do. We’re all deserving of having our work recognised.
Your work includes a lot of families and children. What do you love most about working with children?
Haha well firstly, kids make it WAY less awkward. There are no awkward silences; it’s chaos and limbs and laughs and tears. But I’m a realist and there’s no better way of keeping it real and raw than with kids - it’s authenticity in its finest form. For the most part, its about capturing honest moments between mothers and their children that I want to gift them, so that they can look back 50 years from now and cherish all that it was - that’s what really floats my boat.
Motherhood brings a lot of joy but also a lot of challenges, how do you tackle the not-so-easy side of being a mum?
In my eyes, the not-so-easy days always happen for a reason. Generally, it all goes whack when I’m not giving my daughter enough attention. The only thing that works for both of us is to scale it all right back. I pull away from all of the influences like work and social media and spend one-on-one time with her to let her feel heard and make sure she feels seen. I’ve got to be fully present and get it all back into perspective again.
How do you hope your daughter Lucy describe you in years to come?
Ahhh cue the tears. This is the only way I know how to answer this... In an ideal world it would go something like this: “Dear mum, thank you for nurturing me exactly as I am. Thank you for understanding me, learning about me, listening to your gut on what was right and navigating through every situation with my best interest always at the top. Those 100 times a day that you told me you love me, it matters. It never went unheard. You’ve raised me to not only love myself, but to never allow anyone to break my spirit. You’ve instilled pride, love, confidence, thoughtfulness, strength and stillness in me. You’ve been my best friend and always will be.’ A mum can dream right?!