We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Hensgens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’d like to think that taking risks has gotten me where I am today. But to me it really doesn’t feel like a risk if you have a vision in mind. It’s just creating a new path with lessons to learn from and if you get to a dead end, you find another way. In doing that, there’s always opportunities or rewards you wouldn’t have seen otherwise and it works out one way or the other. Some of my biggest risks I’ve taken was moving to start a new life. (A couple of different times. Haha.) One move was out of the country to Costa Rica and the other was to California. Both times, I didn’t know anyone, nor have a plan, a place to live, or even a job. I just followed a feeling and knew if it was something I really wanted I’d find a way to make it work. People often ask if I was scared and my reply is always “Of course, I was terrified but it seemed even scarier to continue doing the same thing and not chase what I truly wanted.” Ignoring the noise, following my heart and taking the chance is what makes me feel alive. It’s also what created the life and career I now have and I couldn’t be more content with it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love that I’ve been able to turn one of my biggest passions into a career. Photography has always been an interest of mine. As a kid I’d play with what ever camera I could get my hands on, I took high school photo classes, and then in college pursued a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Photography. After graduation, I took a chance and moved abroad in Costa Rica with my dog and camera by my side. After a few years of non stop adventures I moved back home to Louisiana and went into Art Education. At the time it seemed like the best way to make a living as an artist. I absolutely loved sharing and teaching my creative interests to students while giving them a comfortable space to grow as a person. After years of enriching experiences as a teacher I was ready to dive into a few of my other passions, the ocean and photography. I then randomly decided to move to California. Fast forward 6 years and here I am photographing full time. Trying to start a business from scratch wasn’t all smooth sailing but it was rewarding. And once again, life has taught me if you have passion, a strong work ethic, and a vision you’re pretty much set to succeed. These days I still get most excited about shooting in the water. Being in one of my favorite places (the ocean) doing one of my favorite things is a feeling that’s hard to describe. Photographing is something that puts me in a flow state. When I’m doing it, there’s nothing else other than the shot at hand that runs through my mind. There are also other aspects of photography that I appreciate besides shooting. I also get to meet amazing people whether they are clients or other creatives, and I get to travel to breathtaking places. Pursuing a career in photography has led me on an incredible adventure that constantly has me striving for more.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Oceanside and absolutely love to share it with people when they come around. My favorite local activities and spots include,… Strolling around town, a surf lesson, beach time, and hitting up my favorite food spots such as Petite Madeline, LTH, Buccaneer Cafe, and Wrench and Rodent. Other San Diego activities I love are free diving or kayaking the caves and kelp patties in La Jolla, Balboa park (especially the Museum of Photographic Arts,) and Blacks Beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would say most importantly my parents. They’ve been pretty good at embracing and encouraging my out of the box ideas and lifestyle. All the while helping to shape me into the strong woman I am. I appreciate that my dad always encouraged and helped me to push myself to work hard and do my best in everything. If I had a goal in mind he was right beside me. One year I decided I wanted to learn a knew sport and try out for the high school team. He practiced with me every chance he got and not only did I end up making the team but I was also awarded rookie of the year. No matter what it was he showed up to cheer, coach, mentor, or just be my dad. And then there’s my mom. I learned a lot just by having her as an example. She is one of the most intelligent, self sufficient women I know. She always gave me freedom with guidance to figure out my passions and how to navigate them. She also let me have a say in making decision, allowed me to disagree and speak up, and also encouraged me to make personal growth a priority. It’s a blessing having such a strong woman as a mother.