Lauren Woods is an analogue photographer from North Carolina. Her work is characterized by her simplistic storytelling mixed with the art of vulnerability and inclusivity.
What inspires you?
A combination of things have inspired me throughout the years. Three of the biggest things have been my life experiences, films/tv shows, and music. I know people are used to other artists saying what photographer is inspired by this photographer (and I do have a few of those people), but these three components have greatly inspired my work.
What do you see as your biggest challenge?
Definitely myself. As an artist, it’s very easy to get in your own head and freak yourself out a lot. In the age of social media, it’s so easy to lose yourself in the hole of comparison. Which can cause you to doubt yourself. I’ve found that one of my biggest struggles. But once you settle a little into this industry and figure out what you’re passionate about, the fear isn’t as bad as it used to be. Each shoot I learn something a little more about myself and establish more confidence. However, there are moments where that little voice of doubt can sneak up in your mind.
What keeps you sane in this insane world?
In all sincereness, my art. If I did not have this tool and this passion, I know my depression would go into a deeper void. It gives me a reason to live; to see a positive future for myself; something to always look forward to. It gives me freedom to express myself and be in my element. I’ve met so many unique individuals and have collected so many great relationships along the way. My art is what helped me to get out of my shell and into the world.
What self-care rituals do you have?
For me, it’s hot showers. The stinging heat of hot water can make me feel like I’m washing all of my troubles away. I typically shower in the dark with candle light to set a softer mood after a long day at work. I put on music as well as I shower. Typically either Jhene Aiko, Sabrina Claudio or The Neighbourhood depending on what mood I’m in.
How would your utopian future world look like?
The top thing on my list is a world without sickness. After seeing my mother struggle for over a decade with Multiple Sclerosis, there’s not a day that goes by where I wish I could take that suffering from her body. The next thing would be a world without judgement and division from each other. It would be so great to live in a place where you could fully express yourself without fear or concern of reaction. I have a lot of ideas in my head that I could write an entire essay about, but those are the biggest wishes I have for my utopian future world.
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