Lauren Ross’s photography should have a filter named after her. Her palette and tone capture the spirit and light of her female subjects. Aside from her commercial photography, Lauren celebrates the different stages of a woman’s life through her personal work and projects. Having moved closer to the beach, it was a natural progression that found her dabbling in the world of surfing. Lauren is not a surfer, but she might as well be. She is surrounded by surfers from her friends, community, and clients, and you can find an element of surf in all of her work.
Before becoming a photographer, you were a professional skier for the United States Ski team, how did you make that transition?
Skiing was my life from a young age and it taught me so many things including getting outside regardless of conditions or circumstances. It afforded me the opportunity to travel the world. My mom’s a photographer and taught me to be aware of the quality of light. When I was ready for life after skiing, I had already been shooting for 15 years so the transition came naturally. I never really thought about it nor had I planned for it.
Your photography touches on a whole spectrum of a woman’s life. Can you share with us your philosophy?
My muses are any women who happily live inside their own skin. Everyone has a story and if captured, results in a compelling photograph. Growing up surrounded by women who really believed in themselves was a big inspiration to me. My mother is at the top of my list, as she encouraged both my sister and I to be whoever we wanted to be. She is very real, comfortable in her own skin and also vulnerable.
You seem to dabble in the surf world, where/when did that begin? What draws you to surfing?
Surfing, like skiing, is done in the natural world totally dependent on conditions as opposed to say a court sport where the variables are more controlled. It’s also done purely for joy and the end result is fleeting which makes it really interesting to me. I’ve always been inspired by simple horizon lines, pulses of waves, and the visual aspect. Any passion projects you’re working on?
Many…I like the idea of using photos to inspire people to live the life they want for themselves. It comes in many shapes….. from cookbooks of recipes that have passed down for generations to protecting ways of life that are changing with urbanization or capturing that moment we so easily pass over in our daily life.
Most memorable shoot?
I was on a project in Italy and got a bad flu which made me shoot in a totally different way. It was strange how the results were fresh and it was a reminder not to get caught in any sort of formula.
Story by Gilda Hariri
Photographs by Lauren Ross