We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren “Lily” Fells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren “Lily”, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I always bet on myself. No matter the opportunities or challenges I’m faced with, I will always choose me to get the job done, to send that email, to make that call–whatever it is, it’s up to me to rise to the occasion and win or learn. I even compete with myself when it comes to building my brand and perfecting my craft. I look at what I’ve done and then ask, “How do I make this better?” This is how I developed my brand. I’m inspired by many things, but I will always study my own work to ensure the quality of work I produce is authentic and tells a life story.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After getting fired in 2017 and feeling like I had to start all over again, I took a chance on making my photography business a full-time thing until I could find another job. It felt like I was running in circles trying to make it all work. This journey allowed me to slow down and really see that I had the potential to help in more than one way. I wanted to go back into the field to learn as much about marketing as possible to use those skills for my own business, and simplify it for others just starting their own. I work full-time now as a marketing specialist for a trade association, making photography my part-time hustle. Because I have an extended background in marketing, I use it to help small businesses create their brand and increase marketing efforts. In regards to my photography work, I honestly want the world to feel again. I want people to be touched by stories of others through my branding and photography, and leave footprints of work that will be used for future generations to come.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m from Prince George’s County, MD which is literally minutes away from DC. I would start local and introduce my friend to National Harbor, MD. It’s where the MGM, ferris wheel and the boardwalk is. We could even do a little shopping at the outlets if they wanted. For food, I wouldn’t do anything fancy. We’re known for our carry-outs that serve chicken wings, fried rice or french fries, and the famous mumbo sauce. Later in the week, we can go to U Street in Northwest, DC (the old music district) and Adams Morgan. Finally, we would participate in traditional sightseeing of the national monuments/museums downtown. The best time to go is at night where everything is lit perfectly. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out my mom and fellow “photogra-friends” for holding me accountable and seeing something in me that’s far beyond the present. Huge shout out to Derrel Todd for giving his very own 30+ years of knowledge to people who just want to learn more about photography and grow as a creative. Last but certainly not least, I dedicate my work to my dad and my sister. They are always with me, and although they are not here physically to celebrate many successes with me, they live forever through my photography.
Image of the interviewee – Samia Minnicks, Samia Minnicks Photography All other portfolio images – Lauren Fells, LilyAnnRivers Creative Suite, LLC