Founder of S·E·N Creative, Lauren Andersen, has grown her photography business into much, much more. Her business employs women, meets nearly every need of her interior design clients, and is even involved with charitable organizations. How does she do all this, and more? Read on to find out!
Your company offers multiple services to your clients, from still photos to videography and graphic design. Which came first? And tell us about the journey that brought you to where you are today.
Photography came first, and it’s my first love creatively. It’s what I studied in school and the lens by which I see the world. After shoots, I was seeing clients struggle with the best way to showcase the finished photos, and even years later they had not gotten around to their new website and rebrand. I wanted them to show off their work and mine!
I pride myself on having long term relationships with clients, so expanding my services was really a reaction to wanting to see my clients’ businesses thrive and grow. For them, the only priority was to do what they love, which is interior design, not graphic design. This design partnership has been so rewarding.
We’ve had video services for about four years now, and that also felt like the natural progression to embrace what’s happening in social media work and give clients a new way to reach their audience and potential clients. I just love directing and seeing a vision for a client come to life in moving pictures.
You shared a glowing Insta post about the women on your team who make your business thrive. What drives you to build a team made entirely of women?
While an all female team is more common in interior design, it is not common in media companies. Having worked with amazing women business owners, I knew it was possible and I set out to find my tribe for SEN. Being in people’s homes and personal spaces should be a sensitive and thoughtful process and I’ve found that perfect balance in the women I’ve hired.
I also pride myself on having the same staff for years, and that also builds a huge level of trust with clients as well – a video shoot becomes a reunion with the crew and the client and it’s another touchpoint of trust.
What is your favorite part of the process when shooting interiors?
My favorite part is the collaboration. I love hearing the highs and lows of a project story and getting the client excited about the images coming into the laptop. Typically a photoshoot is the result of years of work by the designer and I love the moments of showing them a great shot on the laptop that I am super excited about – it can be a great exercise in validation for everyone! My favorite types of shots are the room-to-room moments, where you can see the thoughtfulness of the design in relation to multiple spaces. I also try to capture a portrait moment in a special spot in the designed home, which really brings home the connection between the designer and the final product.
“No two clients or projects are the same. I really pride our company on being great collaborators and listeners, and seeing that not one size fits all.”Lauren Andersen of S·E·N Creative
You’ve shared that you enjoy traveling with your husband and daughter. Where do you look forward to jetting off to next?
During the pandemic we’ve embraced long car rides and the many corners of California, and we have a special place in Joshua Tree that refuels us. Post pandemic, our first stop is Todos Santos in Baja – our daughter has been there twice and it’s the only place she’ll eat ceviche. Then onto Mexico City – the design (and food) happening there looks incredible.
If photography wasn’t your calling, what profession do you think you’d find yourself in?
If there was another universe, I think I would have been a photojournalist, and been involved in politics. My friends call me the ‘class president’ forever. I could see myself organizing in some way. I continue to be involved with the founders of Dine for Democracy and look forward to helping organizations that are making a difference like they are.
Your business has grown in both size and scope. What advice would you share with a photographer who is trying to expand?
My advice would be to let your market guide you with what clients want. My company’s growth has been organic with a hint of foresight and leaps of faith. I listen carefully to what clients are asking for as far as recommendations of other services. An example right now is styling services. I have clients ask me all the time for lists of stylists for shoots, and often they don’t hit the right note with a lot of my clients.
Now we’re bringing on an exclusive stylist that doesn’t just bring in flowers, she listens to the story of the project and the goal – we’re always shooting for publications and there’s a strategy to doing that. But that’s also been a result of years of trial and error working with different stylists to know what I did and did not want to bring to my clients.
Like what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Photography: S·E·N Creative · Interior Design for Featured Image: Decorotation
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