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Meet Sean and Lyssa Lara of Lara Photography in Fort Collins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean and Lyssa Lara.

Sean and Lyssa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My first paid photography gig was in 2009. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in photography but wasn’t sure in what field, so my first year as a professional photographer was an experimental year for me. I shot everything – birthday parties, corporate events, trade show events, modeling gigs, and portraiture. Towards the end of the year, I picked up an internship with the Orange County Register (I was living in Southern California at the time) and I quickly transitioned into a regular freelancer for them covering on average about five stories in a week. I enjoyed the variety of assignments I was given but quickly learned that as a struggling industry, the photojournalism world wouldn’t be able to financially provide the career I was hoping for. I reconnected with one of my old friends Jared from high school who was capturing weddings for an associate company and asked if I could assist him on a few shots to see what it was all about. I quickly found a love for capturing weddings and worked for this associate company for a few years until January of 2013 when I decided to move to Colorado.

Coming into a new market, I had no friends, no connections and at this point no real experience in running a business where I was providing my sole income. But through research, dedication and investing every spare penny I had into starting a business I quickly found clients and made a successful career for myself. I attended photo conferences, always continued my photography education and picked up mentors along the way to help my business grow. In 2015, I met my wife Lyssa and together, we’ve been running our studio ever since. Recently, we changed our name from “Sean Lara Photography” to “Lara Photography” as Lyssa now plays an important role in our success, and we wanted to reflect that in the company name.

Especially over the past two years, our style has quickly transformed and we’ve evolved to match what we love taking photos of. We love capturing bold, vibrant images with an emphasis on environmental portraiture and photojournalism. This transformation can be attributed to our push to try and capture out of the box photos and really focus on refining our off-camera lighting techniques. We’ve gained a lot of inspiration by connecting with like-minded photographers and being inspired by photographers in the MagMod Community on Facebook.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For the most part, it’s been a pretty smooth road, but there are always challenges with any business. One of these challenges is trying to educate a client why photography needs to be one of their biggest priorities on their wedding day, and why they can’t be afraid to invest in hiring a professional that does this full-time.

Lara Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
“Lara Photography” includes myself, Sean, and my wife Lyssa (pronounced “Lisa”). We’re a full-time wedding and portrait photography studio that primarily captures weddings all throughout Colorado and the country. To put it simply, we’re known for our images being different. We use a variety of advanced lighting techniques to get creative with our photographs, try to see things from different perspectives, and we even use infrared cameras to help create beautiful wedding portraits. We incorporate a lot of off-camera flashes which means we can shoot in any situation regardless of how good or bad the natural light is – this flexibility is extremely important to our clients. I’d say as a company, we’re most proud of almost every single one of our clients (and we’ve shot well over 400 weddings!) being extremely happy with the images we’ve given them. Being able to successfully and creatively capture a wedding day from start to finish and seeing a bride and groom ecstatic is incredibly rewarding.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
It’s quite simple for me. If you can wake up every morning being excited to work and passionate about what you do, that is a success to me. I’ll likely never be a millionaire as a wedding photographer but that’s ok because I absolutely love doing what I do.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Vincent Vanderberg – Photo of us on the beach

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