You may recognize her work from The Smithsonian Magazine with her much publicized and compelling “Portrait of a Gorilla,” previously on display at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art. But Lauren Chambers’ trajectory to becoming a professional photographer was not traditional or honed in the confines of a classroom; it was shaped by her natural curiosity as an observer and refined by a true connection to people and to animals.
Lauren spent the beginning of her career as a successful executive in the corporate world. She worked for The Wendy’s Company team that managed the highly publicized merger with Arby’s, and then later their separation. Back then, snapping a few photos to decompress after work was a way to shake off the corporate hustle and escape into her “shutter and click.” Unwilling to relocate with Wendy's, Lauren decided to make her photography passion her business. She was inspired by her husband, internationally renowned sculptor, Kevin Chambers, whose work is showcased in The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and in private collections all over the world. Together, they would partner on projects, bringing form and figure to life with a camera and clay. In 2015, they opened KLC Studios, Inc., a midtown Atlanta atelier style studio specializing in bronze sculpture, fine art instruction, and photography services.
But a 2018 trip to Costa Rica where she spent 3 weeks tracking Howler Monkeys was life changing. There was a moment when she realized she was truly, intuitively, communicating with them. It would reveal her great love for wildlife photography and change the course of her corporate career forever.
“My process doesn’t start by taking a photo of the animal, it starts with a conversation I have with them before ever picking up my camera. The photograph is the resulting documentation of that conversation.”
Today, Lauren has built a photography business that still leans into her corporate roots, with interiors for designers and marketing firms. But her undeniable connection to animals and their conversations with her are now not only documented in her “Obsolescence” series, it has informed a greater goal, conservation.
“Now my mission is to also educate the public on the importance of zoos and their critical role in conservation. This shift has blossomed into partnerships with zoos all over the country and my participation in conservation efforts all over the world. My love for all animals runs very deep, and their welfare is a constant weight I carry.”