Wow, I never thought I would be where I am today! In the midst of COVID, giving birth to my second daughter, and abruptly leaving my job, I set out on a journey to start my own business. With everything going on, it really challenged me to think about where I am at in life and where I see myself a couple of years from now. I honestly hope I never hear the words “social distancing” ever again when all of this is over!
Artist, Educator, Wife, Mom, Photographer – these are the roles I have inherited over the past 10 years. In high school when everyone knew exactly what they wanted to go to college for, I was scrambling to figure out what in the world I was going to do with my life. And for some reason, everyone seemed to have an idea (or dream) except me. Socially awkward, not so popular, I had a handful of friends and a couple of things I was interested in – horses & art. I’m pretty sure most people thought of me as the “horse girl” and I was proud to assume that role. But when it came time to figure out a real job, I needed to be interested in something else besides riding horses because you couldn’t go to college for that, unless you were really good and into competitive riding. At the last minute, I ended up deciding I would try art, the other thing I was sort of good at. Thus began my journey.
I ended up at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, just 30 minutes from my moms house. She is the hero of my life so staying close to her was important. It was between TCU and The University of Alabama, but I decided staying closer to home for now was best. I thought I was going to end up studying graphic design but I very quickly learned that was not the path for me. Of all the art majors to choose from – Art Education was ideal. I could study art and do what I love but also be able to do something with it. Ideally, I would have loved to just to art, but being an artist is a tough gig and not too profitable unless your career just really takes off! So at TCU I became an artist – I learned painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, art history, and more. My strength at the time was painting and at the end of my TCU journey – I was truly an artist, along with my fellow art educators. We set off to teach others art and share our passions with the world. One thing we all had in common – art was our safe place and we had been inspired by our art teachers to love, share, and create. From Tcu, I became an artist.
Graduating TCU, I immediately jumped into my role as art educator. I officially started teaching middle school art in 2012. I wasn’t afraid of teaching at all, TCU had thoroughly prepared me for my role. My biggest challenge? Looking like I was a new student – yep, I blended right in with MIDDLE SCHOOLERS! It was a huge challenge at first to get the kids to recognize me as an educator, not just a teenager (or at least they thought!). Oddly enough, I was working at my own middle school! I felt like I had come full circle! Teaching art is so rewarding – so when I’m not behind the camera, I’m at school teaching middle schoolers to create and think critically about their work. I am blessed to be called an educator.
In 2014 I moved to Alabama, a dream I always had, and finally married my best friend. We met in the summer of 2009 and through difficult years, we finally found ourselves in the same place together beginning our journey as husband and wife. Now 5 years later, we are still in love and committed to our relationship. One thing I absolutely love about Trevor is that the word divorce is not in his dictionary – not an option. His commitment to a marriage is so wonderful, something that I wanted for my children and now with two daughters, I am glad that he is their father – my husband, and I his wife.
My first year teaching art in Alabama, I gave birth to our daughter Ella. She was not my first pregnancy – like many other women, my first pregnancy was not successful – it was ectopic – where the embryo implants in the fallopian tube. Untreated, it can be life threatening. Luckily we caught it early on and was able to take the necessary procedures to ensure it did not harm myself or future chances of pregnancy. However, by God’s Grace, we were blessed with Ella Grace Elliott on January 7th, 2018. Now at 2 1/2, she is my sassy red headed sweetheart! After Ella, we tried again, but had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I remember that one vividly – we had just completed at walkthrough of our new home that day – it wasn’t the way I wanted to start in our new house. However, just months ago, I gave birth to our second daughter, Everly Rose Elliott. Delivering her during Covid – only Trevor was allowed to be there, a stark contrast to Ella’s birth. But with these two girls, this has probably been my favorite role thus far – a mom to two beautiful little girls!
This year, I felt the passion to become a photographer. During this whole pandemic, being at home with my girls, I truly got the desire to be more creative in a new way. When I was at TCU I was most interested in painting but after picking up my camera again, I really felt an instant connection. I started out with a small session – as soon as I loaded the images to my computer, I was in love. The creative process came to life and I decided right then and there to make it official – I wanted to have my own photography business. So in the midst of Covid, juggling a newborn & toddler, social distancing, and wondering when I would teach again, I decided to start my business! Somewhere between naps and late nights, I’ve built a solid foundation for my business and I have found SO much JOY in this creative endeavor. I am so excited for this new role – Lauren Elliott, a Photographer!