Lauren Marek isn’t your stereotypical lifestyle photographer. Her work has an organic sensibility that never feels forced, and her documentation of everyday instances provide a much needed voice within modern photography. With a candid, honest, and decisive eye, Lauren documents her surroundings in her small but spirited hometown of Bellville, Texas. “Living in such a small town has made me appreciate the insignificant things and has conditioned me to be very observant. I end up seeing and doing most of the same things daily, which in turn makes me hyper aware of anything different that sticks out or catches my eye. I love photographing life in Bellville. I know I won’t live in these parts forever, but I will always appreciate the way it taught me to see the world.”
For Lauren, photography allows her to more clearly remember the instances that strike her as noteworthy. “I'm mostly drawn to the in-between moments- right before or after something important or ordinary happens. But generally, I’m really interested in all moments and their direct link to memories. I’ve always been an avid collector of things like shells and movie stubs, but somewhere along the way that obsession with collecting transformed into collecting moments, memories, photographs. I’ve never really had a good memory; so photographs are reminders of who I am, what I see, and where I’m going. I’m a silent observer, always awaiting unfolding moments.”
Read on to learn more about Lauren and her thoughts on portraiture and documentary photography. All of the perceptive images, displayed below, were processed using VSCO Cam and culled from Lauren’s personal VSCO Grid.
Lauren has realized that the validity of a portrait doesn’t lay on the surface, but rather it hinges on sincerity. “Documenting people in an honest and real way is very important to me, not only personally but also as a document of what life is like right now, while I am on this planet. What draws me to portraiture and photographs of people is the constant reminder of how ever-changing and fragile we are. I’m very drawn to the gesture, movement, and action of a subject because it sets forth a narrative that I can document but personally can’t control.”
With a younger brother still in high school, many of Lauren’s images showcase high school athletes and activities occurring in Belville, Texas. “I feel like I have this personal obligation to document that short but memorable part of his life. High school sports are a huge part of small town Texas life, and I'm at just about every one of his sporting events and activities trying to capture that hope and struggle. High school is something most all of us can relate to. It brings back nostalgic memories of a time when things are simpler and emotion filled and nothing else matters. I am endlessly inspired by the passion, desire, and positivity I am surrounded with while documenting these moments, because the enthusiasm of it all carries over into what I do and keeps me energized.”
Due to its ease of use and creative capacity, VSCO Cam is an essential tool in Lauren’s photo arsenal. “I have my phone with me at all times; so it tends to be my go-to camera. With VSCO Cam, I can be anywhere on-the-go and produce something that feels authentic and real. It’s simple and intuitive, yet has so much power in creating exactly what I need for each and every image. Like most people, I have a very specific way I edit images in VSCO Cam. I think I use just about every tool in the toolkit, tweaking everything just right to find that happy balance of light and color. My go-to presets are definitely P5 and M5 because they bring such great mood and tone to the table.”
Recently, we were excited to launch Image and Map Search on VSCO Grid, providing a wonderful way to discover beautiful imagery from all over the world. When searching through specific themes of images created by the VSCO community, it is easy to see that there is a common respect for artistry and that differing perspectives only make our world more magnificent to behold.
No matter what continent you are on, being near the beach gives one the feeling of being on the edge of the world. With the water pressing lightly against the sand or crashing hard against jagged rocks, there is a peace and introspection that comes with being near the water. With telling moments full of joy, exuberance, and relaxation, discover the beach as seen through the eyes of the VSCO community.
Image by cy_dart
Image by Garrett Sullivan
Image by Thea Kinstad Sjoelie
With a population of over seven million people, Hong Kong is known for being one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Its distinctive cityscape juxtaposes old and new, with shiny, mirrored skyscrapers abutting worn, high-rise apartments. Bustling with activity, Hong Kong is truly a dynamic place to live. From the crowded street markets to the temples filled with fragrant incense, Hong Kong is full of life, saturating all senses. Abounding with culture, Hong Kong draws from both its Chinese roots and years of British influence, making it a unique blend of east meets west.
The world is full of interesting places, and discovering them on VSCO Grid is now at your fingertips with Image and Map Search. Whether living in a big city or settling in the countryside, each disparate location makes for intriguing images. View the following images of Hong Kong, photographed by your fellow creatives, and share a part of your world in return.
Image by Stephen Wong
Image by Charles Alegre
Image by Adam Marley
The recent launch of Image and Map Search on VSCO Grid allows for the discovery of beautiful imagery across the globe. From the the coast of California to the colorful streets of Hong Kong, the images created by the VSCO community are nothing short of amazing. We are excited to highlight some of the unique, curated content on VSCO Grid, starting with a city close to home.
Known for its cat-like fog, beautiful harbors and creative culture, San Francisco is a photographer’s dream. Teeming with colorful characters and unique architecture, discover San Francisco as seen through the eyes of the VSCO Community.
Image by Connor McSheffrey
Image by Joanne Encarnacion
Image by Scott LaChapelle
Beautiful images possess the ability to transcend borders, oceans, and cultures. As one views images from the far side of the world, the distance suddenly doesn’t seem so far. Clothing, customs and politics fade away, and we simply become humans united by our love for finding beauty in the ordinary.
To celebrate this worldwide movement of creativity, we are launching the ability to discover incredible photography from around the globe via the Map and Image Search.
Currently, both these features only exists within a web browser, but rest assured, they will be part of the VSCO Cam® app in the near future as well. By carefully curating the results, a high quality and unique experience is ensured.
VSCO Grid is a living, breathing organism that will grow and get better in time. But we need your help. When you share images, tag them or write brief descriptions to enable better discoverability on the platform.
While not all content is curated and displayed in Search results, it enables VSCO curators to better find your images. Additionally, tagging your images allows you to create and share specific sets of images.
Thank you for joining us on this journey.