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Daily Inspiration: Meet Laramie Renae

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laramie Renae. 

Hi Laramie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
Originally from California, I grew up on the West Coast before spending a few years in the Chicago area in the hopes of being a professional ballet dancer. It’s too long of a story to explain how moved to Memphis to study music. But I did.

I began writing music of my own in 2012 and by 2013 had a 5-piece band, Laramie, that played frequently around the city up until COVID. We did a little bit of weekend touring, playing in Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, and Dallas. In Memphis, the Hi-Tone was a spot that felt like home for a long time, and we loved our time playing at The Blue Monkey, New Daisy, Lafayette’s, and the Hard Rock.

So many gigs and venues that hold really great memories. No musician life comes without a day job, and I was working as a receptionist at a salon when I picked up photography. I’d been familiar with video, because of the band, but hadn’t done anything regarding photos. I had spent a lot of time on the other side of the camera, so I definitely understand how daunting and awkward it can feel being photographed!

In the spring of 2019, I began taking small photography jobs and learning what I could, as quickly as I could. My day job came to an abrupt end in May 2019, so I dove headfirst into photography, and was semi-full time by the fall, shooting my first wedding (in Connecticut, I thought I was going to die) that October. And so, if you’re wondering if 2020 was my first year of professional photography… you are right.

First-year doing weddings, my first-year frequenting Lens Rentals (shoutout, they’re the best), and my first time navigating what is the wedding photography industry while the world was shut down. Fast forward to 2022 and I am full-time and loving it, with over 100 portrait sessions and over 60 weddings/elopements under my belt. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been smooth. Normally wedding photographers have spent time second shooting, associate shooting, training under another professional… I didn’t have that opportunity.

I think when it came to paying bills, supporting my family, and just making it through, I learned what I had to get started. It is kind of a life theme of mine, somehow being forced to be “self-made”, which isn’t bad!

I didn’t have the chance to figure out what I liked, or how I wanted to shape this career, because I had to make money. Now that I’ve been in it a little bit, I’ve been able to find my niche and really hone in on the aspects of photography that I really love. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a documentarian at heart. When it comes to any kind of photography, I much prefer candid and organic moments to anything else.

I feel that a photo captured when someone is just being themselves is always a much better memory than had I arranged them in a certain way. Culture is something that really fascinates me and I like to say that I specialize in “Candid’s and Culture”, because I just love capturing people as they are.

I’ve been honored to the second shoot for a lot of Indian and Pakistani weddings, as well as do photojournalism work for social justice and it just fills me up. There are so many beautiful people in the world. Sameness makes me feel claustrophobic and stagnant. 

I’m honestly just proud I’ve made it this far! But I take so much pride in the trust my clients are willing to hand me, and the really intimate and unique moments I’ve been able to capture. I am on the advocate team for Pervis Payne, and I somehow found myself in the press box at the hearing for his removal from Death Row.

To capture his emotions, the near freedom of my friend, and the relief felt by those around him was really incredible. My husband and I are also normally in Kenya during part of August but haven’t been able to go back due to the pandemic. Travel and (for lack of a better term), mission work is really important to me. I want to see the world and do life with all the different people in it. 

There are a lot of really amazing photographers in Memphis. This city is unbelievably creative, so I’m not sure that I would be the only one with any certain quality.

But I come as I am, I will (and have) advocate for anyone at their wedding or during their session, I’m for the underdog, and I capture moments that you may not even know were happening. I’m also still an artist and creative, so I absolutely love it when clients come to me with ideas formulated and we get creative together. The use of florals, props, themes… it’s art. I’m here for it.

Portraits, elopement photos, formals… they don’t need to look like everyone else’s. 

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
This is hard– I am an empath and am constantly searching for authenticity. I feel moved to meet people where they are at, and not compromise a moment for the sake of making it perfect.

I would much rather give you a replay of your day than give you a collection of poses that 9 million other people have on their walls. 


  • Portrait Pricing begins at $500
  • Elopement Pricing begins at $1400
  • Non-Profit & Social Justice is priced on inquiry

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Laramie Renae

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