Hi! I’m Lori Seals, and I own and operate Lori A. Seals Photography & Boutique in Monmouth, IL. I’ve been at my current studio location since early 2012—for three years before that, I was located in Cedar Rapids, IA. I have been married for 15 years to the love of my life and have two amazing children, ages 11 and 9. My family and I consider ourselves fortunate to live in our small cozy town in the Midwest because of its unique charm, slow pace, and strong sense of community.
I specialize in photographing family, babies, and children, but I’ve also been lucky enough to photograph high school seniors, maternity sessions, engagements, and professional headshots. Every type of session that I photograph is fun and unique, but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d say I love photographing babies the best. Because I’m a mother myself, I’ve found it easier to connect with the parents on a personal level, and I make sure to schedule a consultation before each session, which always helps to create a more relaxed environment for everyone. Now, the parents and I are comfortable enough during the session to share fun stories of our children, discuss local kid-friendly events, and even swap some recipes. I value the freedom I’m allowed in my baby photography sessions, the trust that the new parents put in me, the on-the-spot creativity that my baby sessions require, and the bonds that I’m able to develop with my clients. Mainly, though, I love photographing babies because there isn’t anything in the world more heartwarming than a baby’s smile!
My college education was in marketing and accounting, not photography, but I’ve been photographing professionally since 2008 and have operated a studio since 2009. I’ve been taking photographs my whole life, though. When I was really young, my parents gave me my first camera—a Kodak Disc 4000 (you know, the one that had the disk negative reel!). I fell in love with it and haven’t been too far from a camera ever since! It wasn’t until after the birth of my second child that I decided to turn away from the corporate life and pursue photography full time. So, I focused my energy on growing my clientele until I was able to quit my job and open my first studio. The rest is history!
Iris has helped my business in so many ways that I can’t imagine how I did it all before on my own. Since opening my current studio, I’ve been fortunate enough to see my business flourish year after year, and with so many new clients, I’ve found myself with less and less time to devote to those smaller studio management tasks. Easy communication between my studio and clients is of the utmost importance to me, and Iris’s ability to create, customize, and automate e-mails gives me a sense of relief that my clients will always be taken care of.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of being a photographer is not knowing for sure what the industry will look like a few years down the road. Photography is constantly evolving, and I find it gratifying to keep up with the new trends and inventions that come along every year or two to help make photography such a beautiful, one-of-a-kind art form. I’m looking forward to many more years as a photographer in my town, and I can’t wait until the day when some of the babies that I’ve photographed come back to my studio with babies of their own and want me to take their photos.
Fun facts about myself:
-I grew up on a farm in North Dakota and milked cows every day until I was 12.
-Over the years, I’ve also lived in California, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois (Illinois is my favorite!).
-My father was a high school and elementary school music teacher who liked to use me as his guinea pig, so I can play 7 musical instruments.
Be sure to check out more of Lori’s work!
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