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MEET THE ARTIST
LEA AUSTEN
PHOTOGRAPHER, YOGI, BLOGGER, MOTHER, WIFE & FRIEND.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN
A DAY I CAN CALL WHAT I DO A JOB.
PHOTOGRAPHING PROFESSIONALLY FOR TWO DECADES NOW

I’m Lea Austen, I specialize in family portraits, senior sessions and intimate wedding ceremonies. I’ve been photographing professionally for two decades now, from Charleston, Kiawah and Seabook islands, to Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and overseas. My approach is calm and down to earth. I like to use humor to put my clients at ease and make each session a fun and natural experience. Think of me as of a friend with a camera, no fake smiles or awkward posing. Just you and your loved ones spending time together, sharing stories, laughing and being fully present in the moment.
I am an artist at heart. A real creative. I have lived and loved and worked in the arts most of my life. There was a short time where I taught elementary school which was loads of fun and certainly helped me as a photographer! My passion is to see my photography on your walls. Working together to create and plan a photography experience to capture a moment in time with you and your family. Your family is your most precious, most profound work of art. That is what I want to see in your home. Cute baby smiles and little toes and fingers, the silly faces those kiddos make and the challenge of making those awkward teen years something special. And for those special senior sessions and milestone birthdays, creating treasured art they can carry with them into adulthood.
My dad was our photographer. He took pictures all the time and we loved getting the package and sitting down to look at the photos he took. Then my mother would put them into photo albums. We had well over 100 books before I left for college on a special bookcase in our den. My brother, sisters and I would love to pull them off the shelves and look at them together and even alone. They brought so much joy.
My mother would also frame them and I didn't realize until much later in my life what those framed prints meant to me and the love I felt.
In this age of digital prints where you enjoy them on the computer (if you remember to look at them) or a few prints or a USB in your desk drawer, that feeling is lost to this new generation. I am on a mission to get that back!
I can't wait to meet you, to plan with you and to create beautiful art together.

FRIENDS AND CLIENTS TELL ME
MY LOVE FOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
AND PEOPLE
shows in my work , and in the way my clients enjoy their time when we’re working together.

My photography style is candid, photojournalistic, yet intentional. I think my background in acting, education and teaching yoga has made me more mindful towards the little details. It’s the secret winks, the silly smiles and stolen kisses, that often go unnoticed, yet carry so much value and meaning. I’ll be sure to surprise you with some lovely shots of those moments when we get together to view your photographs. Then we work to create beautiful memories to display on your walls.

ALL RELATIONSHIPS ARE BUILT ON TRUST,
YOU'RE PROBABLY CURIOUS TO LEARN
A FEW THINGS
ABOUT ME
HERE ARE JUST A FEW:
  • I am married to a wonderful man, we have 4 great children between us, 3 rescue dogs and 1 rescue cat
  • I’m a yoga instructor and occasionally offer yoga sessions to my brides before their big day. If you want this too, let me know!
  • I have clients whose families I’ve been photographing for 16 years now. It’s such a honor to watch their sweet families grow.
  • I used to live in NYC before Charleston, naturally I’m a big foodie and party gal.
  • I love to travel and explore the world with my husband, I also take destination work. So if you’re based outside of South Carolina, we can still make it happen. 
  • I used to work as an actress and model before photography. I do understand how weird or awkward some of us may feel in front of a camera sometimes, that’s why I always come in with a couple of jokes and icebreakers to help you relax and loosen up. 
TESTIMONIALS
Lea has photographed our family for the last 8 years.

We were so impressed with her work – we flew her and her assistant to Austin, Texas to photograph our wedding. She did a phenomenal job. Last summer, we were back at Isle of Palms for a family gathering. She took the most amazingly pictures of my 6 month old baby and our family. We did not know this would be our last beach trip with Papaw. If I can say anything about Lea – she is a great photographer and you will feel as though she is family after your session.

— Katherine R Fullam
All I can say is that the pictures she took were priceless.

My husband and I had the privilege of hiring Lea to be our wedding photographer in July of 2014. She was the first person that took a genuine interest in us. She was extremely professional and knew exactly what to do and when to take pictures. All I can say is that the pictures she took were priceless. I can honestly say that there were no bad pictures which made choosing the ones we wanted that much harder. By the time our wedding was over, she had captured memories that will last a life time.

— Mr and Mrs Amy
I don't if words can truly describe how wonderfully Lea captured our day.

From the moment I saw her photos online, I just knew she had to be ours and our search for a photographer ended there. From the bridal session to cutting the cake, we loved every minute we spent with Lea. She made me feel like the model I longed to be as a little girl and captured our personalities in every photo, while putting us completely at ease. My only regret is not being able to to do \"get to know you\" pictures with Lea. My husband and I swear we are going to get some family photos with us and our dogs the next time we are in Charlseton.

— Kathryn Conway
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