Lauren Stratman develops unique photography studio in Mill Spring Ag Center

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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Lauren Stratman has built a successful two-fold business as a photographer specializing in weddings and elopements while renting her studio space, the Mill Studio, to other local photographers. She is the owner and founder of Stratman Imagery, located in the Mill Spring Agricultural Center. 

Stratman first picked up a camera at age 11, inspired by a relative’s photos of a mission trip overseas and the strong images and emotions conveyed in the pictures. After high school, she started Stratman Imagery, eventually becoming a full-time photographer in 2019. She then opened the Mill Studio in the Ag Center at 156 School Road in 2021 as an addition to her growing business. 

“It’s been two strong years in the Agricultural Center so far, with plans of expansion to a larger space within the building,” says Stratman. “It’s a really neat space, and everyone who comes in is in awe over the character of the building.” 

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Stratman mainly focuses on photographing couples for weddings, elopements and couples sessions. She also dedicates a lot of time to portraits, branding, and family portraits. 

“I think love is a beautiful thing and deserves to be photographed in every stage,” Stratman adds. “The studio has really helped me to broaden what I offer, so lately, I’ve been enjoying a lot of branding sessions for local small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Studio photography has been making a comeback over the last few years thanks to numerous trends. The modern trend includes different poses that can range from silly and spontaneous while keeping the aesthetic of classic studio portraiture. From a business perspective, shooting in a studio allows for scale and enables photographers to work more with families. Shooting in a studio also looks different and helps the photos stand out more on social media and in the home.

Stratman used to rent a studio in Greenville, S.C., when needed and realized there was a lack of studio spaces in the area. With more photographers interested in studio photography, she worked to create the Mill Studio, a welcoming and versatile space for people to use and one they wouldn’t have to drive an hour to find. 

“Every person lives and leads such different lives. It’s always an honor to get just a glimpse into the bigger picture and be invited into these lives to document small portions of it,” she says, describing her love of photography. “What I enjoy most is the sacred aspect of capturing someone’s story and legacy and being trusted to document it truthfully and with care. At some points in life, all we have are photographs, which make them so so special.”

For anyone interested in being photographed by Stratman, visit For those interested in renting or booking the studio, visit