By Tim Ashley
WINONA LAKE – You may have seen Lauren Klusman, with camera in hand, at a wedding looking to capture just the right moment on a day that should be one of the happiest a person will ever experience. She not only is a wedding photographer but also uses her camera extensively as part of her job as marketing and communications manager for the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw.
A 2012 graduate of Warsaw Community High School, the daughter of Roger and Cindy Klusman, Lauren grew up in Winona Lake and was actively involved in 4-H showing pigs and doing general projects for 10 years. She also played volleyball and soccer in high school and was inducted into the National Honor Society.
In 2016, she graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a double major in photography and graphic design.
Originally Klusman had wanted to be a computer programmer, but taking a course in film while in high school proved to be a turning point. “I had to take two art credits to get a honors diploma, so when I was a sophomore I decided to take a film class and I just loved it,” she said.
While still in high school she began taking the senior photos of her friends and thus began the photography passion. Eventually she started her own wedding photography business.
Photography became a way for her to overcome shyness. “It gave me an easy way to meet new people,” Klusman said.
She noted she is willing to go about anywhere to photograph a wedding and only a few weeks ago traveled to South Dakota to do so. “This past weekend (June 13-14) I shot my 99th wedding,” she said.
Those looking for a wedding photographer will often find her work on Instagram and there are also friend referrals too. “I like getting to be with people on the happiest day of their life,” she said, noting most of the weddings she has photographed have been in the Midwest including Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
Klusman began working for the chamber in March 2017. “Every day is different and I meet a lot of new people,” she commented.
Her duties include organizing ribbon cutting ceremonies, meetings and event planning. She also finds ways to promote local businesses and allow them to tell their story. Her photography skills are utilized at ribbon cuttings and also taking photos of new chamber members and photography of anniversaries of current members.
“We tell businesses how the chamber can help them,” she noted.
For an example, there is the To Go Kosciusko Facebook page created in response to COVID-19 with up-to-date information businesses can use as a resource.
Klusman is also involved in the chamber’s ambassador program and works with Young Adult Professionals, an organization showing younger people what Kosciusko County has to offer.
She hasn’t forgotten the impact 4-H made on her life and now serves on the board of directors for the Purdue Extension Office in Kosciusko County. “4-H taught me leadership, responsibility and meeting timelines,” she said.
In her free time, Klusman enjoys spending time with family. She also attends Warsaw Community Church.
She lives in Winona Lake.