Feature Business – Lavina Wagner Photography


For those who live in the Eston area, it comes as no surprise that we are a community of artists. It only takes a walk down the school hallway, or a visit to the museum, to experience a taste of the talent that grows in our community. For the month of April, Economic Development is proud to feature a business that has taken a love of art and turned it into a thriving career – Lavina Wagner Photography.

Owner/operator Lavina Wagner spent an evening explaining what it is that her business does, and how this business came to be.  Wagner explained to us that her photography business started as a hobby. She was always the one behind the camera, the go to person to capture photos of events for family, friends and church. This was something that came naturally, and she got a lot of joy from it. The more pictures that Lavina took, the more people started to take notice of her natural talent. After some encouragement from friends and family, she was inspired to take her love of photography to the streets and started her business. Word of mouth from loved ones got her first clients, and the rest as they say – is history.

Catching everyday moments is not only the slogan for Lavina Wagner Photography, but also what Lavina does best. Most of her portfolio is made up of family shots, complemented by a natural, outdoor background. She likened capturing a photo of a family to telling their story. The natural moments, the secret chuckle together, a glance between spouses, Wagner is always thinking beyond the standard pose to capture the feeling that the subject brings to the session.

Beyond the creative, there is certainly a technical aspect to photography. Maintaining technology is expensive, and Wagner estimates that each shot of the camera depreciates the equipment by $2. Lighting, editing equipment, lenses and of course investing in the latest technical training are all ways that Lavina has re-invested in her business. By using her computer, she is able to attend webinars that share up to date techniques with photographers from around the world. Looking through her portfolio it is clear the work that has been done to perfect technique over the years.

Lavina Wagner Photography operates mostly online, and doesn’t have a bricks and mortar presence. By using social media as an advertising tool, Wagner is able to connect with a wide range of potential clients ranging from the immediate Eston area to neighboring provinces. For a photography business, this is a huge benefit and something that can travel with the artist throughout her career. A key element to standing out in the busy world of online photographers is to create a brand. Lavina is consistently refining her personal brand. This strong sense of self allows her to match with clients looking for her specific style of photography. Her website allows her to show her real time work, and keeps her relevant in the field.

The online aspect of her business is not the only thing that differs Lavina Wagner Photography from previous feature businesses; Wagner is also not originally from the Eston area. Born in Zimbabwe, and raised in a large city, she expressed what a joy it is to belong to a small community. Raising her three children in Eston has been a great experience, and she is well supported by the community that she calls home.

Throughout our interview it was clear that the only thing that Wagner appreciates more than the artistry of her craft is the connection she gets to make with her clients. Her eyes shone with pride when she spoke of the families who have consistently brought her back to capture the important moments in their lives – engagement, wedding and baby shots. She takes her responsibility to beautifully capture these moments so seriously – it is no wonder that Lavina Wagner Photography has found such success in Eston!