Specializing in Faith & Religion
Columbus, Ohio, USA

Portrait by Michael Bou-Nacklie

Lauren Pond is a documentary photographer who specializes in faith and religion. In addition to photographing formal rituals, she uses her camera to explore the intersection of belief and culture. She often takes an immersive approach in her work, allowing her to experience daily life in religious communities and portray them in a deeply nuanced manner. Lauren sees photography not just as a form of documentation, but as an opportunity for dialogue: a way to engage with others, to learn from them, and to form deeper understanding. Candid yet reflecting her deep personal engagement with her subjects, Lauren’s work combines photojournalism, ethnography, and artistic practice.

Lauren frequently collaborates with scholars and currently works as the multimedia producer for the American Religious Sounds Project, a collaborative research initiative led by The Ohio State University and Michigan State University. She was recently named the inaugural artist fellow of Saint Louis University’s Lived Religion in the Digital Age initiative. In 2017, she received the prestigious Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for her project Test of Faith, which was published that autumn by Duke University Press.

Lauren’s photographs have appeared in publications including The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal, and have been recognized by the Magnum/Inge Morath Foundations, the Lucie Foundation, FotoVisura, PDN, College Photographer of the Year, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, among others. She has spoken about her work at universities and conferences across the country and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Lauren received dual Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and art from Northwestern University in 2009 and a Master’s degree in photojournalism from Ohio University in 2014. She is available for assignments and collaborations around the globe.

Lauren also believes in the importance of empowering communities to tell their own stories. She is the manager of the Fresh A.I.R. Gallery in downtown Columbus, which exhibits the work of artists who have been affected by mental illness and substance use disorders. During her free time, you can usually find Lauren swimming, playing with her Senegal parrot, or exploring the outdoors, where she uses her camera to capture the uncanny, mysterious, and sometimes spiritual facets of the natural world.

 Download Lauren's CV (351.62 KB)

Clients & Collaborators

  • AARP
  • Associated Press
  • Binghamton University
  • The Charlotte Observer
  • Duke University
  • Embassy of Iceland
  • The Humane Society
  • Michigan State University
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • Pearson Education
  • Religion News Service
  • Rodale
  • Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
  • The University of Chicago
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • West Virginia University
  • Yale University