The Broad

Sweating it up in Hoi An, Vietnam

I was given my first really nice camera by my parents while I was in high school and spent lots of afternoons taking pictures while walking the dog in the woods.  Photography fell to the side in college, though, since I was taking classes in pretty much every other subject except the arts.  For the next few years my time was taken up by my teaching career and it wasn’t until I started teaching history at a school in Singapore that my new, exotic surroundings made me want to record everything!

My Christmas present to myself that year was a Nikon D90; I have traveled with it to more than a dozen countries so far and I plan to carry it along to dozens more.  My trips around Southeast Asia reignited my passion for photography and curiosity about the different cultures, religions, and environments around the world.  It’s that passion and curiosity that has brought me to my current home in the United Arab Emirates and has me traveling the Middle East.  Deep down I will always be a teacher, so I hope that my experiences and pictures will allow me to teach others about different cultures and inspire them to do what they’re passionate about, as well.

Songkran (Thai New Year), Phuket, Thailand

As for my style, mainly I focus on capturing moments in the world around me, although I enjoy portraiture and shoots out in nature, as well.  Finding the time to create new material has been difficult lately since I’m still a full-time teacher and have part-time work, as well, but it’s all about saving money to hit the road again as soon as possible to give my camera more exercise.

The Basic Bio:
Born in Flint, Michigan and raised outside Grand Rapids.  Attended University of Michigan as a history major/biology minor then earned my teaching certificate in history and science at Eastern Michigan.  Taught science in Chicago and Michigan (at my old high school, no less), and for Johns Hopkins Univ’s Center for Talented Youth before moving to Singapore to teach humanities.  Currently, I’m head of the science department at a school in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  My other activities have included volunteering at the Humane Society, taking spin and yoga classes, running marathons and obstacle races, playing volleyball and dodgeball, reading, and enjoying local beers and vegetarian food.

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4 responses to “The Broad

  1. lcmonty

    HI Monty,

    Enjoyed reading all about your life so far! Where’s your next destination?

    BEM

  2. lcmonty

    I’m looking forward to seeing snow for the first time in a while so Northern Michigan will be my next big photo shoot, I think, followed by a short trip to the Caribbean. My next big trip, though, will involve some time in the Philippines before moving to Australia as soon as I can scrape the money together on my bare-bones budget!

  3. Kevin Whitsell

    Lauren,

    Your old English teacher, Mr. Whitsell, here. Did you get a job recently teaching at East Kentwood HS (your old high school?), like your bio says here?

    I love the contrasts you catch in your photos. It is great to be able to see your perspective here. I remember you as a thoughtful and intelligent young lady–looks like you are one that followed her dreams some. That’s awesome!

    • lcmonty

      Hi Mr. Whitsell! I am definitely teaching at EK, in the west wing in one of the e2020 labs! I’ll keep an eye out for you around school, although now that I think about it I’ve probably passed you in the halls or at meetings and not even realized it since it’s such a big place! I’m sorry I didn’t reply to you sooner, but I was just leaving GR for the summer to do a road trip and teach in Los Angeles for several weeks. But I’m back and am trying to get back into the regular swing of things. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoy the photos–I love hearing about the feelings and reactions they inspire in people, and ‘contrasts’ is definitely a theme that seemed to keep coming out in my pictures! And of course I appreciate the kind words; I had great teachers and classes at EK and I like to think they shaped me to be the teacher and photographer I am today. 🙂 I’ll try to catch you in the halls, and meanwhile, if you have the time, check the website again in a week or so to see the pictures I’ve been taking since I got home!

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