Lauren Adams is an award-winning director of photography, producer and editor. She’s worked with Stephen Curry, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, and has created hundreds of hours of global content for social media, network series, features, teasers and show openers.

This post was written by Adobe Communications Team and originally appeared on Adobe blog on Mar. 16, 2023.

But none of her success came easy — or immediately. The learning curve was steep, and struggles were constant. But she learned early on that the key to success is grit and hard work.

For Adams’ entire life, she’s never shied away from showing up. Raised in Philadelphia with blue-collar roots, she’d constantly remind herself that when you show up, put in the work and work hard for people, opportunities develop.

“I knew I wasn’t the smartest person in the room, but I was damn sure the person putting in the work, refusing to stop. It never came easy for me, there was never this ‘aha moment’ where it just clicked. I wasn’t the most talented. But I loved it — and I’d stay and learn and help until I got it right. That was the differentiator I had going for me,” Adams said. “I’d found my passion — and my purpose.”

“Whatever they asked, I did more. You can’t teach work ethic. And opportunities opened up to me because I showed what I was capable of.”

Adobe Changemakers

At Adobe we believe that creativity is more than just good for business — it can help transform lives, lift up communities, and make our planet healthier. When we saw Adams’ work, we spotted an opportunity to partner and tell engaging and untold stories about Adobe creators by an Adobe creator.

To celebrate the passions and purpose driven work of changemakers and the everyday heroes of the Creator Economy, we’re shining a light on some of these Adobe Changemakers in a new video series produced by Adams. But first, in her own words, meet the creator behind the camera and learn how she got started, her influences, the tools she can’t live without and her best advice for the next generation of creators.

It took a village, of strong women


Growing up in a community where there is a lot of temptation to do the “wrong thing”, my mom made it a point to keep me engaged with everything. I’d teeter on the edge, but you don’t want to incur the wrath of a strong woman like my mother.

Aside from my mom, my grandmom was my wonder woman, and WNBA stars Dawn Staley and Theresa Witherspoon were my superheroes. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what version of Lauren I wanted to be. This is not a, “I picked up a camcorder when I was 2 years old and hit record”, type of path. I wanted to play in the WNBA — basketball was my life, and I loved sports.

But then the basketball thing didn’t pan out. Turns out you need talent. I turned my attention to movies. I would watch the same movies every day. It was an obsession. My mom took my interests seriously and my family nurtured my passion. My grandmom got me my first camera, and mom got me a MacBook. My aunts funded other cameras.

“I truly had a village that was going to make sure I didn’t lack. My family doesn’t come from money, so these truly were sacrifices.”

Entering the real world, at a senior living facility

I’m the first one in my family to graduate from college — and I’m so proud of that. 2008 was the height of the recession, and when I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism — eager and bright-eyed looking for work.

I took said degree, and I went straight to a Senior Living Center to work with senior citizens. In my opinion, this should be a life requirement.

I realized how time and presence worked while I was there — when you give someone your time, that matters. It shows you care. We came from different backgrounds and different generations yet we’re blending in. We’re sharing stories.

I still call them my people.

Valuable advice I’ll never forget

I was able to find mentorship with a colleague and he not only championed me when I needed it, but also corrected me when he expected better. He helped to build my confidence, and with that came more trust, responsibility, and ultimately opportunity.

I was raised by a village of strong women, but in this industry, I had the opportunity to also learn a lot from men. I showed them who I was. I was gritty — they could talk to me. They didn’t sugarcoat anything, which I appreciated. I could take it.

I make cool things for very cool people, but that’s just part of me

Stepping into my world, I hope you get to see how much of a human being I am. I have flaws and I’m not afraid of them, I learn from them and I get better each day. I have fun everywhere I go — it’s critical, because without it, people I film wouldn’t feel the safe space needed to share their stories.

“I can tell stories from all walks of life and someone, somewhere can get joy from it. I’m in a position to serve others and possibly make an impact in someone’s life, whether it’s for a minute or an hour.”

The keys to my success

  • Don’t let anyone or any situation make you dim your light, your ambitions, your dreams and your inspirations.
  • If it sounds challenging, do it. Don’t back away from it, go through it.
  • You will fail at some things, but it will make you better and fearless. Feel it.
  • Adversity is inevitable. Not everyone will like you. That’s good.
  • Never claim to know everything. Check your ego. Your proof will be in your work - it speaks for itself.

Creating Impact with Adobe

The Adobe project is a dream come true for me. It’s happening at a time where I really wanted to start seeing who was out there making a difference and just doing it. Sharing stories about other creators and learning from them goes hand in hand with the calling I feel was put on my life. I’m exploring multiple worlds and showcasing a common goal through all of them — to be impactful in the world — communities — families and in themselves.

I’m no stranger to the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications either. I use Adobe Premiere Pro because of its efficiency and ease of use and Adobe After Effects to work within graphics. Media Encoder is also critical to me because I can send clients footage in an organized and pulled together way that keeps them happy with the process.

Media_1746713c6cb4d35b4b14a339e46095fc0cf6344e6Screen shot of Adams working in Adobe Creative Cloud

"Adobe Lightroom makes you feel like Picasso with photos. I draw so much inspiration from it — and it pushes me to take risks in my work. I love the finishing touches it provides a photo and I’m able to take video footage stills directly into Lightroom. Clients are blown away at the results."

Throughout this Adobe Changemakers social series, I’m thrilled to highlight four everyday creators who are boldly using their creativity and different methods of technology to impact change. I have the privilege to follow these creators as they advocate for solutions in sustainability, mental health, racial equity and inclusion, and self-expression. There are sure to be moments of difficult conversations — overcoming harsh realities — trials and triumphs — and awe-inspiring achievements. While each video focuses on one featured creator, it also highlights the bigger movement other creators are helping to represent, and the role Adobe plays in their creative process and mission.

I hope these videos inspire people to see themselves in each of the individuals we profile. We all have the ability to create change. I want to be a part of effective storytelling and I believe it’s time we start becoming obsessed with good news.

Learn more about the Adobe Changemakers series as we highlight:

  • Tara Pixley, a Visual Journalist and Social Impact Consultant and the sustainability work she champions.
  • Ayushi Chhabra and Showbiz India and the impactful content the show is producing that advocates for mental health in South Asian communities.

This post was written by Adobe Communications Team and originally appeared on Adobe blog on Mar. 16, 2023.