Carissa Marie Photography//Interview
Tell us a bit about yourself! How would you describe your style? How many years have you been in the photography industry?
Tell us a bit about yourself! (How would you describe your style, how many years have you been in the photography industry, what do you love to photograph, ect.) I started in middle school with my first point and shoot camera. I loved taking pictures, mostly of nature and flowers but I didn’t know it was a job you could actually have. 2015 was when I started turning it professional, I started second shooting for weddings and getting myself out there as much as I could. I would describe my style as warm, fun and intimate. One of my favorite things to photograph is couples; there’s a certain unseen depth with a couple that I like to bring out for them to see through my eyes. I wanna showcase a couples love, emotion and have them leaving our session thinking “that was fun and real!” As for how I edit, I like to keep things true to life, I want it to feel warm and what it looked like but also have that vibrant pop and mood.
What is a practice that you wish you had laid out sooner?
Business side-contracts and deposits! That was a tough lesson to learn. I had a few shoots where I waited for 45 minutes and the couple never showed up! So taking a deposit protects yourself cause at least you get paid for your time if they decide to not pull through. Personal side-Boundaries. Saying no and knowing that it’s okay to say no.
Are there any lessons that you learned from 2018?
You don’t need to be busy all the time to prove that you’re hustling & working hard! I took on way too much this year, and I’m learning that I need to have my family and myself as a priority. Of course, work hard & hustle for the dream because we all know shit doesn’t just fall into your lap but don’t sacrifice yourself just to show that you’re “successful”. Success isn’t the same for everyone and you don’t need to burn yourself out to meet someone else’s standards.
Are you an introvert, extrovert, or both? How do you use that to thrive as a photographer?
Definitely an extrovert! I think it helps in situations to guide more introverted people in sessions. It also helps that I recharge by being around people, so weddings I thrive connecting with so many people. I think that there is value in both, and that you just need to figure out how to use your personality to work within your business.
Tell us a bit about your gear set-up for weddings?
I have a double camera system with the Canon 5D Mark IV & the Canon 5D Mark III. I’ll always have extra memory cards because I don’t ever wanna be without them. I’ve just started using a strobe for receptions because it doesn’t need to take time to recycle like a flash does, and I’ll use it for low-light ceremonies sometimes too. My lens’ are my 50mm, 35mm, and 70-200mm for ceremonies (cause it’s nice to get those close-ups without getting in the way). WATER! and snacks! You gotta remember to take care of yourself!
There are soooo many presets available to purchase. What would you tell a photographer who wants to buy some?
Look at 3 photographers that you love, take away the couple + location, now what do you love about them? Are the pictures Warm? Cool? Moody? De-saturated? Decide what you like about their photos and go from there. Also, don’t waste your money on a million presets. Presets don’t fix bad photos! Make sure you learn your Lightroom or Photoshop first, because 99% of photographers buy presets and then tweak them anyways.
Being a mom and a business owner is essentially having two full-time jobs! What advice or encouragement would you give moms who want to start their own photography business?
You CAN do it. But you need to give yourself some grace. It’s okay to figure out what this new life looks like as photographer and mother. It’s a hard transition to being a mom who works from home! Allow yourself time to figure out what works for you. Just because you’re chasing that dream does not mean you’re not a good mom! And just because you take mornings off to hang with your kids does not mean you’re not a good entrepreneur! You can do this.
How do you set boundaries when it comes to separating work life from home life?
Setting timelines for work! Going into the day with a plan of what you wanna get done. I try to get up and walk around. Most 9-5 jobs get breaks, so you take some too! They also get days off, you take those! If you’re working your ass off till 1 am, you need to relieve some of that stress the next day.
Any tips for parents who work from home with their kids?
I’ll be real with you, it’s hard. Depending on their age, naps are your crunch time. Naps and evenings. It’s not wrong to put on an episode of paw patrol while you answer some emails or send out a gallery, but there are things you don’t want to miss with your kids. It’s a tough balance, but somehow, we do it!
What is your absolute favorite thing about being a photographer?
I love meeting people. I love being able to give images to a couple that is a little piece of their lives as well as a little piece of me! It’s so great to give photos that will be seen by their kids and grandkids and will show who this couple was on their wedding day. It’s great to give them something that they might not have seen themselves; like the way the groom looks at his bride or the smile from his mother giving her baby boy a hug. It’s cliché, but it’s wonderful to give people these memories in picture form and know they will withstand time.