If you follow me regularly, you may have noticed that slight 11-month long break I took from photographing weddings. You may also have noticed sporadic portrait sessions, and a general lack of wedding photographs altogether! I know, I know. It makes me cringe to say, as much as I’ve been aching to dedicate 100% of my time toward growing my wedding photography business, it hasn’t happened.

Don’t get me wrong. I still scour bridal mags religiously and stay up late swooning over the latest styled shoots on wedding blogs. I still fantasize about living in a cute little cottage with off-white walls and lots of natural light in my office, a succulent or two and my cat sleeping on my bed as I edit away on last weekend’s wedding.

That’s been the dream.

The reality is that I spent a year sleeping on floors and in hostels while traveling from country to country. When I came back to the U.S. I spent a few months living back at home (thanks Mom). I’m now temporarily living across the country in Georgia, and in another couple of months I’ll be heading across the world again! Needless to say, I haven’t exactly been around much to book weddings and styled shoots back-to-back.

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Let me explain: I went on my first-ever missions trip that took me to 11 different countries in 11 months. We literally travelled around the world, setting out west and coming home from the east, from Central America to Asia to Africa. To say it was life-changing would be an understatement. I traded sleeping with my down comforter in my cozy bed and getting coffee with friends–to waking up on a school floors and spending the day with beautiful dirt-caked orphans and people who are changing the world with Love.

I took thousands of photographs and thousands more in my mind. Moments became images and images became memories. I developed a passion for documenting strangers that would become friends through the process of photographing them. I practiced a photojournalistic approach toward my work, and have loved the way that my lens has allowed me to experience life through the camera. I see all life unfold in photographs.

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While these images are a stark contrast toward weddings and engagements in the States, they share the same passion that I have toward everything I click my shutter toward. I love documenting dusky weddings in summery air as I witness my client’s happiest days of their lives. And I love documenting wide-eyed, barefoot children living on the mountainsides of Nepal whose smiles melt my heart. Point is: I Love documenting Love.

 

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I have two big dreams. The first is to support myself through my wedding photography business and be able to do what I love every day, being a part of the wedding industry and documenting love. The second is to use my photography to document the lives of those who are often overlooked, and to share their beauty and stories with the world. In doing so, I want to raise awareness and support for their specific needs.

Who says I can’t do both?

Drumroll please… I’ve decided to add a new element to Carly Jean Photography, and I’m calling it Lenses and Love. It’s a place to share other people’s stories from my travels and something I hope to grow to a ministry that aids those in need. Right now, it’s only beginning, as I piece together different stories and memories I have from my most recent trip. The more I travel, the more I’m going to share with you.

Check out Lenses & Love and stay up to date with Carly Jean Photography via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for the latest news (and my latest travels!) Thank you for everyone who has supported both my business and my missions work. It has literally meant the world to me <3

 

www.lensesandlove.com

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Meghan and I chased the sun on a Monday evening, per her request of shooting during the golden hour:) It’s also my favorite (and in my opinion, the best) time for photographing, a short window of time during each day that creates an almost magical look. We took some time walking around the property where I’m staying in Georgia, which happens to sit right in a beautiful crater of earth surrounded by trees and the a lake. I’m so glad I got the chance to photograph this gorgeous girl while here!

 

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Summer

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Angelic Magazine has quickly become one of my most recent obsessions.  Not only is the faith-based mag filled with swoon-worthy fashion images, they also feature talented musicians, inspiring stories and testimonies—all for the glory of God. When they asked me to be a part of their Spring issue, I was ecstatic (there may have been jumping and shouting involved). Not only was I asked to shoot a fashion spread, but also to share my testimony, such an incredible honor!

On the day of the shoot, we went to Sutro Baths at Land’s End Park in San Francisco. It was a perfect backdrop for the loose, bohemian vibe that reflects the beautiful West Coast. I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who helped me out with this shoot, especially the creative team! Thank you so much Angelic Magazine for blessing me with this amazing opportunity & feature!

Models: Annie Herrington |  Kelsey Clark  | Bethany Cloherty
MUA/Hair Stylist:  Tiffany Shinoda
Stylist:  Katie Kallick
Special Thanks:  Shea Wigton  |  Gia Young  |  Leah Yamshon

 

See me in Angelic Magazine’s March Issue HERE

Below are images featured plus some more of my favorites from the day!

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 Behind the Scenes

First in front of the camera was Bethany! She has natural, raw talent & is such a joy to work with.

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Getting ready at the apartment in Haight Ashbury. Model Kelsey is also a Hair Stylist so she pitched in her style skills!

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Our Amazing Stylist Katie with Talented Hair/MUA Tiffany working their magic on Annie.

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Kelsey was the last one up–she was such a trooper! This girl can work the camera.

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Shooting at a location that is also a tourist attraction means working around the chaos and crowds:)  A couple times we had tourists taking photos of us shooting and crowding around us to watch!

21Laughs between  shots:) I was lucky enough to find models who were already friends

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Visit Angelic Magazine: Jesus. Music. Fashion. 

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Ellen & Ted are pretty much the definitions of picture perfect couple. Not only do they both look like they walked out of a magazine, but they are madly in love and naturally adorable together in front of the camera (making my job easy)! As we were in the planning stages of their engagement session, we tossed ideas around for props like bicycles, tents, a camping theme, etc. In the end though, they decided to instead keep it simple, allowing this incredibly beautiful location to speak for itself. When we arrived I couldn’t believe how stunning the natural elements were, it was seriously a photographer’s dream! Ellen & Ted are both the outdoorsy type, so the location suited them perfectly. Their session was full of laughter & love, as the redwoods stood tall above them.

“Ted and I love hiking and are super passionate about the outdoors, so when we stumbled across this amazing Redwood grove while hiking one day, we knew we had to incorporate it into our engagement photos! My stepdad has always referred to me as his “little hippie girl” and I love bohemian styles, so I wanted to incorporate a fringed style sweater and different textures into our outfits but still keep things fresh and modern.”— Ellen

 

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