Filtering by Category: The Biz

the open-hearted//all call//the biz

After spending a good amount of time with the girls from the Wild and Free Collective and going through a miniature Making Things Happen workshop at the Pursuit 31 Conference, I've recently begun to think a lot about what I want my photography, my business and my voice to stand for. It's often hard to let the things we know we don't stand for overtake what we know we do stand for. And I want those things that I do stand for to be the face of my business and my photography.

So I'm taking the steps to make that happen-to stop letting in the things I don't stand for and opening the floodgates to what I do stand for

What I'm not standing for:

Isolated couples//Lengthy shot lists//Not-caring-about-photography-couples//Apathetic grooms//Inflexible schedulers//Shyness in front of the camera//Cheese-ing in front of the camera//Price talker-downers//Traditions without meaning//Staring at the camera awkwardly

What I am standing for:

Fun-little-detail-lovers//Involved community//Marriage fans//Couples that push through trials//Head-over-heels lovers//Adventurers//Long-winded storytellers//Social media utilizers//Putting purpose into a wedding//Photography valuers//People in it for the long haul//Emotion-feelers//Stereotype and norm breakers

Now don't get me wrong-I don't want my couples and their weddings to be cookie-cutter, perfectly publishable, with thousands of dollars of details. That's not it.

Overall: I'm for couples who care. Couples who love deeply, through triumph and trial. Couples who are excited to break the wedding norm to do what is THEM. Couples who aren't afraid to break down their walls for me in front of my camera and tell me their story with a vulnerable spirit.

So let's make that happen. If you think you fit what I just described, I want to photograph you and give you the edited, digital hi-resolution files for free. If you're willing to break down your walls in front of my camera, tell me your story and be vulnerable, I want you. You must be engaged or married and the session must take place in the greater Charleston area in the month of December/January according to my availability. If I've photographed you before-you still apply.

To be considered, please email me ( with a photo of you and your love, a bit about your hobbies/passions, where you would be interested in shooting at and your story; I want to hear how love has won and why you think I'd love to photograph you. Finally, please comment below so I know to expect your email (boo for important emails going to spam!). I'll be accepting couples through November 10 and will contact the winner soon after.

I can't wait!

update//the biz

Since getting back from my west coast trip, life has been on fast forward...for weeks. Nonstop editing, emailing and shooting. I still have two weddings and three shoots before the month is out (!!!) so in the meantime, I thought I'd share a bit of what I've been working on since May-weddings, engagements, friends and all. More to come soon!



The beginnings//FAQ//the biz

I'm often asked by aspiring photographers how they can break into the industry, how they can become better at shooting, how to avoid so-and-so situation, etc. I figure I'd answer some of the most common questions I receive for all to see. To preface, I am not saying I know all the answers and that my way is better than another but it's simply my opinion on what has and hasn't worked! In addition, keep in mind that I'm speaking about wedding photography. Hope this helps!

How do I break into the wedding photography scene?

Find a local photographer who's work you admire and ask if they need help with anything business related. It most likely won't be shooting (that seems to shock aspiring photographers) but assisting at shoots/weddings (holding reflectors, carrying gear, moving cars, etc.) or even helping with day-to-day upkeep such as packaging, organizing, etc. You'd be surprised how simply being around a professional can spark conversation and you'll learn the small things that you didn't even think you needed or wanted to know. In addition, ask if you can take photographers out to lunch or coffee. No guarantee that they'll take you up on it, or have the time but you won't get anywhere unless you ask. You'd be surprised how far taking a genuine interest in someone will go--not trying to figure out all their business secrets but genuinely wanting to know more about them, their passions and how they got started. (Make sure you offer to pay for them because it's their time and energy being sacrificed.)

Someone asked me to shoot their wedding. I really want to do it but how do I know if I'm ready?

Regardless if a bride has a $10,000 or $500 budget for her wedding photography, the weight of photographing someone’s wedding day is just as heavy. These moments won't happen again and can’t be redone so make sure you’re confident and ready that you can handle the job. Some photographers feel comfortable after being a second shooter for two years and others, two weddings-it's different for everyone. Take into consideration not only your experience in weddings-knowing the typical flow of a wedding day, flattering/unflattering poses for your subjects, mastering all your technical skills-but all the preventative measures too. Make sure you have backup gear and have contracted your client (even if you’re shooting for free). In summation: make sure you’re technically prepared and confident that you can photograph your bride and groom as best as can be. Would you hire you? If the answer is no, you may want to keep practicing.

What if I don't have the best gear?

The gear doesn’t make the photographer! Of course, having a faster camera body and nicer glass surely makes a difference, but don’t ever believe the lie that you have to spend thousands of dollars to create great photos. When I’m not ready to make a big purchase on a new piece of gear, or aren't sure if it would be a good piece for my business and style, I always rent it for a wedding or shoot for a few days. Most larger cities have local places to rent gear but there are also companies that have larger inventories and ship from California. I’ve rented through Borrow Lenses and Lens Rentals and haven’t been let down yet. Whatever you do, don’t go into debt to finance your equipment. It’s not worth it!

Regardless of what gear you do have, MASTER it! Make sure you know everything there is to know about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, external flash and more. If you know how to handle any lighting situation, when those lighting surprises come up (and they will) you'll know how to tackle them.

What is the best way to bring in clients?

Prioritize having a killer website/blogsite/blog (let's face it, nothing speaks to professionalism like an awesome website) but while you're building that up, utilize social media! Of course, once you have a site up, keeping up with your social media presence as it's one of the easiest-and free-tools to take advantage of. Regularly update your page with new photos, resources and ideas for brides and even short and sweet statuses about your personal life. Make sure to not post too much as you don't want to become the page that gets blocked by those who at once were interested but now are annoyed. Also, take advantage of knowing the best times to post; learning your audience (are they east coast or west coast, do they work 9-5 jobs, are they night owls) will help you learn the best times to post. Check out this article about the best times to post.

I don't seem to be attracting the clients I want-how do I fix that?

Show what you want to shoot. Don't show that you don't want to shoot. If you want to attract southern brides with a love for backyard weddings, show that on your site. If you show only what you want to shoot, you'll begin to pull in those same kind of clients. Even though it may seem like a win at the time to book a handful of family sessions, if they're all on the beach wearing jeans and white polos and you don't want to shoot those kind of sessions, you're not doing yourself any favors. If you shoot the kind of client you want, you'll bring in referrals from those similar to them. Not saying this process is easy-I'm still getting there myself-but you're only hurting yourself if you show the kind of client you don't want.

Essentially: do something. Don't sit around Pinning wedding images and gawking over Jose Villa's images with the dream to become a photographer unless you plan on doing something about it. Jeremy Cowart-one of my favorite celebrity and philanthropic photographers-said at one of his workshops that you have to keep up with the hustle. So if you're not hustling and doing everything you can to fight for this dream of yours (whether it be photography or not) then you're going to get left behind, plain and simple.

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new site // the biz

I'm so excited to be able to introduce you to my labor of love, where all my time has been going, a HUGE project and accomplishment, the NEW CarolineRo.

Working with a SiteHouse Design style group partnered with ShowIt, I was able to power through and get this designed and  up and running within a week (!!!)

Welcome to the new CarolineRo!

DENVER+Charleston-based International Wedding Photographer
I would love to document your wedding near or far.

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