We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmea Lawrence and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmea, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success would, of course be giving an honor to God. Next it would be the love and support of everyone around me. I never realized how creative I could be until I was a teenager and even then I didn’t believe in myself but other people still did. It wasn’t until I started growing closer with my partner who is an amazing creative herself. She always asked me what was my passion but I could never give her an answer. I’ve always known my purpose would be service related because I loved to help people, but nobody really knew that I had a secret love for videography and photography. Later I bought a camera, but at the time I was just playing around with learning how to use it and just taking random pictures when I was bored. My first ever photo shoot was with a friend of mine one day over the summer. It was so much fun, just getting to go out and catch some beautiful moments of her just being herself. That was the day I knew I could be good at this if I really took the time to learn more about the craft. One day, after showing her some of my previous pictures, my partner asked me if I really wanted to take photography seriously and see if it really was my passion, and I said yes. I wasn’t sure if I was creative enough, disciplined enough and I honestly didn’t think I could afford it, but I took a leap of faith. I asked my partner if she would help me create my brand, and I’ve been going strong since then.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think what sets me apart from others is my ability to help people. I have always been the type of person that loves to help and make other people feel good. I pride myself on being a photographer that can talk to you like a friend, make you feel comfortable and confident, while remaining professional. During my journey I was selling myself short and realized I need to do better with charging what I’m worth. People who appreciate your art and the work that you do are willing to pay accordingly, so long as you trust in your work. I have learned to put myself in spaces with likeminded individuals, so I can observe new techniques, find inspiration and challenge myself to work with people that I feel may be out of my league. Stop making excuses and just do it. You’re not going to improve your skills if you don’t trust yourself and trust your creativity. You are enough.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Okay so boom… my best friends know I’m a homebody, but I’m also a foodie so whatever we do, food will be involved. Atlanta is the city of options, and a girl can never have too many options! So first we can do brunch at Milk & Honey, it’s an amazing black owned brunch spot. We could also try Area4 which is a pretty cool spot to grab brunch and hookah, especially on special occasions. Their DJ is pretty fire!! Or lastly, my ride or die when it comes to all things food, you can never go wrong with Copeland’s. They have giant tv screens for watching the game, and a weekend brunch that will get you right every time. We can check out Fin & Feathers or Cafe Istanbul for the drinks and hookah. For dinner, tell me how you’re feeling. We can do BBQ and try Big Daddy’s or Fox Brother’s, we could do Iron Age for Korean BBQ, if you feeling something simple but good, we could always hit up JJ’s for a catfish plate or hit up the food truck park over near the West End. If there’s a game on, let’s hit up Three Dollar Cafe for drinks specials and some apps.
If we want to just go hang and have some fun, we can grab some snacks and a drink of your choice and hit up the park for a picnic or kick it with a few other friends around the city. Top Golf and Axe Throwing are both really fun places to meet up. We can do a trap paint and sip class, go to the gun range, or even try the new Spin Art classes. There’s a local twerk/pole dancing class on Saturday mornings at Pink Pole Studios we can try out. If we need to unwind, I love going to get couples massages, yoga classes, or going for a meditation session in the Himalayan pink salt cave. Just let me know what you want to get into and I got you!!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As the saying goes, “it takes a village” and I’m VERY grateful for mine. I’d love to dedicate this shoutout to my family, your love and encouragement means everything to me. I also want to thank my partner, Von, for supporting me in every endeavor and pushing me to keep going even when I get down on myself at times. You keep me honest with myself and others, so I can continue being the best version of myself. I want to thank my best friends, you guys are my safe space, but also my biggest cheerleaders. Finally, I am most thankful for all of the connections that I have made over the last few years during my photography journey. You have each taught me a lesson that I carry with me each day so I can continue to improve as a photographer. Community over competition reminds me to stay open to all connections, stay open to all knowledge, and believe in my own art without comparing myself to other artists.
Photo Credits: Myself | @clphotography027 Models: @LuWoodss | @Dejavryon @d.smoove_01 @itsmr_insanity_ @rel_e_slavic