We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline Stephens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caroline, why did you pursue a creative career?
As someone who went through hundreds of different career options in my head growing up, I was often conflicted on the difference between passion and profit. However, upon starting my own business, I realized you could indeed achieve both – with hard work and dedication to your purpose. I chose to pursue a creative career because the opportunities are endless. I originally started college with a marketing concentration, but I soon realized that attending school, while I was good at it, diminished many of my passions. I wanted to do more than busy work while I was young and had all of these creative ideas.. Hence, I became a photographer – right at the start of 2020. While no one in my family was familiar with the creative industry, many people close to me have succeeded in starting and owning their own small businesses, leading me to have a greater understanding of the work it takes to be successful. I love creating, and I love capturing memories that people will cherish for the rest of their lives. It is incredible to be able to take something and transform it into beautiful imagery.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being a photographer can be incredibly intimidating, and when I first started I was 100% self taught. I had no knowledge of even how to use a basic camera. I took a chance on Black Friday in 2019 and bought a small DSLR, which is what really helped begin the process of owning my own photography business. In the beginning of my career, it was difficult finding what I was passionate about, because I was unaware that you could specialize in certain fields of photography. I was unsure if I wanted to do weddings, elopements, portraits, branding, or it all! I quickly realized I needed to invest in my education with photography in order to present my brand as I saw it. I wanted Caroline Stephens Photography to be known for its authentic, adventurous, and bold imagery. I knew I loved capture love, but on the more intimate scale, with couples and elopements being my passion. I am still working on perfecting my brand, and as many small business owners know, there is always room to improve. One thing that has helped me the most in this journey, has been to set specific year end goals. These can be anything from hitting a certain percentage of projects booked, to landing a session in a specific part of the world, and so on. My goal for 2023 is to specialize in destination elopements and couples sessions, while still taking a few portrait sessions. These types of sessions best align with my brand and my values, of always crafting authentic and memorable imagery – all around the US and beyond,
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.
I love Atlanta and the surrounding cities, there is truly so much depth to the area and it is full of fun opportunities – and most importantly, good food! If I my friend was coming for a week, here is a small itinerary I would use as a blueprint for the best week ever! – Breakfast spots: Cultivate Food and Coffee, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee,
– Lunch: No Mas Cantina, Bone Garden Cantina
– Dinner: Estrella Rooftop or Houston’s
– Drinks: Clermont Hotel and Lounge, Rowdy Tiger Whiskey Bar, Garden Room
– Activites: Braves Game, Ponce City Market Rooftop, The Painted Duck, Little five Points
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a personal shoutout to my boyfriend Hunter and my boyfriends family, who has played a significant role in encouraging me to pursue my passions, no matter the risk. Their support has led to me being confident and secure in my decision to operate full time and I will forever be grateful.
The photo I submitted of myself is by Abby Frame Photos