Tuesday, June 30

Haunted house shoot, SLC

The Haunted House. Was really haunted. Well, maybe not haunted. But at the very least, inhabited. Either by a R.O.U.S. (please tell me you know that reference...) or by an angry hobo. We're leaning towards the hobo theory, to be honest.

BUT It was a great backdrop for this workshop with Dustin Izatt (who is the MAN). We learned a lot- I was rocking some uncharted territory in the photography world. It's always gratifying to learn something new. I'm definitely not a pro at this off camera lighting stuff, but it was SO fun to do a little experimenting with some direction to help. Jessica got us some drop dead gorgeous models- and they were so fun and so brave. And a big thanks to Dustin's assistant, Whitney, who was more than willing to hold my hand through the scary parts. :)









Soundtrack for today: Jenny Owen Youngs- Transmitter Failure

Saturday, June 27

Quick preview...

On Wednesday morning I hopped on an airplane and took the very short flight to Salt Lake City where I met up with my girl Jessica for a long weekend of photo-fun. We got together with Dustin tonight and did some really fun, funky lighting which I've been dying to experiment with! Thank you thank you to our awesome models, and especially to the genius of a man, Big D, who seriously earned his wings dealing with our many questions tonight. 

So here's a very quick sneak peek- we had the best time tonight. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time- Suffice it to say that the "haunted" house we were shooting in appears to have been occupied... ... and you would have ran out screaming too! :)

{more coming soon...}

Tuesday, June 23

Seattle Trip :: May 09

We spent some time with my husbands family up in Seattle last month- I've finally gotten around to editing some of the photos from our trip and decided to post some of my favorites here...

Waiting for the ferry.

Through the window of the ferry on the way to Whidbey Island.

At Pike Place




Saturday, June 20


Some photographers are amazing bloggers. They grip you with stories about their personal lives, about experiences they've had on their amazingly mind blowing sessions. They paint the picture and then show you the pictures. And then, especially if their following is very loyal, they get a bajillion comments on every entry.

I'm not so good at this. I keep a personal blog about my family that my close friends and family read- I don't have it open to the general public because, well, I'm a private person. I don't love the idea of everyone and their granny reading up on my personal goings-on. And while I love writing, at the end of the day I'm just too tired to whip up something creative or hilarious or witty for you to read and keep you coming to this here bloggity. But I make a promise to you, oh anonymous blog reader, I will do better.

I was inspired by a challenge I saw on one of my favorite photography blogs, by Tara Whitney (ah-mazing... check her out kids). She and a friend took on the challenge of doing a bit of personal photography- something that doesn't happen as often as you'd think for photographers (especially really famous awesome ones like Tara! haha), and they spent the weekend focusing on taking photos of things they are GRATEFUL for. You can see her entry {here}. So I am working on that little challenge for myself. If any of you would like to join me, do it and comment here with a link to your blog so we can all see what you came up with!! I'll post mine soon.

For now, some photos of my brothers gig a few weeks ago at Earth and Vine (corner of 1st and Washington- check it out- and a shameless plug for myself, my work will be hanging there until the end of this month! Don't miss out!)



(thats my hubby on rhythm guitar... yeahboy!)



And a peek at my display...


Soundtrack for today: Feist, Adele, and a bit of John Mayer

Wednesday, June 17

CLIENTS! Wall art sale today through Friday!!

June 17th-19th you get 20% off ALL prints 8x10 and larger!

Check your storefront for more info! :)

Tuesday, June 16


are our winners!!

Matt & Emily won a
FREE couple session ($175 value)
$75 worth of free prints & products!

Boy, that was a CLOSE contest!! So guess what? The RUNNERS UP also get a prize! Congrats to John & Anita and Arnie & Heather for being our runners up! Each couple is receiving a 50% off coupon for a session of their own, and a $25 coupon for prints. Be sure to contact me with your mailing information so I can send your coupons!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in the Summer of Love contest! By entering the contest or by voting, you are all awesome and I hope you really do have a sweet Summer of Love!

Look for Matt & Emily's photos soon! :)

Monday, June 15

Summer of Love reminder:: Don't forget to VOTE!

{more coming soon, from my brothers gig a few nights ago}

Vote for your favorite couple, don't forget!
Voting ends at midnight tonight!

Wednesday, June 10

Summer of Love: The Contestants!

Narrowing it down to the top 3 was a real challenge- we got some great entries! But, thankfully, I had some trusty friends and family give their 2 cents and I think we've come up with the best of the best here.

Now a quick refresher on how this works- out of all the entries I/we chose the top 3 finalists. Voting begins on June 13th, here, on the blog. So be thinking about who you'd like to choose and be sure to let your friends and family know to vote for you if you are one of the final 3 couples!

Without further ado... meet the finalists!

John & Anita
The Longest in Love

John & Anita were nominated by their daughter, Arly. She writes,
"They met in college at Eastern. Mom saw Dad across a hall playing his guitar and thought "he was so handsome". Later they ended up car pooling to and from La Grande every day. They started dating, and one day Mom turned to Dad and said: "So when are we getting married?" and his response was "What about Saturday?" Dad had already bought Mom's wedding dress and everything, he just never asked her. So that Saturday they got married. (This is the story I've always been told.)"
Now, is that true?!! I want to know!

Arly also writes,
"They do all they can for others, and little for themselves. If you need anything at anytime, my parents are always the first ones to jump in and help.

They've been married for over 30 years (35 I believe actually), and are still going strong. My mom just retired this year after 30 + years of teaching, and my dad will retire in December.

I feel they deserve this for several reasons- to celebrate their love, to celebrate the retirements, and to celebrate mom's cast coming off her ankle after 2 1/2 years! :) I don't think we have any professional pictures of my parents, as they are not the type of people to spend money on themselves. "
Good luck John & Anita! You are our couple that is not only the longest in love, but also great examples of paying it forward and spreading your love through out the community.

Arnie & Heather
In Sickness & Health

Prepare yourselves with a box of Kleenex for this one...
Straight from Heather, herself:

From the moment I met my husband, I knew I would love him. He was awkward and clumsy, and not at all my "type", but he was the most kind, gentle, loving and patient man I had ever met and I knew I would spend my life with him. After dating for several months, we decided to start a family. We tried for several years to no avail, but we knew in our hearts we would someday have the family we had always dreamed.

In the summer of 2003, it seemed the impossible had been achieved. We learned we were pregnant, and not only that, we were to have twins!!! We were elated...until I began to have complications in my twelfth week. I was put on strict bedrest and Arnie worked, took on all the household chores and waited on me hand and foot. At twenty weeks I was moved to the hospital and we were told that there was a great chance our twins would not make it. Arnie continued to work and take care of the house, but he spent every unoccupied minute with me at the hospital. For six weeks he slept at my side in an uncomfortable hospital chair until our twins were born fourteen weeks early.

Augustus and Olivia were born weighing just over a pound each. They spent three months in the NICU while we sat by their incubators watching them grow. They came home with oxygen, monitors, and required constant specialized care, twenty-four hours a day for the first year. We almost lost our son on three different occasions.

Both children had multiple surgeries. Arnie continued to work, we slept in shifts and somehow got through it all. As the kids have grown, their health problems have decreased and they have become happy, healthy, five year old, regular kids. Unfortunately, in that time, my health has deteriorated, and my husband has had to assume the role not only of husband, father, and breadwinner, but also one of caregiver. I know this is not the life he anticipated. I know that many people would not have made it through all the trauma we have had. But I also know that he profoundly loves us as we do him....and this profound love binds us together, in good or bad, in sickness or health, through this summer of love, and the next one, until forever.
Are you done bawling yet? Okay a few more sniffles... Awesome, huh?! I love love!

Matt & Emily
I Would Walk 500 Miles

How cute is this- Matt nominated he and his fiancé for the contest, and had to keep re-writing the essay to bring the word count down! You know you've got a keeper when he can't stop writing an ESSAY about how much he loves you! So though it ran a little long, here is the whole thing for you to read! Matt & Emily's story would make a really great movie... read...

Our first date was on May 13, 2004. It was a 48 hour train trip from Eugene, OR to Monterey, CA that we planned a month in advance after having spent an hour in each others company. We have celebrated our “monthiversary” 60 times since then.

I'm omitting a few early details for the sake of the word count, so lets just say I went to Eugene to visit a girl I thought I was interested in, and wound up getting knocked off my feet by a friend of hers who introduced herself to me by burning me a cd.

I spent the whole ride home in silence in the backseat of a friend's car, daydreaming about this girl. As soon as I got back to my dorm, I nervously emailed her and began working on a CD to send back. Somehow we began a marathon month-long session of IM chats, emails, and phone calls. The deeper we got, the later we stayed up. There were a couple of mornings where we stopped talking to watch the sunrise. Every night we would have four or five songs that we would pass to the other and listen to at the same time with our eyes closed. We wrote poetry, and translated it into different languages only for the other person to translate back. We sent handwritten letters. We told no one.

I don't remember how the conversation came up, but at some point we must have both agreed that we would like to take a train ride together. Monterey was the farthest we could get away on our budget. The rest was history. Neither of us were risk takers, and we aren't now. But something clicked when we met, and it turned on (or off) something in both of us for a large enough amount of time for something truly great to happen.

Every second of that trip is burned into my memory. Sitting in the observation car at night, watching the Oregon wilderness blur by with our headphones on, we kissed for the first time. We had no idea what we were doing, where we were going, why we were going there, and what we were supposed to do next. I remember walking for 3 or 4 hours across a freeway and a tough stretch of beach, holding hands and both being in awe at the situation we found ourselves in. Around midnight, we crept onto a public beach and set up our tent to sleep for the night. When we woke up the next day, there were families around us making sand castles.

We've been through a lot since then. But our trip still finds ways to shine through, sometimes when we least expect it. Every time we ride on a train (including 2.5 months traveling across Europe). Every time we hear certain songs. We walked across Cannon Beach for 45 minutes in the dark, listening to most of our songs again before I proposed last month. Sometimes its smaller and more spontaneous. Two nights ago we sat in the backyard of the house we bought together, eating salad from our garden, playing cards and listening to a new playlist, re-living the moments that brought us together and discussing everything we'd been through since.

Whenever I try and quantify what that trip meant to me, I am reminded of two days before we left. My car broke down randomly, and robbed me of my only means of transportation to Eugene. I remember lying in bed, trying to calculate at what time I should leave if I were to walk the 45 miles to her in Eugene in order to get there on time. If not for a few lucky breaks, I would have, and it would have absolutely been worth it.


So those are our couples! Going to be hard to choose who to vote for, huh?!! Feel free to discuss in the comments of this post :) To refresh your memory on what the winners win click HERE

**Voting starts on JUNE 13TH and will commence on June 15th- followed by the announcement of the winning couple!**

Tuesday, June 9

Poolside, baby!

We set up Stella's inflatable wading pool in the living room (well, by WE I mean my husband and his max capacity lung power set up the inflatable wading pool...). We filled it with pillows, and Stella started DIVING in!

So I'm well aware these are not PHOTOGRAPHY/art/amazing photos. BUT I did learn a lot last night messing around with my flash and Gary Fong diffuser. Man I love that thing! I rarely use flash, like, NEVER use flash. So it was fun to experiment with it last night.

She was SUPER excited to get to watch SpongeBob from her special pool.

Loungin'! :)

Her shirt had to come off- she'd spilled milk all over herself! :)


And an armpit shot of me! Look at that arm pit!
Just kidding... I wanted to be in the shot, and let me tell you,
holding that huge camera with the fatty zoom lens I had on
it with the bulky flash AND Gary Fong diffuser- woof. I have strong thumbs! :)

Friday, June 5

New website, some announcements... no photos...

Check out the new website
because it is awesome.

And though the galleries are a little empty and many things will be moved around in the next couple of weeks, you can still get all the info you need there and see SOME things! Also, for clients who have used my shopping cart system in the past, you will continue to use that shopping cart system, but all future clients will be able to shop directly from carlycarlson.com. That's a huge boring story that doesn't really matter, but basically it's a change for the better. :)

Some announcements...

*You may have heard (because I can't stop blabbing about it) that I am the featured artist at Earth and Vine this month! If you have never gone downtown for the First Friday Art Walk, today is a PERFECT opportunity for you to try it out! It's really fun! So between 6-8 or 9ish many businesses in town are open late, offering drinks and treats, great live music, and local artists work is hanging EVERYWHERE! It's almost as great as Christmas. SO come out, check out Earth and Vine and all the other businesses in town, support your community, and check out my display!! (Earth and Vine is on 1st street)

*I am no longer taking large family sessions (large as in many members of the family). If you are a photographer in the area that is interested in doing large family portraits make sure I know who you are. I would like to have someone to refer interested clients to.

*I am no longer taking sessions for July or August. Any inquiries will be squeezed into June or will have to wait until after August, which is great actually because August is such a hot month! :) Wedding Season is upon us!! WOO HOO!

Thanks you guys for being so awesome! Be sure to check out THE NEW SITE and let me know what you think!! :)

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