Located in Godfrey, Illinois US

Name: Carrie Carpunky

Representing: Carrie Carpunky Photography

# of Years Experience: 10

There is nothing sweeter than a baby girl in green!

The most important things you can do is educated yourself on newborn safety. That should be the first thing you do before ever touching a baby.

Tell us about yourself. What do you love doing in your spare time? What inspired you to newborn photography and do you photograph other genre’s in your business?

Spare time? What is this spare time you speak of? It sounds intriguing! 🙂 I have a 19 year old daughter, so I know how fast time flies, so every free minute I can I love to spend with her & my husband. We enjoy watching ghost hunting shows & just spending time together. Our daughter was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida, so my love for photography grew from capturing her milestones. The doctors would give us a list of milestones that she wouldn’t reach & so when she proved them wrong, I was ready with my camera to document all of these things she was doing. After time, I decided I loved it so much that I would love to try capturing other families also. I photograph newborns, milestones & families!!! So many of these families have been with me from the beginning & are now little pieces of my family.

How would you describe your photography style? What inspires your work?

I hope my style is classic and timeless. I would hate to think that is 10 years someone would look at their walls & think, “what was that chick thinking when she put that stuff together?” LOL! I am very inspired by COLOR!!!! Gimme all the colors!!! I started this journey of newborn photography about as neutral as you can get, but the minute I started introducing color into my sessions, there was no looking back.

Who has inspried you and how did you first come across their work?

Oh goodness…this is one of the hardest questions for me to answer. The talent in this industry never ceases to amaze me daily. Tracy Joy Photography stands out as one that has amazed me from the beginning. I am lucky enough to call her not only my mentor, but a dear friend who is always cheering me on!

Another big inspiration for me was the amazing JME Photography. Jamie was such a ray of light in this industry & her loss is still felt. Everyone of her posts was like a little piece of sunshine & I miss seeing them in my newsfeed.

Hello Little Photography, Dewdrops Photography, Sonkissed Photography, Caralee Case Photography, & Josie Tan with Sunny Melon Photography all still inspire me daily.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting a newborn photography business?

I think one of the most important things you can do is educated yourself on newborn safety. That should be the first thing you do before ever touching a baby. Learning the safe way to pose & then educate yourself on every other aspect of newborn photography. It is a genre of photography unlike most, but it is so rewarding & worth the time spent!

What camera do you use? What are your favourite lenses and what’s typically in your camera bag?

I shoot with a Nikon D750 and I just love it. It is a total workhorse that somehow survives me tripping over it constantly! LOL! I shoot most of my newborn sessions with the 24-70 2.8. It is such an amazing lens. I also have the Sigma 35 Art 1.4, the Sigma 135 1.2, my nifty 50 which rarely sees the light of day anymore, & the Nikon 105 macro.

What is your favorite place to hold sessions and why?Where do you photograph most of your sessions? (in studio? on location?)

I just love my studio. It is definitely my happy place. I live in the midwest, so in the colder months, I shoot 99% in the studio. But when it is warm, I am definitely spread pretty evenly between indoors & out.

What (if any) photography training, mentoring or workshops have you taken?

I have taken quite a few workshops online & in person as well. I took almost all of the photography classes my local community college offered in the beginning. I was desperate to learn all that I could. Then I found the Illuminate Class by the Milky Way & that really helped my understanding of studio lights. I have taken multiple online workshops through the Happy Togs as well.

I hosted Kristen Vincent Photography about 5 years ago & she really gave me the bug for newborns, but it wasn’t until Tracy Joy Photography took me under her wing as my newborn mentor that I had my A-HA moments & my newborn business was changed. A couple of years ago, I hosted the fabulous Miss Amy Cook just to further my newborn knowledge & now I do a little mentoring here & there myself! 🙂

Tell us about starting your business, and what played a key role in developing a profitable income.

My business was literally started on a love for photographing my daughter & a love for photography in general. My in-laws graciously handed my their basement to set up a small little studio & I was off & running. I took in every bit of information I could find & was determined to see this business a success. Finally, I was busy enough to move into a studio outside of the basement & that was really when my business grew. I truly believe it was successful because of word of mouth. I have some amazing clients that are now like family to me that are always willing to recommend me to anyone looking for a photographer. I really owe it all to them & some hard work!!

Growing pains: tell us about some of your challenges you have faced in your business, and how you overcame them.

I have been so lucky to have not had a ton of growing pains! The most recent growing pains I felt were quite literally growing pains! LOL! I was in a 950 sq foot studio, & as a photographer that decided that newborns were my niche, I quickly accumulated a lot of props that led to me needed a bigger studio space. So in November of 2017, I moved into my current studio space of 1500 sq feet, plus a full basement for storage as well. It is right in the heart of downtown Alton, IL and is just the most perfect space!!

What should clients expect when working with you?

I tell all of my clients that I am a hot mess! LOL! I am not a shy person & introvert is not a description that fits me at all. I love to chat, I love kids, I love babies & they all need to be prepared to fit themselves into my little photography family. They most definitely will walk in as clients, but walk out family! <3

This gorgeous little girl is one of my fav images!!!!

These 3 tiny super heroes are just the cutest! And they are my cousins too! 🙂

A sweet little 8 week old man. He just melted me when he opened his eyes!!!

Handsome little bear cub!!!

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