Company Name: Carrie Swails Photography
Name: Carrie Swails
When did you start your business? About 12 Years
How did you start your business? I have an art degree and started using a camera to take reference photos for art pieces, and just for fun. I ended up kind of starting on a whim and having no idea what I was doing or the journey I was about to go on. I’m so glad it all happened because it’s been one awesome adventure!
What do you love about weddings? My favorite weddings are the ones with truly unique clients. The kinds of clients who incorporate their passions into their weddings, not because they need pretty decor, but because they really love weird stuff like having a Harry Potter themed wedding. That level of passion towards something others might think is nerdy, is my favorite thing about my clients. I love that type of wedding. I think those clients are my people, they’re more genuine and they’re living life LOUD! My clients’ passions aren’t always nerdy. Sometimes they have weddings with no themes and sometimes they’re just amazing passionate people who love to laugh and are ready to have a great time celebrating their day.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? I love working for myself and owning a business, but the best part is when I get to work with clients who trust my vision as a photographer and I can create something fantastic for them. Having the space to be creative and unique with my work is definitely when the job is the most rewarding.
What is the most challenging part of your job? The travel! I live in a remote part of the mountains so every wedding is a destination wedding for me. Being on the road all the time isn’t always the glamorous gig that Instagram life makes it out to be, but my awesome clients make it worth living out of a suitcase half the year.
What do you want brides/grooms to know about you/your company? Diversity and inclusion is one of my most important missions as a photographer. Having the opportunity to photograph marginalized communities and put them in the spotlight is something I love. I believe that even small image creators like wedding photographers have the power to change conversations around body positivity, LGBTQ+ rights, and racism by ensuring we include ALL people in our portfolios and on social media. It’s imperative to me as a business owner that I show exactly the kinds of amazing people who are out there getting married right now, and not just the people in magazines and media.
What are some tips that you have for a newly engaged bride? Don’t get wrapped up in all the should-haves, could-haves, and details of having a wedding. Ultimately the wedding isn’t about all the fluff. It’s about getting married. As long as the day results in you getting married to your partner, then the day is a success. Weddings can sometimes be a bride-centric universe so this tip goes out to the brides AND the grooms.