Today I put together a little Q&A session with me, Joanna Carina, the founder and lead photographer of Carina Photographics. Hope you enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself. I spend a lot of time during my days at home with my kids, aged 5 and 3, as well as my hubby, who also works at home as a freelance product designer, illustrator and fine artist. I really love being able to spend my time with my kids watching them grow! I started my photography business about 5 years ago, and I opened up my photo studio in St Paul about two years ago, so I enjoy meeting and working with clients there, too.
What hobbies and other activities do you enjoy? I LOVE traveling (I’ve been all over the US and the world, although I have not yet completed my Bucket List!); camping, hiking and being in nature (especially love the National Parks in the US – cannot wait to take the kids when they get a bit older); and also reading and learning new things (especially love taking photo classes and learning new techniques.)
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. Before my husband and I got married, we took ballroom dance classes so we could really dance it up to the jazz band we had for our day. We loved it so much that we kept up on our lessons for many years afterward – we even performed for crowds! We also created the last name “Carina” when we got married – it was based on the name of a constellation.
How long have you been a photographer? I’ve been fascinated by photography as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, I taped photos of beautiful landscape photography on my bedroom walls. In middle school I joined the Photography Club, so there I was in a closet under the back stairs along with 8 other students learning how to roll film and use a photo enlarger. By the time I got to the College of Visual Arts in St Paul for my Graphic Design major, I filled my schedule with as many photography courses as possible. I have always maintained a professional camera setup. My primary interest in the early years was travel and landscape photography, and then later I moved on to portraiture and weddings. I also art directed commercial photoshoots while working for several years as a graphic designer in a marketing firm.
Why did you get into wedding photography? Once we had our daughter in 2011, I decided to leave my graphic design job to stay home with her. Soon afterward, I decided to pursue my love of photography, so I opened my photography business. I found myself photographing a couple of friends’ weddings early on, and I was hooked! Seeing a couple’s love and happiness, being included with one of the most important days in their lives, and giving them such joy at visually reliving their day afterward has been so rewarding and amazing to see. And the bonus is getting to meet and know such wonderful people, along with their families and friends. It’s awesome!
What is your favorite part of the wedding day? My favorite part of the day is the first look and my couple’s portrait session. My couples always start out preparing separately, and they are often sooooo nervous during that time. Then, when they finally get to that moment and see each other, the reactions I see are priceless! Laughter, happiness, relief, tears, hugs – such honest, warm, genuine moments, I can’t help but tear up myself. Then, as we spend our time during their portraits, I see them calm down, relax and look so happy and in love – it’s such an amazing part of the day witnessing them spend that time alone together. By the time we are done with that portion of the day, they are so relieved and relaxed, and happy to head out to the ceremony together.
What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding? First, I would say to make sure to surround yourself with competent professionals. There are so many amazing wedding vendors out there, from wedding planners to caterers to florists to bands, and they can all help you take the stress out of one of the biggest days of your life. Next, I would say, from a photographer’s perspective, please give serious consideration to having your wedding day memorialized in a high-quality wedding album. From showing your friends and family today, to showing your kids and other relatives and friends in years to come, to enjoying it yourself over your married lives, there is nothing that is so treasured, timeless and secure as having a wedding album as a perfect keepsake of your day.
Also, be sure to check my other recent blog post showing the Top 10 Things to Look for In a Wedding Photographer to give more info on that aspect.
Thanks for reading, and please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email, or request to grab a coffee or glass of wine sometime so we can learn more about each other!
2016 – what a year!
For me, a Minneapolis Wedding Photographer (and engagement and portrait photographer), 2016 was full of amazing experiences, beautiful venues, along with wonderful couples and their families and friends.
A few highlights include several of my “old favorite” venues – a spectacular wedding-in-the-round at Aria Minneapolis; the beautiful Church of the Assumption in St Paul; the ever-stunning Minnesota Landscape Arboretum; the regal Landmark Center in St Paul; and the classic Saint Paul Hotel.
A few new entries in my 2016 weddings include two events at the beautiful Minneapolis Club; the amazing architecture of the Minnesota History Center; the sumptuous Trellis Weddings & Events in Stillwater; the rustic spaciousness of the TPC Golf Club; and even a spectacular Muslim and Indian wedding celebration that lasted several days. It was so much fun, I am so honored to have worked with such amazing people!
I haven’t even touched on the awesome engagement sessions I was lucky to be a part of, including such places as Father Hennepin Bluffs, the Como Park Conservatory, Boom Island, Mears Park, and Hidden Falls Regional Park. Nor have I mentioned the fun I’ve had working with families and their newborns, as well as headshots for several of my corporate clients. I love working with each and every one!
2017 is starting off quickly with my first wedding this coming weekend (again, at the beautiful MN Landscape Arboretum!) I’ll be blogging about my latest activities soon, so in the meantime I wanted to take a look back and reminisce on some of my favorite images from the people I worked with in 2016.
I feel so lucky to have gotten to know and spend time with each of my clients, and to see their life stages and love they have for each other (as well as their family and friends). It is so wonderful to spend time with people during some of the biggest events of their lives. I hope all of my clients know how much I truly appreciate getting to know them, knowing their beautiful spirits and seeing their love and lives in front of my eyes. I enjoy spending my time with them, and I look forward to spending time with my 2017 clients too!
Sara + Dan held their wedding on a cool autumn day at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine MN. The weather was perfect, the trees were still holding on to their fall colors, and the bright blue sky was nearly cloudless. Since the two of them have a love of nature, as well as state and national parks, they used that theme during their big day. Everything fit them so perfectly!
Once Sara + Dan had finished their preparations in the TPC clubhouse locker rooms, we held their first look amongst the trees behind the clubhouse. They were so sweet and so happy together – and did a great job keeping their tears to a minimum! We were then able to head out onto the golf course for more portraits, and even take some golf carts out into the stands of beautiful autumn trees. Afterward, we headed back for portraits with family and friends.
Sara + Dan’s wedding ceremony was held on the front lawn of TPC, in front of the beautiful autumn birch trees. Their friends and family were so happy for them, and there were countless tears of joy! Next up was their fun cocktail hour and dinner, toasts and cake-cutting during sunset. The TPC ballroom was beautifully set with their state park theme, complete with pine tree seedling gifts for their guests. Later, they celebrated with dancing as well as a fire pit right outside the dining area – a perfect ending to their beautiful day!
Sara + Dan, thank you so much for working with me on your amazing wedding day. I am so honored you chose to work with me, and I am so happy for the two of you as you begin your new lives together!
Venue/Catering: TPC Twin Cities
Wedding Dress: The Wedding Shoppe
Bridesmaids Dresses: Angelique’s Bridal Salon
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Foursome Formalwear
Jewelry: Wedding Day Diamonds
Officiant: Brian Mielke
Florist: Marah Cole Designs
Cake: Rosa’s Cake Gallery
DJ: Midwest Sound
Party Favor Trees: The Green World Project