Each month, I interview a local photographer. Interested in participating? Please leave a comment!
Colleen Carroll, owner of Colleen Carroll Photography, has been a photographer for more than 10 years and worked at newspapers in Washington, California, Michigan, and Indiana after receiving a degree from Western Kentucky University’s top-ranked photojournalism program.
For Colleen, photography is about telling stories through candid interaction and genuine emotion. During her shoots, she’ll spend a few hours at locations that are meaningful to her clients, giving them a chance to relax and even enjoy the shoot. For weddings and events, Colleen likes to arrive early and stay late. She says she’s “always an observer never an art director, and feel truly honored to capture moments which last a lifetime.”
Roxanne: When did you become interested in photography?
Colleen: My love of photography takes root in my love of film. I recall the visual impact the movie “The Red Balloon” made on me as a child. This 1956 French treasure used almost no dialogue, yet the movement, color, and emotional depth transcended time and language. It’s a work of art and no doubt inspired me to pick up a camera about 15 years ago.
Who or what influenced you to become a photographer?
During a photo class at Columbia College in Chicago, we took a field trip to a photographer’s studio. He mentioned a now-defunct website which featured photo stories by talented young photojournalists. Inspired, I attended the alma mater of one of those photographers and received a degree in photojournalism.
Why is photography important to you?
Life is dynamic and photographs mark moments in time from the minute to the grandiose. Photos are memory. Through photographs, I connect the dots of my own life behind the camera.
What motivates you?
I’ve always been motivated by what makes people tick, why they do what they do, and most importantly how they feel about what they do. If I’ve helped communicate that in a photo I’ve done my job. Recently, I made the transition from photojournalist to portrait photographer. Working with couples and capturing their connection is absolutely intoxicating.
What’s your favorite lens or other piece of photography gear?
My favorite lens is the Canon 24–70mm and a favorite piece of gear is a portable battery, which allows me to light any location without plugging into an electrical outlet. Genius.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in photography?
Read photography books, study light, go to art museums, attend poetry readings, cook a meal, embrace the art in your life, and never stop learning.