ISPWP Member Spotlight - Joanna Carina

Posted by Carina Photographics on March 3rd 2018

Photographer Contact Information

Saint Paul, MN United States Photographer 612-220-8227

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself. I spend a lot of time during my days at home with my kids, aged 6 and 4, 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 six years ago, and I opened up my photo studio in St Paul about three years ago, so I enjoy meeting and working with clients there, too.

2. 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.)

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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!

6. How would you describe your style of photography? There are several words that can be used to describe my photographic style:

7. 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.

8. Tell us about some of the more unique weddings you've shot. Probably the most unique weddings were an Indian and a Muslim wedding. I loved witnessing the amazing traditions and rituals included in these wedding days, and had so much fun photographing them. 

9. What are some of your favorite local venues? I love a number of wedding venues in the Minneapolis-St Paul MN area, such as:

10. How has your extensive experience in wedding photography helped you in difficult circumstances on a wedding day? When you gain experience in photographing weddings, you also gain experience in being flexible and using your experience to work well through unexpected occurrances. I've had to work through unexpected rainstorms during outdoor weddings, equipment malfunction, difficult lighting challenges, delays in schedules, and much more. Being really comfortable, flexible and adept with my equipment helps me create awesome photographs no matter what the circumstances.

11. What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding?

12. What type of wedding albums do you offer? I work with Graphistudio - one of the oldest and most prestigious wedding album vendors in the world. All the albums are handmade in Italy, and are unparalleled in their customization and quality of materials, etc. I love being able to custom-design each album so they fit perfectly with each couple's wedding esthetic and style. 

13. What are your top tips for brides to help them get great photos on their wedding day?

14. How important is it to hire an experienced wedding photographer? I think it's extremely important to use an experienced photographer for your wedding. I have heard numerous horror stories of people asking their "friend with a nice camera" to take photos during their wedding in order to save money, and then ending up with no (or very few) photos from their wedding day. Weddings move at a very quick pace and can often involve unexpected circumstances that require quick thinking and even quick changes in plans. Photographers with little to no experience working under wedding day timelines and conditions can often fall behind or get overwhelmed and miss out on important events. I am of the belief that people can scrimp and save on numerous elements of their wedding day, but the photographer should be the best one you can afford.

15. What future plans do you have for your business for the next year? I am excited to be working on more creative outlets such as a large conceptual portrait project, as well as partnering with new organizations and people for styled shoots and other fun opportunities!

Thanks for reading about me, Joanna Carina! <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Contact me</a> soon so we can grab a coffee or glass of wine sometime and learn more about each other!

Photographer Contact Information

Saint Paul, MN United States Photographer 612-220-8227

See This Photographer's Website

Photographer Bio

Joanna Carina is a Minneapolis wedding, engagement and portrait photographer. She has over twenty years of photography, art direction and design experience, and likes to think of herself as a visual storyteller. Her work and articles have been featured on several blogs and publications including The Knot, Minnesota Bride, The Luxe Pearl, Rustic Wedding Chic, Fab You Bliss, Artfully Wed, Midwest Bride, Glamour & Grace, Elegant Wedding Magazine, and many more.

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