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Caitlin Carr

Where do you work, and what do you do in your current occupation?

I work for myself at my photography company, Cait Carr Photography, LLC. I manage the business as well as photograph small businesses, weddings, elopements, products, and events. My husband joined me in 2019 and together we photograph all over the United States

What do you enjoy about your current occupation? Do you consider yourself successful? In what way?

I enjoy the freedom of owning a business that allows me to set a more flexible schedule, to create work I am proud of, and to support my family. It’s an honor to serve people on their wedding days as well as in their own businesses to help them be more successful. Any day we pay our bills and improve someone else’s life is a success to us! We don’t consider financial wealth to be the mark of success to us, but our ability to live life with both hands to fulfill our purpose.

photograph of caitlyn

What led you to pursue your current line of work?

My family owns a wedding venue, which I shot a few weddings at in 2015 after graduating. I wasn't’t sure I wanted to pursue weddings until I had a few under my belt, but it’s proven to be my current purpose in life. I’ve photographed products and businesses for almost a decade now, but when my husband joined me last year we were able to really develop that part of our business to be where it’s at today. We serve fly fishing outfitters, landscaping companies, art galleries, online clothing boutiques, and more, thanks to our prior experiences from college and other jobs.

caitlyn fishing.jpg

Do the skills and knowledge that you gained as a student in the Department of Visual Arts (DoVA) contribute to your current occupation? If so, in what way?

My concentration in photography gave me the technical skills needed to become a photographer as well as teach it to my husband (he’s also an UNG Alum but from the Biology department). I never struggled with that aspect of the business when I was beginning.

Now that you have a vantage point to reflect on your art education, what would you do differently?

I would have taken more business classes and done a second internship or mentorship with an entrepreneur to avoid some of the major mistakes I’ve made. It would be really wonderful if DoVA developed a course all about starting your own business with the art skills you’ve developed.

I wish I would’ve been able to learn more about licensing images, what is an LLC and what licenses do I need to run a business, how to sell to stock companies, how to develop contracts, how to price art or jobs, etc. so that the creative development I did at UNG carried over more easily into the job market.

Do you have any words of wisdom for current DoVA students?

Never stop being a student. Learn and develop skills outside of your chosen discipline. Due to learning to fly fish, I’ve been able to work with companies and businesses that were not within my reach a few years ago because I did not know the sport intimately enough to shoot in that market. A long-standing part time job at a folk art gallery has developed my ability to use power tools and shoot products.

My outdoor pursuits have led to booking jobs because of my experience in an area, or people’s comfort in knowing I can handle myself and my gear. Traveling, taking courses in things like wilderness first aid, mentorships with people who are experts in their field, and making connections outside of my field have all been huge impacts on my career.

Pursuits without financial gain have led to experiences that paid off immensely down the road. Investing into your development as a well-rounded human being will always be valuable. Lastly, I encourage you to be patient and keep your focus forward instead of looking around at everyone else. Don’t waste energy on thoughts or people who won’t impact your future.

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