Insight into wedding photographer Caroline Tran’s creative process and her advice to aspiring photographers and Photoshop students.
What became the hallmark of your work/style?
Incorporating medium format film really honed in on the look of my work and gave it a recognizable aesthetic. Although I shoot digital and film, my digital photos blend in with my film work. My work also became known for having a touch of whimsy while being ethereal and elevated. My photos capture emotions and tell a story.
Can you recall the moment you knew you wanted to be a photographer?
I was a physics major in college and eventually got my masters in teaching and became a high school physics teacher. I took a (film) photography class in my last year of undergrad because I needed an “easy A” class to balance out the “D” I was anticipating in Quantum Mechanics. Little did I know, the camera would become my medium for telling stories. I’ve always been a storyteller but I hate writing. I’m just not great with words. When I’m behind the lens, stories come to life for me. Photography gave me the perfect balance between creativity, human connection and science (especially when working with film).
From shoot to edit: create digital photos with Caroline Tran that evoke a film look. Learn More.
What inspires you?
People and their stories. I love the honor of building rapport and trust with a client — allowing them to share their innermost feelings, secrets and stories with me. Their stories inspire me to draw out and capture their emotions. Light also inspires me. Ethereal, natural light inspires me to create.
How do you incorporate your creative process into your daily life?
My best ideas come to me either while I’m working out, in the shower, or on a long drive. As a mother of two young boys, I relish the few moments I have to myself. It’s during this alone time that I’m able to connect with myself and come up with new ideas.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – you won’t know what your boundaries are until you’ve crossed them. Especially if you’re still new in your business. The newer you are, the lower your risks are, so experiment. The more established you are, the more you have to lose, so you have to calculate your risks and approach them more thoughtfully than when you were new.
What is your creative mantra?
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. I embrace frustration. I embrace discomfort. Growth comes from stepping out of your comfort zone. This applies to all aspects of life including, business, art and fitness.
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