Carrie Wildes has been a member of Two Bright Lights for nearly four years. In that time, we’ve seen her talent, as well as her business, grow and grow. Could each wedding that she and her team shoots really be prettier than the last? Her photography would certainly seem to indicate “Yes”! Read on for an inspiring chat with someone who’s been in the wedding photography industry for several years.
Carrie Wildes Photography is based in Tampa, Florida, but Carrie and her photographers travel all over the United States, as well as the Caribbean. Their style is a mix of fashion and photojournalism. Comfortable working with all different lighting situations, be it natural light, off camera flash or video light, they’re prepared for any situation. Over the past 7 years, Carrie Wildes Photography grew into three teams of photographers; they say that capturing their couples’ unique wedding stories is literally the best job there is!
How Did You Get Started?
While I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Industrial Engineering, I fell in love with photography during my first mission trip to the Philippines. In 2007, my husband, David, and I left the frozen tundra of Chicago to start a new and warmer life in Tampa. I also decided to get off the corporate ladder and build one of my own. I am so fortunate to have found amazing and talented people to be a part of Carrie Wildes Photography. We are each gifted in different ways, but cohesive in style and our love for people and photography.
Education and constant learning is so important in this ever-changing industry, so I became a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) and am a very active member of Professional Photographers of America. With them, I mentor other photographers, and am an instructor for PPA’s Studio Management Services. I am so fortunate to have found both my professional passion, which is photography, and my personal passion, which is foster and adoption. In 2014, we adopted two sweet baby girls only four months apart. My friend Holly and I also started the Promise Love Foundation to help other families break the barriers to adoption.
Carrie’s Top Pro Tips
1. The most important thing I can share is that photographers must work on their actual “business” just as much, if not more than, the actual skill of photography. It is very important to create gorgeous images, but if you want to make a living doing it, you have to be organized, profitable and have a work/life balance. Otherwise, you will burn out very quickly.
2. It’s also so important to be yourself. Don’t compare your work to others and try to be someone else, because you can’t! When you are confident in your abilities, continue to improve them and live out your own brand, it just plain works.
Carrie Wildes Photography
A beach wedding complete with lots of personal details and style, Kerri and Nick’s special day provided innumerable photo opportunities. It could be overwhelming for an untrained photographer, but not Carrie and her team! Doesn’t the ceremony set up, with its rows of white folding chairs on a perfect white sand beach, look amazing? The teal blue sashes draw your eye down the aisle and make it all look even more pristine. The kissing couple beneath the archway are the best part, however. Note the bridal party’s cheerful faces– they’re the perfect complement to such a romantic gesture!
Safety Harbor marina, with its verdant green lawns, tall, sloping palm trees and pretty sailboats, set a quintessential Florida scene for Bryce and Danielle’s wedding day portraits. A photo of the couple, below, shows off the natural beauty of the area while also capturing an intimate glance. Love and laugher can be seen in every shot by Carrie Wildes Photography. There’s the careful way a bridesmaid does the clasp of Danielle’s sparkly bracelet and the hearty chuckles shared with groom, bride and groomsmen. Carrie and her team are able to photograph the most important moments of a wedding in an unobtrusive, natural way.
Carrie’s Two Bright Lights Experience
“We’ve had the privilege of working with WeTv and MTV networks, and have gotten quite a few of our couples’ wedding gorgeousness published using Two Bright Lights. It’s the easiest way to share images with all the vendors involved and submit to literally hundreds of different publications. I hear other vendors all the time saying how it’s like pulling teeth to get photographers to send them photos; this is something we have always done that from the beginning. Using 2BL is so much easier than burning DVDs and mailing them like we used to do! Getting published establishes credibility in the industry and helps with search engine optimization. It’s also free PR for not just us, but all the other vendors involved. Our couples love seeing their creativity, time, and the best day of their lives featured.”
Bravo to Carrie Wildes Photography for a dazzling body of work!
Photo of Carrie Wildes courtesy of Andi Diamond Photography
Nick & Kerri’s wedding: Dress Store: CC’s Boutique//Cake Designer: Chantilly Cakes//Makeup Artist: Collective Creations//DJ: Grant Hemond and Associates, Inc.//Event Venue: Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort//Floral Designer: Iza’s Flowers//Event Planner: K & K Events//Caterer: Orange Blossom Catering//
Bryce & Danielle’s wedding: Cinema and Video: Celebrations of Tampa Bay//Cake Designer: Chantilly Cakes//Hair Stylist: DESTINY AND LIGHT – HAIR AND MAKEUP//Floral Designer: Events in Bloom//DJ: Gabro Event Services//Invitation Designer: Invitation Galleria//Transportation: Olympus Limousine//Other Location: Safety Harbor Resort and Spa//