Carly Carlson Photography » Blog

Masthead header

Mori | Class of 2016



Meet Mori. Beautiful inside and out, genuine, funny and kind; soon, she will move mountains.



Not a tourist, here…

CAR_1287webConfession… I’m a judgmental person. I try to fight it but it’s deeply ingrained. Being aware of this character flaw, I feel, is a step in the right direction of becoming a less-judgmental, more loving and kind human. That said… nothing flips my judgement switch quicker than gift-shop kitsch. Not what you expected? I’ll explain.

You know the t-shirts, earrings, necklaces, pencil pouches, pins and buttons… for music lovers, travel lovers, coffee lovers, photographers. These are items possessed by those who fell in love with the idea of something but never married it. They wanted to feel it deeply in the core of their soul, but it never quite clicked, so instead they express outwardly what they subconsciously wish they understood… I’ve seen these enthusiasts as “tourists” rather than long-time residents. Passers-by that are out to prove they “saw and did and got the t-shirt” but that could never truly understand the life experience of a card-carrying citizen of the place. The people who “get it” – the ones who do feel it deeply, in the core of themselves, are too busy living out that passion to toy around with such kitsch.

Over the past few busy “workaholic” style years, a growing, gnawing feeling in my stomach has been telling me to slow down, shut down if I had to, turn it off and allow myself to breathe. With my last pregnancy, resulting in the birth of a beautiful and amazing little boy (who will be a year old next week and no I don’t want to talk about it…) I was forced to slow my roll and figure things out. While the decision to slow down was natural, final and freeing there have been many emotions and mini-freak-outs to deal with. Inner peace with a side of uncertainty.

I am asked frequently if I’m still “doing photography” – a question I cringe at. Yes. I’m still “doing photography” – if by that you mean, I’m still married to photography. I still love photography deeply; it’s in my soul in a place that it aches when the shutter clicks and the light is right and the photo is locked in place and I can share that beauty and evoke an ooh and an ahh and create something that will last longer than me… create something that’s bigger than me. I could never give this up. I’m a permanent resident. I’m not a tourist, here. I’m never leaving. It’s never leaving me.

I’m shooting once or twice a month and about half of that I’m sharing on social media. Not because I’m displeased with the results, but because I don’t have time or brain space to care about self-promotion or affirmation like, “Carly, you are fantastic, your work could cure cancer,” because my priorities and goals are so different now than they have been in years. And I am so, so at peace with that. Forgive me, though, that I struggle to say it out loud. To admit that perhaps there is a season in my life where, on the outside looking in, it may appear that I am a tourist here. I’m a judgmental person as I have said. It’s easy to assume that there are those judging me back…

All of this said, I bought myself a little something and I wear it proudly – a tongue-in-cheek statement to myself, a reminder that I have nothing to prove and I don’t need to explain myself, that I am a permanent resident and I got the t-shirt.  Mom is gonna snap. That’s the season of life I’m in; I’m wearing it on my shirt. And my heart.


And I am not a tourist here.

Give A Gift | Beginner Photography Class

The perfect gift for your favorite photography-enthusiast (or for yourself!), this 4-hour class is fast-paced, in-depth and hands-on. Each student will leave understanding how to shoot in full-manual mode, giving them the freedom and control to create beautiful images deliberately!

You will receive a physical gift certificate to sneak in a stocking or hide under the tree, gift certificates will be mailed to the address you provide at check out. Cost is $150 per person, limited quantity available. Class will take place on January 17th in Baker City. If this date does not work for you, but you would still like to give the gift of a class, please contact me to make arrangements for a later date.

Class participants must own a digital SLR camera.

Click the “Buy Now” button to purchase!

Due to the nature of this limited seat class, I am unable to refund class fees. You may, however, “sell your seat” if needed. Contact me with questions!

A few of my favorite things + a sneak peek or two

I’m always on the hunt for good beauty products. I’m pretty picky, I’m kinda cheap, but I also understand somethings are worth investing in… skin care is so important. Regular washing and moisturizing helps our skin to age well, so take care of yourself!!

These are a few of my favorite skin care and beauty products – it takes a lot to make a big ol’ pregnant lady feel good and these guys are like my little buddies every single day. I love them. :)


First Aid Beauty | Ultra Repair Cream <- click for more info!

I have always had combination skin, parts are oily and parts are dry. Around my nose, especially, is super dry to the point of cracking and peeling in the winter. Gross. A few months ago I was at Sephora and decided I needed to try something new – all my go-to products that have worked a time or two but never consistently were just on my nerves that day. I asked one of the clerks (what do you call the people that work the floor at a make-up store?? No idea…) and he flamboyantly and emphatically shoved this jar of awesome in my face.

And, now, I use it every single day. I use it on my kids sun burns and mosquito bites and it helps immediately. I use it on my face every single morning after my shower. It. is. awesome. It has completely done away with the dryness around my nose and the other weird patches I had, but it’s still light and airy feeling. I have not had any breakouts or anything since I started using it, too, I think it’s helping me have clearer skin that is oh-so-soft! It comes in a good sized jar (think 6 month supply if all you’re using it for is your face… maybe longer). Oh, and, PS it’s made without yucky ingredients like parabens, fragrances, sulfates, dyes, pthalates, GMOs, etc, etc…


albaBOTANICA acnedote Face & Body Scrub <- click for more info!

I have been a loyal Mary Kay user since I was like 13. I still love Mary Kay and would never say anything bad about the brand or the products, because, seriously, I love them. But I have had some recurring breakouts that I just could not get to go away so I wanted to try a new product and see how it went. This albaBOTANICA acnedote scrub has quickly  become my absolute favorite face & body wash I have ever used. And my husband uses it too – it has shrunk his pores (mine, too, but seriously to get a man to use a facewash that shrinks his pores is so awesome! haha) and my skin is so much more even and smooth all over. I use it every day and my skin is so glowy and fresh looking all day. I love love love it. And it smells good. Like. Naturey delicious. Locals- I get mine at BiMart. Shop local, y’all (plus… it’s cheaper locally, ha!)

No bad stuff in this product, either, 100% vegetarian, too! :)


 Younique Moodstruck 3d Fiberlash Mascara <- click for more info & to buy via my party – closes Monday 6/30!

 I love this stuff. I was super skeptical and it took me a few months of thinking about it to finally give it a shot. When I realized they have a love it guarantee I decided it’d be worth a shot- if I hated it, I’d get my money back. Well, unfortunately for my pocketbook, I LOVE it. :) So I’m hosting a party for my friend Tiffany, if you click on the link it’ll take you directly to shop from my party and help me get some of this new addiction for free!

I literally have zero lashes naturally, so being able to swipe this on in the morning has been revolutionary. I have been really happy with a couple other drugstore brands of mascara but that’s because I had no idea what I was missing. Once I gave this a try I was like “Ohhhhhhh, I get it now…”

Also love that it’s all natural, cruelty free, cry-proof (as in, I watched The Fault in Our Stars, bawled through the whole thing, left looking like a normal human with eye lashes and no Alice Cooper running down my face), washes off easily with warm water at the end of the day… long-wearing… love it.

Want to see a few more natural beauties? :) Just a couple of sneak peeks from my most recent senior sessions. I have one shoot left before my maternity leave is officially ON. It’s pretty unreal to me that the time is passing so quickly and before we know it I’ll be “mom” to THREE kiddos. What the heck! Anyway- check out these good lookin’ seniors and head over to the Facebook page to see more!

senior girl 2 carly carlson photography

senior girl carly carlsonsenior boy carly carlson photography