My name is Carli Rene.
A wise man once said when you're in an argument with someone you say "I agree. I agree." and then you go home and live your life.
I whole-heartedly believe we are each on our own path because no matter how long and how hard we try to convince others of our belief system, no matter how long and how tediously we try to legislate our position, we will all go home and live our lives behind closed doors the way we believe. And why shouldn't we? If we are not harming others, if we are not tearing another down, shouldn't we live only how we feel whole-heartedly convicted? A rising tide raises all ships.
I believe we are better by mistake. In raising my 5 year old daughter (co-parenting :) and in having this company for 10 years this year, I have learned it is so important to foster an environment of allowing those around you to make mistakes and to view them as fascinating mysteries to learn from rather than unfixable failures. This is everything. You would have seen and met an entirely different "me" before I had that darling ball of sunshine. She reminds me: to be human is to error. The reality is that life my life of being a mom, being an entrepreneur, your life, us walking this earth, is freaking hard, messy work. To gift that grace to others is to feel it returned 1000 fold.
Every moment we are writing the story of our lives.
Ask me where I'm from. "Everywhere" is my typical response. My father was in the Air Force and the moving every 2-3 years, the transient nomad life brought me to the realization that home is wherever your tribe is. I've lived in Austin, Texas since 2005; I came here for UT and never left. For now, Austin is where I've laid my head from Mueller to Buda, but my tribe, my 4 sisters and one brother and faithful friends that would pick up my phone call (because they've accepted my resisting text for so long) live all over the globe.
My heart is with them.
My heart is in these words, in still photographs.
It is who I am. It is what I do.
I'm so grateful I haven't paid a penny to advertise since 2008.
2008 is the year I got my DBA, encouraged by then husband and business partner. You will see we each have our own companies now and are successfully co-parenting our daughter.
All of the business then and now has come from past happy clients and/or social media, a testimony to the incredible people I work with every single day.
I went to the University of Texas for photojournalism but never completed by degree. I blame Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as my inspiration. I tell you this right off the bat because I want to give you inspiration that if there is a will and a desire inside of you to do or be, then a degree is only one path to getting there, and maybe it isn't your path. And that is OK.
I am a photographer full time and most recently wrapped up the shooting of Eric Silverstein's cookbook memoir, owner of The Peached Tortilla and the Peached Social House. I photographed the majority of the images on both of those websites, too, but from the images you've seen thus far on my own site, I'm not exclusively a food photographer. I'm not exclusively any kind of photographer... and that throws some for a loop. My shooting weddings for 7+ years gifted me the confidence and belief that at the end of the day, I am photographing essentially two things: light and people.
It has taken me almost ten years to realize it all boils down to this.
1) It is: How do I put this [whatever I am shooting] in the best light, no matter the circumstances? and
2) It is getting to know and better understand the people, whether in front of or behind my lens, asking the right questions and learning more about what they decide to pour their hearts into [their business, families, etc].
I've completed Instagram campaigns with Tiffany & Co, Samsung, Gap Kids, to name a few, since 2011, and that same year was on Mashable's Top 15 Instagram Photographers, in the same light as MTV and Burberry. I frequently get asked how I have 100K+ followers on Instagram. Being the shy-away-from-the-spotlight kind of gal, the short story is by a serendipitous twist of fate I was put on Instagram's suggested users list in 2011, barely a year after the company began and far before such structured algorithms. It was even before they actually informed you that you made the suggested users list. It feels weird for me to say I was an early adapter of the Instagram campaign. Before my joining the app in 2010, a few weeks after the app premiered, I had just started my photography company, shooting primarily weddings and portraits. Now I focus on creating content for businesses' social media/web presence, shoot covers and features of a local up and coming publication Mueller Living and always enjoy photographing families, newborns and couples.
Having lived in Austin since 2005, I whole-heartedly support local. My heart and soul live with small businesses as I am one myself! Peached Tortilla, Peached Social House, House of Margot Blair, Summer Moon Coffee, Define Body are a few brands here in Austin I've had the privilege of helping to build/photograph.
It's a pleasure to help them find their voice and then give them this gift of photographs that we create together.
I believe every job is a collaboration.
Your heart, my art, and lots of open communication.
I've traveled from NYC to the Middle East on campaigns, oftentimes with my daughter and sometimes just solo. I feel it is the biggest gift in this lifetime that I get to do the two things I love with my whole heart: raise a daughter and get paid to create.
Thank you for trusting me to create moments that define these things you pour your heart into.
The joy is mine.
Facebook | 1.4k+ Followers
Twitter | 440+ Followers
Instagram | 160k + Followers
On average 91K Impressions per week on IG | 1.8k+ views per IG story
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