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Meet Los Angeles Photographer: Carolyn Barnes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolyn Barnes.

Carolyn, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I studied film and television in school, which led to a love of still photography. It is such a wonderful creative outlet and under certain circumstances can almost be like a form of meditation in the way it quiets and focuses your mind. Almost a decade ago I started taking headshots for friends, and along the way discovered my personal style, aesthetic, and what I love to photograph. These days I split my time between commercial video and photography work for businesses of all sizes and running a boutique studio specializing in newborns and families, weddings and couture portraits. Now that I am about to become a mother myself, photographing these special moments and relationships in peoples’ lives have even more meaning to me. There is such value in preserving them to enjoy throughout our lives and share with future generations.

Has it been a smooth road?
Business is about following your dreams and taking risks, so the road can never be too smooth. It’s really important to be organized, which is why I use 17Hats to manage my projects, invoices, and communications. I would be lost without it! Honing in on brand and style is another struggle that all businesses face, and this can lead to many sleepless nights and second guessing.

Ultimately you have to stay true to what inspires you and let the rest will become clear in time. It is a constant evolution. There have been equipment malfunctions (I always bring backup gear!) and even a flood during the first month the studio was open. Luckily the water only destroyed a few rolls of seamless paper but it left everything wet and closed us up for another 3 weeks while we fixed the issue. Perseverance is key.

What’s the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of running my business is the same challenge that a lot of small business owners face – standing out among the many other talented people in the field. But the great thing about running an artistic business is that we are all so unique. My clients come to me because they love working with me and they love my photographic style. When the right clients find you, your personalities and tastes gel , and it’s such a fun experience for everyone.

What are you striving for, what criteria or markers have you set as indicators of success?
I think the most important factor to success is how satisfied you feel with the work you are doing and the progress you are making towards that next goal. There will never be a moment where you feel “done”, but continuing to feel as though you are making some measured progress is really important. While it is important to set goals for the growth of your business, it is more important to measure your progress on things you can control. If I can look back at the end of the year and see that I have improved my customer experience, that I’ve reached out and created some new contacts, or that I’ve mastered a new skill or technique, I count that as success.

What are your plans for the future?
We just bought a house, so I am looking forward to re-designing the studio in our new space. It will be perfect for newborn and other portraits, and I think clients will really love it. I also plan to continue working with wedding clients and with new small businesses on their commercial photography needs. Of course, the biggest project in the works is our own baby! You can bet I’ll be taking a lot of pictures of him.


  • Newborn and Family sessions start at $199 (ask about our Baby’s 1st Year Plan)
  • Couture Portrait sessions start at $475 (includes hair and makeup)
  • Digital and print packages start at $250
  • Wedding packages start at $2500

Contact Info:

0-20150718-Lisa-Andrew-Wedding-0491_web_web 1-20160515-KristenBest-0314-Edit_web-2 2-AthenaFoong--13_web 3-20160319-LeonardTwins-0055-Edit_web 4-PortraitPortfolio-001_web 5-20150718-Lisa-Andrew-Wedding-0642_web_web 6-20160430-LaurenTaylor-0212-Edit-Edit_web 7-20160110-BabyMaxYun-0076-Edit_webImage Credit:
Alex McGrellis (personal photo only)
CB Photo Studio (all other images)

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