My answer? I pushed away my fears and took the leap! Doing photography as a side gig from 2013 through 2017… I decided it was time to work my passion FULL TIME in 2018! Going to grad-school and working in the marketing / nonprofit management fields made sense for me in my 20s; but the older I got—and by my third baby—I knew I yearned for a more artistic career. I am OBSESSED with my job and literally bounce out of bed every morning ecstatic for my next session or to edit my latest shoots!
So now, I have a complete in-home studio—and I LOVE it! My clients do too. When you walk in, you’ll see a huge white backdrop, tons of props, and lots of cameras in a 20x24 room. I use this space a lot! The next room (aka, living room) is set up with two couches, a chaise, and a fireplace—which makes a beautiful set up from boudoir & maternity to family photos and headshots. Finally, the “boudoir room” (aka, our fifth bedroom in the house) is also located on the first floor and is designed to be the sexiest boudoir studio around. This room boasts a queen bed & grey tufted headboard, two crystal lamps on mirrored nightstands, beautiful curtains, and a gorgeous crystal chandelier. It mimics a cozy hotel room, ideal for those intimate pictures!
Oooh. This is a tough one! So, obviously, I LOVE boudoir—and especially couples boudoir. Not only am I one of the most experienced boudoir photographers in the state, but I’m also dubbed the most fun. I’ll have you dancing, giggling, feeling your own vibes with sexy music and lots of poses and prompts. Because I’ve captured over 500 people and couples, I’ve seen it all, heard it all, and can help you feel beautiful in your skin. Capturing the passion between lovers is so exhilarating and makes me feel so honored to get those special sexy moments.
But… I also LOVE shooting weddings! I know, I know… I must be crazy. But I’m sort of like your “new” bestie for the day. I’m going to follow you around, encourage real smiles and candid moments, remind you of the important things we should capture—and I’ll even help to calm you down so you can enjoy your special day. Many of my brides have described me as “vital to their wedding day” because I help to coordinate timing, people, and events.
Families, seniors, kiddos, maternity, engagements, headshots… these always bring so much joy to my heart. Seriously!! I’d say I have a 99% FIVE STAR rating among all kiddos. I will jump, giggle, tickle, and high-five any kiddo to smile just right. I will encourage couples to “own their person” (aka, kiss & touch & focus on that partner of yours). I will remind maternity mamas just how precious and beautiful and strong they are. And I will NOT stop shooting until I get the most perfect, genuine headshot of you for whatever needs you have!
Ps. I also do corporate events, family gatherings, nonprofit galas, real estate, and more! My fav event so far was capturing a concert “rave” at the Pavilion in 2019. Those attendees were decked out in the coolest outfits!
(photo taken by Elizabeth Smith Photography, edited by Photog Boss Babe, LLC)
Great question! I am 100% a Nikon girl.
Right now, my main camera body is a Nikon Z7i (my fourth child—haha!). My backup cameras are Nikon D850 and Nikon D750. I have lenses coming out of my ears—but my favs include my Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, my Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4, and my Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8.
My favorite shooting type is natural lighting (or low-constant lighting with shadow boxes or ring lights) with the lowest ISO I can muster with the widest aperture my lens can manage.
Shooting 100% in manual for the last several years has taken my work from “Charrie’s good” to “Dayum!!! Charrie’s badass!!”
I’m a huge proponent of “knowledge is power.”
I research, YouTube, google, and learn everything that I can about photography. From lighting, posing, editing tricks, and more. I’m a part of at least two dozen photographer-Facebook groups. And I invest heavily in not only my equipment, but all my software.
One thing that’s helped me the most is to connect with other photogs throughout the country to learn from them and their experiences as an entrepreneur, artist, and marketer.
This was the VERY first photo I ever took with a DSLR back in September 2009. I think it was a Nikon D3000?
It was literally with my gorgeous 2 year old in front of lens on New Smyrna Beach, pregnant with baby #2, working full time in public health as the Grants Director at Wishard Hospital, that I realized my passion for photography. I had no clue how much I needed to learn—let’s face it, I used automatic (point and click) and couldn’t tell you the first thing about the exposure triangle or photoshop back then, but I knew I had a knack for composing art.
Fast forward 14 years later and catch me at 6am on a Thursday… still not having went to bed because I’ve been up editing weddings… BUT instead of pulling an all-nighter for another federal grant proposal, I’m jamming to music, sitting in a robe, and giggling at the bridesmaids dancing with the beautiful bride on my screen. I don’t have my boss, the head of legal, or another physician on the phone clamoring to submit a proposal for the 9am deadline. I don’t have state govt officials vetoing the submission of an already written 108 page proposal to help already-parenting teens with abstinence plus programs. And I definitely no longer deal with “mean girls” and being told I can’t go home to care of a kid with 103 fever. I’ll take being swamped with editing cutie newborns and gorgeous boudoir clients any day.
I spent my 20s and into my 30s in grad school and working my tail off in public health and nonprofit management. I wouldn’t trade the knowledge and experience for anything. But I was never complete. That drive to wake up each day and get excited when my feet hit the floor as I rolled out of bed wasn’t there. It wasn’t til I took my passion seriously that I realized what I’d been missing. I guess I owe it all to my now (almost) 16 year old for being such a great muse.