Love Me Do Photography is a powerhouse collective of female Wedding Photographers led by Carina and Amanda. The two Founders met at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia while studying Fine Art Photography and shortly after graduating started Love Me Do Photography in 2006.
We asked a few questions of Carina to get her perspective on life, weddings, and photography. She’s a fierce leader with a calming presence who makes things happen. Read on to get the details on how she documents each couple’s love story in a natural and artistic light.
Is there a certain moment in your career that stands out? What are you most proud of?
For many years I worked alongside my studio partner, Amanda. A moment that stands out for sure was the year we went from just the two of us, to a collaborative of photographers. I'm so honored to work alongside five other very talented female photographers that I love so dearly. I'm thankful every day for my team, as we've been together now for years. It's so great having a partner, but it's even better having a team!
What's your super power? Everyone has something they do better than everyone else.
Wow, I don't know. I think I'm too modest to claim to be able to do something better than everyone else. I do have a special connection with animals and babies. I've often been called a "dog whisperer" or "baby whisperer." Maybe it's my calming presence?
How did you become a wedding photographer?
I went to college for photography. At first, I had every intention to become a web designer, and photography was just a hobby. Quickly, it reversed and I became involved in portrait and wedding photography. Photographing people in their environments was something of interest to me, and weddings seemed to be a good way to make a living. After a season, I grew so much as a photographer and as a documentarian. Weddings were becoming less traditional and there was a greater interest in creative wedding portraiture. After photographing some close friends weddings, I started to work with a specific kind of client, one that is in tune with nature. And after my own wedding some years ago, I really started to understand the ins and outs of what goes through a bride's mind on their wedding day!
What do you love about your job?
I really love meeting new and interesting people, getting to know them, and being able to interpret their personality and style. I love seeing new places and exploring. Photography has given me the opportunity to do all of those things. I also love producing images, and I get to photograph constantly! A new favorite thing has been continuing the process with my past wedding clients, and going on to photograph their maternity and baby sessions. I love seeing their families grow and touching base with them every year or so!
Where's your favorite place in Philadelphia? In the world?
My favorite place in Philadelphia is probably my rowhome in Fishtown. I get to live there with my husband and my two dogs. We have a backyard with a firepit and wonderful neighbors that bring us treats and hang out by our fire. My second favorite place is my studio. I keep all of my plants there and it has become a haven for me. We get lots of natural sunlight and my plants really flourish there. My favorite place in the world is Hong Kong. It's where my mother is from and much of my family is there. It's an amazing city and set of islands with the best food in the world. When I'm there I eat everything in sight and get to spend time with aunts, uncles and cousins that I don't get to see very often. The landscape is tropical and each island has it's own feel to it. When you're in the city, it feels like you're in the future. I value my Chinese culture very much and love being immersed when I'm there.
Who is a Love Me Do client?
My clients range all over, but a common interest between all of them has been a love of the outdoors and nature. I tend to attract clients who value family and traditions, as well as pave their own path when it comes to their weddings. Every one of them says that they want to look natural in their photos, and that is my ultimate goal as well. They want genuine photos, un-posed moments and emotions, and artistic compositions.
How would you define your creative process?
I really listen to my clients. I like to gather as much information about them as possible when it comes to their interests and style. Paired with my photographic style, I like to capture their personalities while crafting an image. I document their day as it unfolds, and try to not force anything. Every client is different and each day is new. Besides the portrait session on the wedding day, I don't instruct my couples to do anything in particular. I want them to have fun and enjoy themselves, celebrate, dance, and spend time with their family and friends. I try to capture the mood of the day, the emotions, and moments that make up the day, and preserve memories for my clients in photographic form.
What inspires you?
My clients inspire me constantly. People who aren't afraid to be themselves and stand up in what they believe in. People that enjoy life. People that do good. I'm inspired by my husband, a writer, and (at times) a social activist. He cares deeply for the state of our world and works to make it better.
If you could give couples one word of advice what would it be?
Enjoy every moment. Sorry, that's three words!
How would you define your style?
I like to believe that my style is artistic and natural. It's hard to say entirely because I like to capture my client's style in their wedding photographs. Much of what I do is documentary but I also aim to get some really beautiful and creative portraits of my couples amidst all of the events and happenings throughout the day.
What do you do for fun?
I hang out with my dogs and my husband mostly. We have a house in the Catskills that we own with some friends that we like to go up to as often as possible. We like to sit outside, enjoy nature, hang out with our friends, have engaging conversations. I really like to propagate my plants and work on small projects like refinishing pieces of furniture.
What do you love about weddings?
I love that it's a celebration, that people come together to have a party! I especially love seeing different cultures come together and the different traditions of each culture.
How would your clients describe you?
Organized but also laid back. I like to have all of the information that I need but also go with the flow. I aim to be a calming presence for my couples on their wedding day, but also will take the extra step to make sure their wedding day runs perfectly smooth. If I have to sew a bride's button back on, or drive them to the ceremony myself, I'm ready and prepared to do it!
How would your fellow wedding professionals describe you?
Another question I'm not super sure how to answer! I've heard that I'm very good at making sure each wedding professional gets credited and gets photos from the wedding day. After each wedding when I prepare a blog post, I make sure to link to everyone involved in the wedding, and I also share photos with them so they can use them on their blog/instagram/etc. Everyone works so hard, and owning a small business is tough, so I love to work together with other wedding vendors to make sure they have what they need to succeed!