By Ritika Jain
Carrie Schlecht has only been a professional photographer for three years now, but has mastered her craft producing photos of families, children, and young but mature high school seniors. Carrie was initially inspired by one of her friends to pursue photography, who took her on and taught her everything she knew. And now, photography isn’t just a side job she does for fun, but something that is integrated in her daily life.
“My girls are both models and we’ve been around the industry for quite some time, and now they are always coming up with needing a photo for something. We’re always going somewhere, somebody’s always dressed up, and it’s for their social media,” said Carrie.
However, her work has been put on hold temporarily due to the ongoing pandemic. She said she’s only been able to take pictures of her daughters and her dog.
Carrie has a very specific but unique style to her photography. You can usually see her subjects, from happy photogenic families to stylish young adults standing in grassy, flowery fields, against lakes or trees or other outside scenery. When asked about developing her own technique, she said it comes quite naturally to her.
“It’s my vision. The way I photograph is I look around and I find something and I can visually see what it will look like or what I want the end result to be.” A golden hue is also noticeably consistent with all her photos with the help of a pre-set. She said she is particular about everyone having a warm tone.
However, Carrie isn’t just a photographer, but also a people person. She not only works with couples, families, children and teens but develops a close bond with them beyond the photo session. She specifically loves working with her high school seniors, giving behind-the-scenes insight on the fun and challenging parts of the process.
“I absolutely adore them and every one of them is so unique and individual. It’s a real challenge because the majority of them want to get their picture taken but they feel awkward, so it’s my job to keep the camera going and after they think I’m done, I get that real look and the real laugh. And so I capture it after they think their photo has been taken,” said Carrie.
Carrie has a knack for making everyone look as if they are made for the camera, which is a favorable asset to have. She presents her seniors in a natural, authentic, and quirky way, capturing their confidence as well as their innocence. She also has a strategy working with young kids and learning how to outsmart them. She said the children will only give two seconds of their time, to which in that case she would play games with them and cater to their preferences to get them to obey her offers.
It’s clear that Carrie has an eye for candid moments, as she said the most challenging part of her job is getting everyone to pose naturally. She’s captured love in all forms, from intimate moments between partners to the loving disposition between a mother and her child with a glow casted over them by the lazy sun. The most rewarding part for her is receiving her clients’ satisfactory reactions to their photos.
As for the commercial side of things, Carrie said she is currently focusing on “setting up more stuff with [her] business, building [her] website and expanding on the things that [she] wants to do, like making guides for high school seniors.”
For Carrie, photography is a hobby and profession wrapped in one package. Her craft doesn’t solely consist of taking pictures, but presenting people just as they are but in new, imaginative ways. Her love of people and being behind the camera is evident in the soft, golden tones of her photos and the gleams on her subject’s faces. Carrie says that social media has been a beneficial tool for her. Check out her diverse collection of beautiful shots on her Facebook @carriesphoto and Instagram @carrieschlechtphotography!
Ritika Jain is an editorial writer who focuses on all things fashion, pop culture, and important social events. Follow her on Instagram.