Carrie Swails | Featured Showiteer


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Location – Denver, CO.
Specialty – As a photographer I specialize in non-traditional, nerdy, geeky, and offbeat weddings. As an educator I specialize in teaching business on
Years in Business – I just celebrated my 7th year as a photographer, the first few years were me being in pretty crappy business haha, so I don't know how much they count!
What are some of your personal and business goals for the coming year? As far as business goals go I'm looking forward to taking my specialization to the next level with Jeff Jochum's coaching. I want my blog to become not just a place where I share my client's photos, but a lifestyle blog. I have plans to change the domain to and really dive in to the weirdness. My biggest business goal is to continue keeping this business fun. My biggest personal goal is to hit 20 countries by the time I'm 30 (not far off), so I have 3 more countries to get to in the very near future.
Do you have a favorite shoot? My favorite shoot is always the one I haven't done yet.
Do you have any advice for new photographers? I have so much advice for the newbies. You can find it all at That's 2.5 years of advice blogged on almost a daily basis. Really though my biggest piece of advice for new photographers is to be prepared to take risks. I'm a very cautious person by nature so my family is always continually surprised that I own not just one business, but two and that I live life on the edge by not having an income that some would call “regular.” If you want your business to be successful you have to take risks, try new things, learn new camera techniques, and always be open to something new. If you don't take risks the only thing you are guaranteed is that things will stay exactly the same. If something isn't working in your business change it.
What inspires you? I've been inspired by Tolkien's books since I was a kid. I'm an avid reader. By avid I'm not even remotely joking. In the last 2 weeks I've read 5 books. Outside of business books my reading list contains a lot of fantasy and historical fiction. There's something about the visuals in these types of books that has always inspired me as an artist. I also love to paint, draw, and make pottery. I have my own little pottery studio at my house and rarely have my art shown in a gallery, but it has been known to happen. I go to figure drawing sessions every couple weeks. I play guitar and take lessons weekly. I don't know, all those things keep me on my toes and remind me that photography isn't the only thing in my life. I love this business, but there are so many other cool things I want to do. I think finding time to get away from the business and photography is what keeps me motivated to keep going.
Fun Facts About Carrie –
– I speak Norwegian
– I have a Smaug tattoo
– I have a dog who I affectionally refer to as my souldog. Her name is Opal, I can't imagine my life without her. I cry when I go on vacation because I have to leave her behind and I get butterflies in my stomach coming home because I know I get to see her.
– I also have a husband who I affectionally refer to as “Husband” and his nickname for me is “Wife.” I love him ALMOST as much as I love Opal.
– We have two other dogs who we also love a lot named The Lily and Rufus.
– Scary crime TV shows are my jam.
– I put the toilet paper roll on the wrong way. Some people are bothered by this, I'm just thankful to have toilet paper.
– I love school supplies, planners and organizing tools so much I invented my own!
Favorite or go-to equipment/accessories? I don't want to remember what my life was like before I had the 35 1.4L. If all my other lenses broke I know I could still rock out a wedding with just that one lens.
What do you like to do when you're not shooting/working? I really really REALLY love to do puzzles. Being a visual artist makes me a puzzle snob though. They must be visually appealing puzzles and they must have at least 1000 pieces. As a result pretty much all my puzzles are Thomas Kinkade puzzles. Other puzzles just aren't good enough for me. I love going wine tasting and seeing movies in the movie theater. Anything involving wearing a costume is a must for me. Going to comic con and the renaissance festival are so important I will not book weddings on those dates. Is it weird to say that I also really like cleaning my house?
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