I was so honored when I was contacted about shooting for Jersey Collective! I’ll be taking over their Instagram account this week so make sure you’re following them. We’re on our annual camping trip this week so you’ll get to see all of our adventures along the way
Here’s my interview with Kerri Sullivan:
Let’s start with the easy stuff—who are you and what do you do?
Hey there, I’m Carly (the chick behind Carly Valentine Photography). I’m a wedding and portrait photographer out of Haddonfield, NJ.
Tell us about your studio! What are you trying to do there, aesthetically? Where do you find all of those adorable things you fill it with?
Well thanks for thinking it’s adorable! My studio space is a direct reflection of my style both personally and professionally. I make an effort to curate my life in every aspect. I like to think that it helps people understand and recognize my vision. It really is all in the details. It matters to me how my work is printed and displayed. A lot of the decor is from things my grand mom, mom or I have made. I’m thankful to have been influenced by strong artistic women. I often think about their styles while forming my own. They taught me to repurpose objects and to make some pretty out of nothing.
The objects themselves come from various places: family heirlooms, thrift stores, antique shops. I like being surrounded by images and objects that tell a story or have an unknown history.
What’s it like being located in Haddonfield?
It’s the cutest town. It makes me happy to go to work. It’s just really lovely and pleasant.
What do you love about working in the wedding industry?
I actually try not to pay attention to what other people in the industry are doing. I made a decision this year not to compare myself or my work. The only other photographers I follow are people I’m friends with in real life to show them love and support.
The thing that I love most about my job is documenting incredible relationships. I also really love when I become the family photographer for past clients. I’m always so honored to photograph what’s most important to people.
I remember seeing a blog post of yours a while back where you thanked your second shooters by name and showcased some of their images. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wedding photographer do that before, and I thought it was such a wonderful expression of gratitude. What else do you think makes you different from other wedding photographers?
I am definitely grateful to the incredible photographers who work with me. We all went to school together and they’re some of my closest friends. Normally, I only post photographs on my site and blog that I’ve created. I just want my portfolio to be a true representation of the work I produce. However, their work always floors me and I thought it should be showcased. I also want to promote them as much as I can. I feel lucky that they share their time and talent with me and my couples. It has been years now of us working together and I’m so glad they’re still with me every weekend. I’m constantly inspired by their presence in my life. Judi, Tifani, Joanna, and Susan: I adore you.
I’m different from other wedding photographers because I don’t care about the business. I just want to be out in the world shooting all the time. I also don’t walk in to a wedding day with a to do list on my mind. I capture moments that move me. The most common comment that I’ve heard about my work is that the images are real. I’m very pleased with that.
What influence, if any, does living and working in New Jersey have on your work?
I love this state because my portfolio is filled with a variety of landscapes.
What are your plans for the week you’ll be shooting for Jersey Collective?
The week I chose is during our annual camping trip in the Wharton State Forest. It is where I am the happiest. The cabins we rent are such a big part of my childhood and now we make new memories there with our friends and family. Regarding shooting, I plan to concentrate on personal work and thoroughly enjoy taking the time to do so. Thank you so much for this opportunity.