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Meet Chanda Carter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chanda Carter.

Hi Chanda, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’ve always had a love for photography, my whole life!

I can remember digging through an old box of photos when I was a child and just wondering and very intrigued by how did people make this happen! In 6th Grade, I entered a photo contest in 4-H, and then I went on to being on the annual staff in high school and developing film in the darkroom!

Then as I had children my parents bought me a nice point-and-shoot camera and I was always striving to get the perfect shot! 18 years ago I was at home, not working, and bored and my husband asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to learn how to use a camera, a real camera the correct way, and completely understand settings and lighting.

So that following Christmas he purchased me my first DSLR and I studied the owner manual like I was cramming for a college exam and learned my camera backward and forwards. I was babysitting my neighbor’s baby girl and she was my subject and I would do little photo shoots with her constantly! She had an aunt that was getting married and had seen photos I took of her and asked me if I would shoot her wedding and offered to pay me $300!

I was hesitant but decided, what the heck! That was the start of something big! Before I knew it I was shooting several sessions a day! We then moved to San Antonio and San Antonio Weddings Magazine was having a cover contest. I entered and shot for that and won the cover!

After that my wedding business exploded! I had more work than I could keep up with! I spent over 200 days away from home in 2012 shooting weddings and on the road, some barefoot on the beach in Mexico!

It sounds glamorous but it was hard work! I wanted to try to ease out of wedding photography and focus more on babies and children so I developed my first baby package, Oh Baby, and wedding clients that were having babies were signing up!

Long story short, today I have 151 babies in my Oh Baby program and shoot 5-7 sessions every single day! I have 2 full-time employees who do all my editing and social media. I am now housed in a beautiful studio that I had built beside my home that is sized for newborns and children in the Texas Hill Country!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Finding the right editors is a hard one!

But I am in my happy place now, finally! I have my daughter, Jessyca who has worked for me for about 12 years, and Geneva has been with me for 3 years! Both of these girls work their tails off for me and I am so very thankful for both of them!

Texas weather, as we all know is a hard one! When shooting maternity and families the weather always is a challenge. From wind to rain, it’s so unpredictable and I have to have good weather to get good photos!

Balancing my calendar is a biggie! I have so many clients it’s hard to keep track of everything, but I manage and keep my head above water!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’ve always been creative and artsy and used to scrapbook all my personal photos. I took pictures and told stories with them and now I tell stories with my photos!

I want people to feel something when they look at my photos and give them something they will treasure forever! If the mom is crying looking at photos with joy, I’ve done my job!!

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
My husband is my biggest support! He is my right-hand man anytime I call for him! Whether it be setting up a scene, moving something, being Santa, fixing, or building a prop!

You name it, he does it! I could not do what I do without him! He is simply a true blessing! All my Moms of all my sweet babies are also big support and collaboration!

I have moms that host their home for Christmas PJ Minis and offer their land and locations for photo shoots! They are always willing to help and give great new ideas as well!

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