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Rising Stars: Meet Carla Byrnes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carla Byrnes.

Hi Carla, how did you get to where you are today? 
Growing up, my dad was extremely into photography. It was a hobby of his as he was ALWAYS taking pictures. In fact, in my basement growing up my parents had thousands of photos all over the family room when people use to print and frame pictures instead of having them on their phones. I strongly feel my dad’s passion rubbed off on me as I always enjoyed taking pictures and wanted to model when I was younger.

In college, I joined a modeling organization called Limitless Fashion Club which honestly changed my life. It helped me build confidence and introduced me to the fashion industry. We did runway and print modeling, so photoshoots and photography became an instant passion. Fast forward to 2019, I was in a tough place in my life and really wanted a hobby that would bring me instant joy. Around this time a few of my friends commented on how nicely I took pictures on my phone, so I decided to buy a camera to see if I can equally take nice pictures with a professional camera.

I did free photoshoots for friends and family as practice, and then one day my friend Ashlee asked me “when are you going to start charging??” I definitely wanted to turn my hobby into a business but didn’t think I was ready, nor did I think I would have the time. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I went from working two jobs (one full-time and one part-time) to just working one job that allowed me to have nothing but time on my hands.

I decided to launch Carla Jamaé Photography on July 23rd, 2020 because that was my 1-year brain surgery anniversary after being diagnosed with a rare disorder called Chiari Malformation. I love capturing a person’s authentic self, which is my slogan. I want to make my clients feel comfortable when working with me all while having fun!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No! Lol. Booking a client and then them canceling last minute or not showing up, “dry “ season where business goes from excellent to no bookings. You really have to stay encouraged during this time and stay proactive!!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a Clinical Study Manager at a Contract Research Organization. I manage several sexually transmitted infection protocols. I love the public health field and my passion and expertise in patient engagement and outreach. I am also currently pursuing my MPH from The University of Maryland.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
To me, success is when I have created an everlasting experience and memory with and for my client from booking to photo delivery.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Babatunde Fakuade, Malachi Bradford, Terrance Butler, Braylen Nelson, and Carla Byrnes

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