Friday, February 26, 2010


ahhhhh, i feel like i can breathe!

thursday night was a really special night for me. as you know, i spent the evening at tri community as a guest speaker in one of their photography classes. i have been invited there before as a speaker, and also hosted a photoshoot workshop (for lack of a better term) there. i was really excited that they invited me back...but then i got nervous. why, you may ask???

have a seat, this a little heavy...

the honest truth is that 2009 was a tough year! mostly the end of 2009...and it is still tough! i was nervous to go speak to students who might "look up" to my position, because all my stories as of late have been about me getting kicked in the teeth. at first, i was feeling a little embarrassed, thinking, i don't want to tell them that i am not booking major campaigns, and making huge money!!! but then i had to check wouldnt be fair to them, or me.

that brings me to state the obvious...the economy sucks - we all know that. i am thankful that i didnt have a 401k or a home to lose, although, i dont have a 401k or own a home, so glass half full, or empty? full!!!! more than just a bad economy, my biggest problem this year was learning lessons. hard ones. a lot of contractual lessons, client relationship lessons, money lessons, trade lessons, and good old fashioned hard work lessons. none more important than the other...some definitely harder to learn than others.

see, i had never had to work really hard to get work - or clients. i have to admit that i have been very fortunate in photography so far, but i could do so much better. i had a long term client last year that chose to end our relationship very abruptly. i have no need to say why, or to go into detail, but it was a suprise. i had worked with them for a long time, and my duties were steadily growing with them. so much so, that i started to neglect other aspects of my business...not on purpose, it just happened. i didnt realize at the time the damage i was doing to my self and the opportunity to stay busy once the relationship ended. basically, i was up shit creek without a paddle. i had not built any relationships with other lines, pr companies, or showrooms. suddenly i had no potential clients.

the thing was, that i didnt really even know what to do to get them! i was paralyzed.

fast forward to the beginning of february. i realized just how bad it was, and i had one night of crying and freaking out. the next day, i got up, went to work on getting work, and havent looked back since! i cant tell you how it feels to have a fire burn inside you - you have to experience will know when it happens to you. i have almost a fury about me now, that drives me from the moment i wake until late at night when i am in bed, on the computer finding leads to email the following morning. i have never taken so many meetings in my life! i have made relationships with people who didnt know i existed before february! i am finding ways to survive!

i decided to make promo cards ( little leave behinds to help sell you to potential clients) for my newest photographic passion, maternity and newborns!! here is an example!

maria carmel_los angeles maternity photographer

long story long, i am on fire. i have never had it so bad, but i have never worked so hard, and its never felt so good.

its therapeutic to talk about tough times, and verbalize how you are getting through it. the most important thing is to keep it real, it is so easy to lie to yourself, and so tiring. remember that you are not alone - we all struggle. even the biggest and best. keep you heads up, and support one another - we will grow, get better, and survive!

thank you again to albert martinez, and tri community for having me!


Thursday, February 25, 2010


hi everyone!

yesterday i had my shoot with the wonderful lindsay sloane. she was so fablous and fun to work with, and a total trooper! as you know, it was super rainy, overcast, and cold yesterday...and of course, we were scheduled to shoot outside. yikes!

problem? no way! we got some cute umbrellas, and went to work! i was lucky enough to have a great team on board yesterday... the wall group's kayleen mcadams on makeup, and richard collins on hair. amazing wardrobe from stylist steph ashmore, and my awesome assistant, eric bradshaw.

the look we created was all about being fresh, young and feminine. looking through images was fun to do, since there was so much great stuff. lindsay's personality is upbeat and fun, and it totally showed in her film. (just so everyone knows, i did shoot this digitally. film is only a term used to describe all her shots...if youre annoyed by that, sorry)

looking forward to being able to put some up from the day, and when the issue of eliza magazine comes out!

last thing for today...
tonight i speak at tri community at 7pm. i am super excited, and have a lot of important things to tell the students tonight. if you are going tonight, i will see you there. if you or someone you know are interested in having me come to your school and talk, please email me!

hope everyone is having a great day! i will leave you with some inspiration...


Monday, February 22, 2010



red lipstick


maria carmel_los angeles fashion photographer
hailey clauson


my trusty wacom tablet

my camera

ice cream

finding notes from nick
maria carmel_los angeles fashion photographer
being a contributor, and shooting the editor's picture!


maria carmel_los angeles fashion photographer
when i find cool adaptations of my images online


love and england

andy samberg

being in a david lachapelle masterpiece (i am her body - not the boobs or legs though!)
funny illustrations with flies


when other bloggers shout me out

mario testino

natalia vodianova

red heads

ellen von unwerth

helmut newton

most of these images are not my own, so if you see an image that belongs to you, let me know so i can credit you!




well, i just wrote this entire post, and realized that i messed something up, so i copied the entire thing before deleting it...THEN i guess i copied something else, erasing my entire blog post! aaahhhhhhhhh!

ok, it happens.

i will try this again, lol.

so, this week is BUSY! and i like that, A LOT!
first on the agenda, is pre production (pre-pro) for a shoot with lindsay sloane. you may remember her as 'big red' from 'bring it on', or as 'valerie' on 'sabrina the teenage witch' - or is that just me? hey, i loved that show, and yes, i may have watched bring it on 5 times (last week)...jk, kind of.
the shoot is for a one-pager in eliza magazine, running in the spring issue. i have never met lindsay, but think the shoot will be super fun! we are shooting here at casa de carmel, so pre-pro does include a clean up (or a white tornado, as my dad would call it).

simultaneously, i am doing pre-pro for a press shoot for pop star, jessie malakouti! she is an american, but has been living in europe for almost 3 years, kicking ass. she is kind of a big deal across the pond! besides being super talented, she could not be sweeter - i cant wait to work with her. we will be shooting behind the scenes video too, so video and images to come!

this week i will also be working with some newbies! i get tons of emails from aspiring photographers, and i am always so happy when they ask if they can come to a shoot so they can learn. i always say yes, because it is a great opportunity for them to donate their time and service in order to get a taste of the real thing. i love to contribute to the foundation of someones career, its important to pay it forward! i totally respect the hustle, and always have told myself 'if you dont ask, the answer will always be NO'. something to think about...

last for this week, and probably my most exciting venture, i have been invited as a guest speaker!! on thursday night, i will be speaking at tri community, an adult photography program located just outside of los angeles, in covina. this is my third time as a guest, and i am so excited!! there is such a diverse group of photographers there, all eager to learn and share. they are always so gracious to me, and speaking to others about photography is one of my favorite things about my job. please check out the program, you will be amazed at what they offer!

ok, i did it. longest post ever.
i am working on a visual post for later, so check back!


Friday, February 19, 2010


oh. my. gosh.

i am back, but this time, i am better - promise! i am so excited too!!!

i figured that it was about time that i make the branding of my business uniform throughout. thanks to my good friend paul von rieter, an ace wedding photographer, i got off my butt and DID it!!!

2009 was full of ups and downs for me and my business, and you know what, i wouldnt change a thing. sure, you think to yourself...'gosh, if i would have...then i would be...' but you know what?! i learned so so so much about my business, but more importantly, about myself this last year. no one likes to learn the hard way, but sometimes you just gotta. im stronger than ever!

i just want to take a moment to thank everyone that has consistantly followed me and my career - before the show, and of course because of the show. just to know that so many people support me in my journey is incredibly comforting and humbling. i have not had to go it alone at any point, and to all those who have helped me along my path, i thank you with my whole heart.

this year, after learning some serious lessons, i am committed to expanding my business, making strong relationships, and getting better at my craft EVERY SINGLE DAY. that means blogging regularly, shooting shooting shooting for clients AND for myself, and taking the time to reach out to my current and potential clients. i am so excited!!

did i mention that i am excited?!
please stay tuned, spread the word, ask me questions, and continue to be awesome.