Caroline Ghetes Photography ~ Charlotte, NC

We couldn't wait to tell you more about the amazing, talented Caroline Ghetes! Her images spring from a love of art and editorial photography with a bit of clever humor thrown in for good measure. Surrealism has provided the inspiration for a number of her sessions, including one of our favorites recently featured on Completely Unveiled. If haven't already seen it, be sure to check out Patricia and Dennis' engagement session feature! We love Caroline's style and her devotion to creating unique, spectacular images. Read on to learn more about Caroline and what inspires the woman behind the lens.

Caroline Ghetes Photography is based in Charlotte, NC but is available throughout North Carolina and worldwide. To contact Caroline Ghetes visit her website or call 704.208.6980.

Weddings Unveiled: Tell us a little bit about Caroline Ghetes Photography.

Caroline Ghetes: If you were to tell me 5 years ago that I would be a mother to four children ages four and under, head over heels in love with my husband and running a successful photography company, I would have thought you were crazy. Looking back, I realized that taking pictures was something I had always enjoyed doing, but NEVER (in my wildest dreams) did I think I could actually follow through and do it. Honestly, I owe it all to God for blessing me with a husband who, if it weren't for him, I would not be doing what I am doing. When I thought I couldn't do it, he pushed me. When I didn't think I was good enough, he reassured me. When I wanted to give the dream up altogether, he refused to let me. So although I am the face of Caroline Ghetes Photography, Alin is the reason it even exists. With that said, I told myself from the very beginning that I would never let any of my successes get to my head and that I would always stay grounded. My brides have found me to be relatable, sincere, and down-to-earth. I thank the good Lord above for helping me keep humble.

WU: How did you become a wedding photographer?

CG: My husband's sister, Otilia, who I consider my own sister and a very good friend, had photographed a couple of weddings for friends and family and I asked if I could tag along on a few of them. She agreed and thank God that she did. I had bought a Minolta film camera for my personal use and couldn't wait to use it for a wedding. Secretly I was happy that I wasn't the main photographer, because just in case I messed up, I didn't want to be the one taking the blame. I tagged along more or less for practice. I never thought it would turn into anything else. Otilia liked my photojournalistic approach and for a while, we shot together, complementing each other's styles with our own. The moment I knew I would become a wedding photographer was when Otilia and I presented a slideshow movie of favorite images to a bride and she cried. At that moment, my heart felt full. I felt so lucky to be a part of something that I knew would be special to someone else for the rest of their lives. I am thankful to Otilia for opening herself and her knowledge to me and giving me that kick in the butt I needed.

WU: Digital or film or both? Why?

CG: Digital foshizzle. Why? Simple. The last wedding I ever second-shot for in film, all of my images turned out black. I cried and cried and cried (and thank God I was only a second-shooter). I swore that I would use digital from that moment on. The camera technology offered instant gratification and review and I never turned back. I think I may try some antique cameras in the near future, but more for my own personal projects.

WU: Describe your wedding photography style.

CG: I don't like to pin myself down on one style, but in a nutshell I would say editorial lifestyle photography with a dash of surrealism here and there.

WU: Show us your favorite wedding image and tell us why it represents who you are as wedding photographer.

CG: For some reason, this image was one that stuck out the moment I saw it in my LCD screen and it still sticks with me more than 8 months later. I love seeing the funny in every picture, but it's even better when it's understated, rather than in-your-face funny. The bridesmaids were fidgeting with her veil and the bride just wasn't liking it, complaining that it hurt every time they adjusted her headpiece. What I love about this particular image most are the facial expressions. The bride just looks like she is about to let her have it and the bridesmaid looks wary and unsure of what is about to happen. I love it.

WU: What inspires you? What inspires your photography?

CG: I love surreallist artists like Rene Magritte. When I look at his art, I get excited because I feel like he is the only one who would ever understand what goes on in my mind. So random. So confusing. So pointless... and yet that is what interests me most. When working with a bride & groom, as far as their creative images, I try to let their surroundings and the couple themselves inspire me.

WU: How do you keep your wedding photography fresh?

CG: I am constantly writing down random ideas and concepts I want to play out, whether it's in an upcoming wedding, bridal session or whatever. I wait for the perfect willing client and then I watch my ideas come to life. I don't worry if it has already been done, since I highly doubt that there is anything that hasn't been done at least once. I try not to follow blogs as much as I used to. I found that it was unconsciously inspiring some of my own shots, when I thought I was being unique. I also try to look at the work of artists in mediums other than photography to inspire some of my concepts - in my own way, of course.

WU: Do you do non-wedding photography work? If so, how does it influence your wedding photography?

CG: I do many different styles of portraits, but have found most of my portrait clients are maternity and newborn. I don't try any harder or less harder to be unique when doing my portrait sessions. I bring the same equipment, same attitude and same mindset to every portrait session or wedding day shoot. The only difference is that I have more time to think during a portrait session and with weddings I am constantly in "go" mode. When I'm not moving, I'm anticipating moments. I'm always ready.

WU: What makes you different from other wedding photographers?

CG: I wish I could say that I knew every wedding photographer and the way they did things in order to compare myself to them, but I don't. I put a lot of time into editing and making sure that EVERY picture the bride receives does not leave my hands unless it is perfect to me. Brides have told me that they can tell that I put my heart and soul into my work and I am so happy to know that it shows, because I do. Some photographers photograph weddings for the money, but I honestly feel like I am so incredibly lucky to be the one that snapped that extra perfect moment on a couple's wedding day - that they can look back at every now and then to remember just how in love they were.

WU: What would be your ideal wedding assignment?

CG: Am I allowed to dream big here? It would be to photograph a romantic wedding in my most favorite place in the world, Paris. Preferably in the Notre Dame Cathedral (is that even allowed?). Their creative shots would be done in the most non-cliche areas of Paris.

WU: Tell us three things you can't live without.

CG: If it's about people, it would be God, my husband & kids. If it's about things, I would say my Canon 5D MarkII, my Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens & Totally Rad Actions.

WU: What is the best advice you can give to an engaged couple?

CG: I have three pieces of advice and they are all pretty random. #1: It is so important to not forget what's most important in the whole wedding planning process. Plan your marriage as well as the wedding itself. #2: Also, when choosing a photographer make sure that you don't hire someone because they're "cheap." Or you can't get the photographer you REALLY want because they're a few hundred dollars over your budget. If you're spending $20k on your wedding what's another few hundred bucks to spend on something you'll be stuck looking at FOREVER? Since your photographer is one of the few vendors, if not only the vendor, that is with you throughout the entire day, you have to choose one that you are comfortable with, that gets you, that you trust. You have to be in love with his/her work more than anything. You cannot redo your wedding day and so it's important to get someone to document your wedding day exactly as it happened, who is professional and can provide you artistic, high-quality images. #3: And this is after marriage & the whole shebang... NEVER FORGET to date. Always. Even after the kids, date each other. Go off 2-4 nights a month and do the things you did when you were dating. Almost nine years of marriage and four kids later, it was the one thing that saved our marriage, with God's grace of course.


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