Name: Carly
Location: Lake Tahoe
Equipment: 5D Mark II, 6D, 24-105 f4, 70-200 f 2.8, 50mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8

How long have you lived in your city?
I grew up here and have moved away (and back) five or six different times… so about 20 years in total.

How did you come to be a photographer? Tell us a little about your background.
My dad bought me my first film camera when I was 11 years old, and I completely fell in love. I shot 11 rolls of film on our first trip we took after that (house boating on Lake Powell and adventuring through Utah and Arizona) and I can tell you that most of them were horrible… but I was completely in love. 

I had the same film camera until I graduated high school in 2007, and I was always the person in everyone’s face with a camera. I took traditional photography classes in high school, including rolling my own film, developing and printing in a darkroom and it truly became my happy place. I decided to attend art school and major in photography at Savannah College of Art and Design and the rest is history.

How would you describe your personal photography style?
Bold and colourful. Growing up and living in the mountains for the majority of my life has given me a love of big, bold orange sunset skies, a plethora of amazing greenery and, of course, Lake Tahoe itself is an insane deep blue from afar and every color of aqua and turquoise in the clear water when you’re up close. Let’s just say I’m not very good with soft colors, haha.

Where do you find your creative inspiration?
This is so hard! The answer is everywhere… dancers, architecture, bold colours, birds, large bodies of water. And since I love to take pictures of couples more than pretty much anything, my parents are my constant creative inspiration. Oh, and on road trips in my car. I’ve driven 20,000 miles in the past nine months and it’s my place to think and have alone time.

What album is on repeat when you’re editing photos?
Ed Sheeran’s Divide

What are you currently reading?
Oh gosh, too many things at once. Guerrilla Marketing, the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, the Percy Jackson books, and occasionally grabbing a John Grisham book just to fill time.

Where is your favourite place to shoot in your city and why?
Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada! It’s one of the most iconic Lake Tahoe beaches, it has stunning views, aqua water and the best little boardwalk around the peninsula.

What does a perfect day in your city look like?
It’s definitely a summer day for me! Breakfast at either the Old Post Office Cafe or Fire Sign Cafe, coffee from I.V. Coffee Lab or Coffee Connexion (everything is so spread out on North Shore, so there’s a bit of driving – with the sunroof open and all my windows down, of course) and then a few hours at the beach (Moon Dunes, Speedboat or Sand Harbor) with sandwiches from Tahoe Central Market in Kings Beach before live music and dancing during sunset at one of the main beaches (Commons Beach or Kings Beach) with an amazing Tahoe sunset in the background! There are so many ways to spend a day in Tahoe though… hiking, checking out the ski areas, biking from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley for lunch, boating or paddleboarding… Anything outside and enjoying the sunshine (with a LOT of sunscreen) is pretty much a perfect day.

Where are your favourite places in your city to get a coffee and or a cocktail?
Coffee: I.V. Coffee LabCoffee ConnexionGlobal Cafe

Drinks (and amazing food at all of them): The Sand Bar, Las Panchitas (for margaritas!), GarwoodsJake’sLone Eagle Grille

Where was the last trip that you took? Tell us a little bit about the experience.
The last big trip I took was to get to the Flytographer meetup! My mom and I spent three weeks between Istanbul, Rome, Florence, Venice, Lake Bled, Ljubljana and Athens and had such an amazing time. It was the first time my mom had been to Europe, so getting to share my love of travel with her was truly unique. I had never been to any of the places we visited, so it was fun to explore together. I fell in love with Venice and cannot wait to go back, because getting lost in that city was like wandering about in a fairy tale, especially at night with the lights glistening on the water and the stillness of tiny canals that are criss-crossed with bridges. It was absolutely enchanting.

My mom and I spent a lot of time immersing ourselves in the food culture of each country, eating every regional and traditional dish we could… thank goodness we walked so much or they would have had to roll us onto our flight home. I always recommend that people try specialties or local cuisine anywhere they travel, as food is a language that the whole world loves and understands and is such an easy point of connection and pride amongst countries.

If you could live anywhere in the world for one year, where would you live and why?
I would love to spend a year in India. It’s the first place I ever travelled by myself, and my first real international trip when I was 19. I barely even scratched the surface of amazing things to see while I was there, though seeing the Taj Mahal had me on cloud nine for days. I’ve got a deep, deep love for Indian art and architecture, and I know I could spend a full year exploring temples and forts, as well as eating!

What do you most enjoy about shooting for Flytographer?
I love getting to meet people with a sense of adventure! When I meet fellow travellers, it makes my heart sing. On top of that, I do just love to show off Lake Tahoe (though the lake does so much impressing on its own) and tell people more of the history from my area. My great-great-grandfather was a Lake Tahoe photographer starting in 1929 and I proudly carry on the tradition of photographing visitors at the lake!

Plus, every single person I’ve met through Flytographer, either a client or another photographer has become a friend. It’s a unique and wonderful community to be a part of!

See more: interviewLake TahoeTeam Flytographer