As soon as I walked into the Buonavolonta’s apartment tucked away in a hidden little corner of Youngstown, I fell in love. Sam and Melanie are both true artists in every sense – Sam is a musician, and Melanie is a fellow portrait photographer. Youngstown hosts an amazing creative community, and though we have a ton of mutual friends, this was my first experience getting to spend time with the Buonavolontas and really getting to know them. Just three months ago they welcomed their baby girl Tillie into their world, and she is so clearly the light of their entire universe. She’s named after her great-grandmother, and I just love when a name has special meaning like that! We spent the morning hanging out in their eclectic studio apartment, and I absolutely love everything about their bohemian living space. Artwork lines every wall, stacks of books and music decorate the majority of surfaces, plants breathe life into the window sills, and their personalities shine through in every space. Although it seems impossible to pick just one, my favorite little corner of their home might be the glorious wall of mugs in their kitchen. Not like ten mugs hanging on hooks, I mean row after beautiful row of mugs that each tell a story. Just wait, you’ll see!
Melanie and Sam, thank you for inviting me to share a day with you and tell your story. Seeing the way you love each other and how that love overflows to Tillie is just beautiful – remember these days forever!
I see so much of Sam in Tillie!
Sweet mama moments
How do you even pick just one? Tough decisions here.
Tillie LOVED sitting on her daddy’s lap while he played the piano! I think she likes watching the keys move in the open top!
Lemonade wasn’t super interested in being a part of the photoshoot, but we tried.
Tillie scored a front row seat to the best show in town!
Melanie, you’re a queen <3
Love, love, love.
"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."
"I can't say enough wonderful things about our photographer Carlyn K Photography !!! Carlyn has a knack for creating a fun, comfortable, we-can-do-anything-you-want environment when taking pictures. And did I mention her ability to capture PERFECT LIGHTING.... she's SO good!!!! Thank you so much Carlyn... Paul and I LOVE your work and can't wait to hang out again!"
"We are still admiring the beautiful photos that you made of our family this year as well as the many other photo shoots you have done with us in the past! We love your work and will continue to come back! You have been great working with our rowdy 3 and 5 yr old, have an amazing eye and great editing skills. We love the effortless feel the images have and the way you are able to capture our family so candidly. This is what sets you apart from the many other photographers out there! Your beautiful photography is top notch!"
"Carlyn was always a part of our wedding from the very beginning and I couldn't be happier with what she did for us. Besides the amazing pictures, she gave us calm when everything was stressful, and she helped us remember that it would all work out the way it was always meant to. I can't recommend anyone with higher praise and thanks as Carlyn and Carlyn K Photography! You were truly a blessing and Julie and I can't thank you enough for your amazing talent and your friendship."
"Carlyn is an amazing photographer! Her photos are beautiful and truly capture the personalities of my two little girls. Photographing a two year old and a 7 month old can certainly be challenging, but not only was Carlyn patient, she was able to make my girls laugh and have fun. She danced with my two year old, ran around, and even rolled on the ground. I will definitely be using her in the future! I am so happy and grateful to have such beautiful photos of my two little girls."
"I cannot say enough good things about Carlyn! She captured every moment of our wedding and told our story through her photos. Carlyn's photos speak for themselves. She has a real talent for capturing candid and genuine moments. I have heard SO many compliments from our family and friends. I would HIGHLY recommend Carlyn to anyone looking for a wedding photographer!"
"This was The Khan Family's first time working with Carlyn but it felt like we'd known her for years! Carlyn makes you feel immediately comfortable with her infectious spirit! Who knew we could have so much fun in 30 degree weather without jackets?! My husband being a photography enthusiast himself also applauded Carlyn's talent and finished products, we cannot wait for our next shoot! Highly recommend her for all your photography needs!"
I’m Carlyn, a lifestyle photographer based in the heart of the Rust Belt of Northeast Ohio. I’m known to frequent local coffee shops in a lifelong pursuit of the perfect pour over, get overly excited about pretty much everything, and laugh way too much during work hours. Oh and if you’re wondering how to pronounce my name, it’s easy! - it rhymes with darlin’. I am a wife to my handsome mountain man Benjamin, who teaches me daily to appreciate flannel, beards, and of course deer season. Together we are learning to live simply and love well, valuing memories and experiences over all the “stuff” in life.
It almost seems cliche these days to add a love of travel to the list, but wanderlust is a real thing and I’ve got it bad. I studied abroad in Florence during college, and ever since then I’m always looking for the next adventure. Luckily my husband is a fluent traveler as well, and we’ve embraced every opportunity to see the mountains and the sea, from the west coast to the east. If you’re located somewhere that I am not, I’d LOVE to come to you! Travel makes my work even more enjoyable, and I love the chance to explore new places.
Surprises, thrift shops, camping, yoga, my nephews and niece, sweater weather, and bluegrass music.
God, community, barefeet, slowing down, taking the scenic route, and occasionally getting a little lost.
Chapstick, my planner, my sister, morning coffee, and essential oils.
Telling stories for others. There are so many ways to share our stories, and I’ve fallen in love with the way we can do so through photographs. Life can be a little messy, a little less-than-perfect, and it’s those moments that I think we look back on and love the best. If you feel the same, then drop me a little note and let’s be friends!
Some things that I love :
Some things I believe in :
Some things I can't live without :
To do this, I always come back to two words: Real Life. If it’s not real life, I don’t want to shoot it. This means that cheesy poses, Pinterest fads, and fake smiles are not going to be a part of our session or your wedding day - promise! And I’ll never ask you to say cheese. My goal is to crack open a door to your everyday life, and capture you just as you are. My favorite place for lifestyle sessions will always be your own home, the place where you laugh freely and love those closest to you. Where we can let the kids run in the backyard, have a dance party in the living room, sip coffee at the kitchen table, or snuggle on the couch. Or we can meet at a spot you love, and have some fun there! A day at the lake? A trip to the best ice cream joint in town? Yes please! I’ll make you feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera, and you are always free to be yourself. The joy, excitement, and anticipation of wedding days makes my heart beat a little faster, and capturing it all for my couples is incredibly fulfilling. I pride myself on the relationships I build with all of my couples, and having me photograph your wedding is really just like having your friend by your side all day with her camera. My intention is always to evoke meaningful interactions between the people in front of my lens, and how I do so can look different for everyone! I will give you suggestions on ways to interact, I might have you share some of your favorite memories, whisper a little something in her ear, or I just might ask you to group hug the daylights out of your family members. Light, laughter, and authentic moments found in the “every day-ness” of life are what inspire my work the most, and I love having the chance to show people just how amazing their life really is.
I call Youngstown, Ohio my home, but my husband and I are avid travelers! We spent our first year of marriage traveling the country for Ben's job as a travel nurse, and we both jump at any opportunity to see new places. I am usually in Youngstown, but odds are I might be somewhere else too.
You bet I am! I love the chance to travel. If your location involves mountains or cities with good coffee, I’ll be right there. If you live somewhere that I am not, contact me and let’s figure out how to make it happen!
This depends on a few things. If we are doing a session in your home, then we’ll want to plan for the time of day that your home lets in the most window light - this is usually sometime in the morning-early afternoon. If we are doing our session outdoors, then we will begin shooting about two hours before the sun sets. Golden Hour is my favorite time to shoot! Warm glowy goodness!
Believe me, I know how hard it is to wait to see those final images! I will have a sneak peek posted on Facebook within 48 hours of our lifestyle session, and your final gallery will be delivered to you within three weeks. Wedding galleries are delivered within sixty days.
Once I receive a signed contract and non-refundable retainer - 50% for lifestyle sessions, and $500 for weddings - your date is saved! If you are interested in working together, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every session includes high resolution files delivered through an online gallery, along with a print release and the rights to share your images on social media with proper credit given to Carlyn K Photography.
I graduated with a minor in Photography from Youngstown State University in 2009, but I never had any intentions of pursuing a career in portrait photography. I loved the art of film photography and the darkroom. It wasn’t until I snapped my sister’s maternity portraits that I discovered the joy that lies in photographing people. I began doing more portrait work as a hobby on the side, and eventually in 2012 I made a huge leap of faith and quit my job to become a full-time photographer. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I feel so grateful to be able to say that I love my job!
1 1/2 hours of Q&A and camera tutorial AND
1/2 hour of hands-on shooting and headshot practice
Whether you are a busy mom wishing you knew how to take better photographs of your kids, or a hobbyist photographer looking to take your skills to the next level, coaching sessions are available to anyone and everyone who would like to learn how to shoot in manual mode. We will meet at a local coffee shop for a hands-on guide to learning shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, as well as any features or settings on your DSLR camera you may have questions about. We will then go out and actually practice what we just learned! Because the number one way to learn about your camera is to USE IT! Prior to your coaching session, I will send you a questionnaire to find out what you already know and what you want to spend time focusing on during your session to make the most of our time together. Everyone is in a different place when it comes to what you know and understand, and what part of your camera makes sense and what is a foreign language. Maybe it ALL seems like a foreign language to you - and that's ok. You have to start somewhere, the important thing is that you are willing to learn! I believe in building a community of photographers who can learn from one another and encourage each other!