Nonahood News: Tell us about you and your artistic journey.
Carolina Montes: I have been an artist since I was a little kid. I was always into drawing and trying different cameras, which really developed my eye.
I started investing in photography as a business when I was 26. Before then, I went to the University of Tampa for psychology and then pursued my master’s in business and marketing. Afterwards, I worked with marketing agencies and creative campaigns. The more I worked on creative things, the more I realized I loved photography. I started thinking if I could do photography for them, why not do it for myself? I did photography part time for about six years and decided to go full time last year. I specialize in maternity, newborns, baby milestones, and family photography. I also work with content creators and do elopements, small events, and work with my clients to make their vision a reality.
NHN: Recent artistic accomplishments?
CM: Getting my own studio because that was a lot of work. I remember in 2018 I did an interview at iHeartRadio, and they asked me what my dream was. I said it would be to have my own studio. I finally have space where I can create and provide the ideal experience for my clients. Another is that I captured New York Fashion Week for Revolve and the Amazon Influencer program. I also followed one of my content creators, Tiffany Allison, and we did street-style photography in New York.
NHN: Most rewarding aspect of your work?
CM: I like working with content creators because I form a long-term relationship with them. Particularly with Tiffany Allison, I’ve been her photographer for six years now. I’ve watched her build her family, grow her following from 30,000 followers to half a million, and I’ve captured her children’s pictures. That’s been rewarding because I’ve been able to see her grow.
NHN: Most challenging project?
CM: Newborn photography. It’s very different in how you approach it. You have this little newborn that you have to pose, plus you have new parents who are anxious to have you handling their baby. Newborn photography is more challenging than any other type, but it’s also the most rewarding because you’re able to capture so much detail your eye cannot see.
NHN: Describe your creative process.
CM: First, I do project planning with clients. We have consultations to plan shoots, gather the right props, and guide them through what to wear and how to prepare. I also do a lot of editing; that’s something people don’t usually see, but it takes a lot of time. There’s also a lot of administrative work, marketing, social media, emails and proposals.
When clients come to me, we set up a consultation where we develop a vision, I get props, then set a location for the photoshoot. After the photoshoot, I send them an online gallery, they select their favorite pictures, and those pictures are the ones I finalize and deliver. Once they’re delivered, we have another consultation for any prints or wall art they want to get.
NHN: Passions other than photography?
CM: I love my pets. I have a German shepherd named Ragner and a cat named Nala. I love going on walks with them and playing with them. I also love gardening and enjoy cooking, yoga, pilates, and hanging out with my husband.
NHN: Who/what inspires you?
CM: My dad was a cardiologist, but his hobby was photography. I love seeing the pictures he took of us as children, but what I love the most is that I can feel what he felt taking those pictures, like I’m looking through his eyes. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I do what I do. I want to capture those moments for people. I want them to look back at those memories years or generations later and feel the love that exists between them.
I’m also lucky to say the person I admire is my mentor, Kristen Weaver. She’s a photographer here in Orlando. Same with Amalie Orange, she’s the Branded Boss Lady. It’s amazing what she has been able to do for the creative community in Orlando.
NHN: Upcoming projects?
CM: Recently, I did a beauty photoshoot where we did like the makeup with pearls and a beautiful gown. We played with different backdrops, and it was outside of my comfort zone because it’s my first beauty photoshoot. I’m excited to share that with everyone. I’m hoping to do more shoots like that where it’s my vision and I make it a reality. This also gives potential clients ideas of what they can do.
NHN: Where can people find you and your art?
CM: On Instagram, Facebook and TikTok @caromontphotography or caromontes.com