Dear Photographer feature by Stephanie Carlton of Something Beautiful Photography


The photo was taken in 2010 when I began shooting in manual mode on my big camera after years of having it and being afraid to take it off auto.  I had no idea how to edit at this point. I still love this photo because it was my oldest and she was so little then.

Dear Current Self,

Your path leading to photography began so long ago when you were but a child, dreaming of what you could do and be but so unsure of where you were going.  Through life’s tragedies of loss and deep heartache to better times of bliss and happiness, your experiences have shaped you. Each and every one had helped you become the person, photographer and artist you are now.  For, as you know, taking a photograph is far more then picking up a camera and pushing a button.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera.  You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”  Ansel Adams

Your photography journey has been full of ups and downs both personally and professionally. Don’t forget the many years you spent practicing how to take an ordinary moment and, with the use of light, understanding your camera and your lens and having a vision, make it into something beautiful.  Yes there have been lessons learned: get your photos right in camera, know the light, shoot with intention and most important believe in who you are and your voice. Don’t fear the possibility of being different and never compromise those things in an attempt to please others.

As far as goals, there are many but they are simple. Stay humble and appreciate every moment you are given to do this thing you love so much. Learn film, wander more, fall in love with new places, music, and life.  Stay inspired.  Print more photos and keep up with those childhood photo books.  Balance personal and professional life as best you can and give yourself a break when you can’t.  Meet more photographers who see the world as you do.  Last of all, for the day when you are no longer here on earth, leave those who never knew you with photographs that tell them the kind of person you were, the life you lived and the desire that they wished they had.

Your friend,


C U R R E N T  W O R K :

I am a natural light lifestyle photographer living in the mountains of western Colorado with my firefighter husband and two sweet girls.  I am a lover of light, movement and details.  My favorite thing to shoot are my daughters and I shoot them everyday.  Other places you can find me besides behind the camera are: in the mountains, the gym, the coffee shop, or listening to music (currently listening to Andrew Belle and The Lumineers).

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