Carla Yeo is a memory keeper, and it’s that drive to record all of life’s special moments that saw her join our Enthusiast Photography Course. She took so much from it that she very enthusiastically undertook our Advanced Photography Course in 2016.
Carla’s style emerged throughout our courses, and the result is stunning, golden light filled imagery. Her style is reminiscent of her home… a small country town called Dalby, in Queensland which is known throughout Australia for it’s perfect weather.
Her work became very sought after in her small country town of Dalby in Queensland. Australia.
In fact, so much so that she was launched into business like a cannon ball, way before she planned! From there, Carla Yeo Photography was born.
We think Carla’s willingness to embrace the opportunities that have been presented to her, even in the face of nerves, is an inspiration to women who love photography and think they’re not quite ready to take the next step. So we asked her to share her story to here with us…
I started up my photography business in mid 2016 and haven’t looked back. I capture families, children, newborns, weddings, special events and also offer services for the commercial sector to assist them with their Marketing and PR needs.
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a camera in my hand. My mum has always been a keen ‘memory maker’ and as a child I remember my mum’s camera was never far from her side. She captured everything… the milestones, the candid moments.
The everyday. This interest rubbed off onto me and from a very young age I have been shooting.
I owned several ‘point and shoot’ cameras before I purchased my first DSLR over 10 years ago now. For years I shot in auto mode because the buttons scared me. I hated reading manuals. I didn’t understand the terminology and photography jargon.
I could take a good shot because I had a good camera. But, I wanted my photos to be amazing. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to learn what all those fancy buttons did on my camera and start to understand how to use them to achieve images like I had admired in magazines. For years I put off taking a photography course. It was always too hard. I never had the time. I would find excuses and put it in the ‘on my to do’ list!
When a good friend signed up to do the Enthusiasts Course with CLG I put my big girl pants on and excuses behind me. ‘C’mon Carla, we are doing this!’ my friend said.
Ever since I have been shooting manually and have never looked back. I just wish I had discovered this awesome community and brilliant way of learning years ago.
“I am so proud to call myself a professional photographer.”
After years of taking photos for family and friends, I can now charge clients and share this passion of mine with the wider community whilst earning an income at the same tome. My youngest daughter started school this year and I thought this would be a great time to start my photography business and make my job work around my family. However, as it turns out I started up my business mid last year and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
It just kind of happened so I figured it was meant to be. I was asked to take some photos at a function and kindly declined because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I felt like I didn’t have the experience or the proper gear.
I had only just ordered my new camera body and lenses and I ideally would have liked 6 months to get use to them and comfortable with them before charging clients for my services…but nope..it was happening! It was all kicking off earlier than I anticipated but it excited me.
It was the start of something I am so proud of. My husband encouraged me and said ‘Carla, just do it! If you’re not ready now when will you be? You’ve got this hun!’
So I went and did that first shoot. My first shoot with 30 people. I was so nervous. I kept waking up the night before. Doubting myself but hoping I could capture some great photos. I just really wanted my clients to love their photos. And guess what…they did. It was absolutely the right time for me to do this!
Carla Yeo Photography has been busy since then. I shoot anything from families, newborns, siblings, formal photos, weddings, special events etc.
I have involved pets in my shoots, worked with special needs children, captured an entire dance concert (52 dances and 200+ dancers worth) and profited from my images afterwards. I have captured some natural shots of men who didn’t want to be in front of the camera lens but were dragged along because their wife wanted family photos…I’ve cracked even the toughest of husbands out there to help their wives achieve some family memories they can treasure!
I have got on board with a few companies to help with their business marketing/website images etc. The commercial sector is something I did not think I would be interested in, but it’s different, easier and pays well. It has opened up a different scope to my photography and an avenue that offers diversity.
My heart is still with ‘people’ shots though. I just love people…all kinds of people.
I am fortunate to live in a beautiful country town in QLD which was put on the map thanks to last year’s Channel 7’s House Rules winners, Country Twins Luke and Cody.
I know the family well and have done a few shoots for the boys for their personal promo work etc. This certainly has helped with my images being circulated and credited within the wider community. These 2 celebrities are as nice in real life as they were on the TV and therefore my photos of the twins have been seen by a wide audience which I am truly grateful for. .
I have also worked with the local paper to capture some images for their various magazine submissions and have had 2 of my photos featured on the front page which has been a real highlight for me also.
My goal from here is to get into more wedding photography.
I think it is something that you either love or hate to shoot as a photographer. I did my first paid wedding a couple of months ago and loved it. I loved everything about it. I have several other weddings booked in for this year and my hope is to do more and more. Yes it’s hard work. Yes, it can be stressful. But I just love it. I love the emotion. The sentiment of such a big day. The connections and the hype.
Love everything about weddings.
I have even captured nudity and shenanigans on the dance floor late in the night after lots of alcohol consumption at a wedding. These images are certainly not for the portfolio or wedding album but the bride laughed and laughed when she saw them and loved that I didn’t miss a thing from her big day!
Oh goodness….where do I start!!??
Seriously, the Advanced Photography Course is amazing!
It’s the best thing I have done for myself by a long shot. It has given me the confidence and ability to believe in myself and capture images in the way that I want.
My style. My way. The lessons are taught in an easy to understand method, and the modules cover a great depth of detail without being too overwhelming.
The ability to learn at your own pace was invaluable for me as a busy mum, but the practical image challenges and submissions to upload within a certain time frame still gave me the push and drive to get out there and shoot whilst putting into practice what I was learning within each lesson. (Not that I needed a ‘push’ because I loved it so much!) It was addictive. I love that I can now understand photography jargon and are still continuing my learning journey every day through being part of the online CLG Advanced Grad group.
I have learnt so much but still continue to learn more months/years on.
I am so incredibly grateful for this community, it’s beautiful, motivating and talented people and the encouragement and advice that is given long after the course is finished. For me, I have made some great photography friends and would love to see a face to face reunion happen in the near future so I can meet some of these lovely people in the flesh!
One of my best friends in my home town is a photographer also and fellow CLG Advanced Graduate, Marnie Martil. I am so fortunate to not only have this lady in my life but we live in the same town. It was amazing to do the Advanced Course together and our photography interest and journey keeps up connected even closer.
I love talking ‘shop’ with her. Lenses, settings, clients, shoots, etc. She’s my number one ‘go to girl’ for advice and it’s awesome to bounce ideas off one another and share our common passion for photography, only enhanced by studying the Advanced Course together.
Definitely lifestyle. I love that I know how to pose a family or group if needed, but it certainly isn’t my strength. I much prefer the candid moments.
The glances and looks exchanged when my clients don’t realise I have the camera on them. I love the natural connections and interactions between families etc that happen just ‘as it is’. I find this style of photography more ‘real’. More raw. More me.
I find inspiration from so many places. The sunset and golden hour is my absolute favourite.
Nothing pulls my heart strings towards picking up my camera more than a cracking sunset and all the beautiful warm hues and gorgeous light of a late afternoon.
I love dry grasses, bare paddocks and old run down sheds. I live in a rural area with amazing sunsets and flat land so are very fortunate for this backdrop for many of my photos. People inspire me. Relationships inspire me. Connections. My family. My three beautiful girls. My daughters inspire me each and every day in more ways than I could write. My husband inspires me to go for it. He has even become more patient with me if we are driving somewhere and I ask him to pull over so I can capture an image! (He use to roll his eyes and debate whether we would stop the car or not…not anymore! His support and belief in me is amazing and I am so thankful for him.)
Photography blogs inspire me, and the CLG Grads Group inspires me on a daily basis. There are a few fellow grads whom I am in awe of every time they post some of their work (…you know who you are ladies)! And I am continually blown away by the work coming through the group.
There is so much talent. I use to feel the art of comparison and not feeling good enough but that has long passed me by as all I feel now is inspired and eager to learn more from these amazing ladies. I love the images captured and the willingness of everyone to share how they achieved such awesome shots. It’s like a never ending photography journey and education.
My biggest inspiration without a doubt comes from my family.
Family is my single most important and strongest value.
I’m a sentimental sook at heart and can be emotional and cry at the best of times, but I believe this emotion has inspired me to delve deeper into the emotion of photography and how photography can be used to tell a story, just like an author, but in a much more powerful way! I love that I have the ability to be able to tell the story of my family through my photography.
I am a Canon girl, always have been.
And (please don’t judge me) but I am a bit of Canon L series lens snob! I do own the Sigma Art 1.4 50mm though and absolutely love this lens.
I shoot with a Canon 5Dmk3 and my favourite lens is my 135mm.
I love it for outdoor shoots and adore the creaminess and compression it gives.
I love my primes but I find the flexibility of my 70-200 2.8 fantastic for family shoots as the zoom is handy for kids on the run. I use my 24-70mm a lot, and for anything indoor. In fact it probably was my most used lens for the wedding I recently shot, However, although it’s probably my most practical lens, it’s not my favourite.
I have a special little relationship with my 135mm girl and she’s my fave amongst my lenses. Sometimes primes can frustrate me when you have moving subjects but overall I love the quality of my primes best. I am just about to purchase an 85mm….thinking it may just be my new fave lens soon! Excited!
I own a speedlight and love it but don’t use it a great deal.
Give me natural light any day. I’m not one to fuss with reflectors, tripods etc. I know these tools can be advantageous in the right scenarios (and I have used them) but for my lifestyle approach I like to carry as little gear as possible to simplify things.
I often take a few cold beers along to family shoots for the lads.
My husband informed me long ago that no man truly wants to be in front of the camera lens and he is there because his wife wants some shots but everyone knows he would rather be anywhere else. I was told ‘if you want relaxed photos Carla, give them alcohol!’…and guess what, it works!!
I have them right in the palm of my hands after a cold beer or two. They are way more obliging. Way less stiff and way more into the shoot that an alcohol free show! It’s not really professional I know, but it’s something that works for some of my clients and I roll with it!
Once I did a family shoot for a family with young children who wanted shots taken in a particular spot on their property.
The experience was awful. The shots worked out well and they loved them but there were thistles and burs everywhere. Like huge massive spiky needle like ones that stuck into every piece of fabric or unfortunate skin that was in their path. Hence, the lifestyle shots of holding hands and running through the dry grasses soon turned to ‘stand still shots with mummy and daddy holding up the kids on their hips because of the spiky yucky ground below them’.
I really didn’t want to shoot in this spot but it held sentimental value to the family so we pushed through, and looking at the images afterwards you wouldn’t even tell…but I know, and they know the pain we endured to capture these family photos.
A couple of years ago I tripped at the beach on the slippery rocks near some rock pools and smashed my camera and lens that was hanging around my neck at the time. Like, my entire body weight fell onto them smashing them on the rocks. Broken beyond repair. Totally smashed. Make sure you have insurance people!
It’s the only thing that was positive about that experience!
I am yet to create a website… it’s on my ‘to do’ list.
I haven’t found the time or need for one just yet. I have been flat out and not needed the exposure but know every professional business should have one so it will come in time.
Thank you to Lou and Pam for teaching such a wonderful Advanced Photography Course in an inspirational, fun and interesting way. I will be forever thankful for doing the Advanced Course. It’s fueled my photography passion even more and extended massively on what we learnt in the Enthusiasts Course.
The CLG community is something truly unique and for anyone even slightly contemplating doing the Advanced Course I would strongly suggest you do and highly recommend it….I promise you won’t regret taking the plunge!
You’ve got it…just do it!