The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Carina Skrobecki: Carina Skrobecki, 28, Wedding Photographer, all the wonderful people feeding me wedding cake (aka: self-employed)
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
CS: I love to be outdoors and on or near the water. Kayaking, fishing, hiking, exploring new parks—which is funny because 5 or 6 years ago, you couldn’t get me to go on hikes or camping (we just didn’t do it growing up) but after meeting my now husband, the outdoors is one of my favorite places to be and it’s definitely where I gain inspiration. I have a bucket list of places I want to see in this lifetime…and eventually shoot in. It keeps me sane and forces my brain to shut off for a bit and just be present.
I also have a strong desire to work with my hands. Painting, building, gardening, cooking. I think there is a direct correlation with the creative mind and watching your own hands bring something to life. I think this is why I love throwing in personal shoots throughout the year. Bringing together other creatives, some great fashion, amazing locations — it keeps my brain buzzing.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
CS: I think a lot of my professional life IS my personal life, so the lines are constantly blurred. There are many instances I’m working for others AND I’m working for myself because I’m pushing myself to try something new. I’m lucky that the majority of the time, I have clients who will allow me to freely explore that, but I also have instances where being super creative & trying crazy new things isn’t the goal.
I also think a lot about where the wedding photography industry is RIGHT now and where it’s going. It’s changed a lot in the past 5-10 years and it’s quite normal to see clients seek out really specific styles of work. You’re not just hiring a vendor to show up and take some pretty pictures anymore. Bride & grooms are considering how the photographer uses light, their presence and personality, compositions, mediums used, etc. and that allows me to be really true to myself and attract clients with the same aesthetic. Creating work like that makes me proud.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
CS: I think I’ve tried to convince myself I’m a morning person for 10+ years (or try to be one), but it just ain’t happening. I’d say late morning is my sweet spot in terms of productivity. I’m usually up at 7:30/8am but I’m not diving into the creative stuff until about 11am or noon (as much as I’d like to jump in and start shooting & editing every morning, it’s usually the more mundane things like emails, invoicing, updating my books, etc.). I’m definitely more of a night owl and I’d say I’m most creative in the evenings. I find myself jotting down a lot of ideas for shoots and business-related things at night. Which is frustrating when you’re finally trying to go to sleep and have SOMEWHAT of a normal/similar schedule to your husband.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
CS: I have a lot of personal business goals — some of which I’ve met, some that will likely take years, and some I may never get to. Overall, I want to be able to produce work outside of my comfort zone. I’m consistently trying to take on new projects that perhaps I initially thought weren’t a fit for me, but in hindsight have opened up a lot of doors. I’d also really like to be commissioned to shoot for a major publication someday (editorial, fashion, travel, etc.). There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing work in print.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
CS: I do have a few personal projects in the works, but not something I’m revealing quite yet. I think all personal projects start with an urge to do something different or meaningful. In my case, I want to do something I’ve never done before…a series of sorts. With that comes a lot of planning, but there’s also the desire to sit back and let things take their course. Who knows if it will work, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out. That’s got to be the vaguest answer ever…sorry. :)
TCU: What scares you?
CS: Becoming irrelevant. Dropping the ball on a huge project. Being “stuck” in a rut with my work. My cameras all dying on me at the same time. Corrupted memory cards. Missing important moments due to technical difficulties. Clearly I have a lot of nightmares.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
CS: Success is SO different for everyone. For me, success comes in the form of balance (which, in this day and age, is harder and harder to come by). If I can successfully make clients happy, financially provide for my family AND be able to have a strong personal and social life — I’ve won the jackpot.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
CS: Yes. Being an entrepreneur has it’s unavoidable difficulties, but I want to encourage people who have been wavering about running their own business or getting into a creative field or freelance, to take the damn leap. There are obvious securities of a 9-5 and a 401k that are hard to leave behind, but there is never going to be a perfect time to pursue dreams of doing something different. Something will always be standing in the way and there will always be a reason to “do it later”. We’re not promised next year, or next month, or even tomorrow. Don’t be lukewarm. Go after it. You won’t regret it.
You can find out more about Carina and see more of her gorgeous wedding photography at www.carinaskrobecki.com.