july mentorships: your own month-long workshop with me


I’m opening up two mentorship spots for July!


What’s a mentorship, you ask?

Think of it as your own month-long, one-on-one, in-depth workshop with me.

Over the past seven years, I’ve had the amazing joy of hosting four beautiful workshops for photographers. As sweet as those were, I found that I wanted more than that one day event could offer.  I wanted to go deeper with people and build a relationship–really learn their hearts, their history, and their challenges in business.

And then work on a solution together over time.

No one-size-fits-all answer. No quick fixes. No information overload.

Just real conversations, real brainstorming, and a real (realistic) plan…for you and whatever challenges you’re facing in business.


What does the month-long mentorship include?

-3 mentoring sessions where we can cover anything your heart desires–from pricing to marketing to dealing with a bad review to breaking free from comparing // each session is one and a half hours in length // we’ll meet over Skype

-a 4 week email course with strategies for letting go of destructive habits (comparing, fear, negative self-talk,  etc.) and ushering life and freedom into your business // 1 email a week // total of 4 emails

-an actionable plan at the end of the month for getting where you want to go + living more of what you love


How much does it cost?

I’m trying something new, and I’m really excited about it. In traditional workshops, mentoring, or business coaching, the leaders put a price on their services that they feel that it’s worth. But maybe you’re just starting your business and can’t afford $1,200, $800, or even $600 to go to a workshop. So, I’ve decided to approach pricing the same way I approach mentoring: by taking each person individually where they are right now. For that reason, I’m asking you to

simply pay what you want

based on what you think it’s worth + what you can afford at the time.

This does not mean that I work for free, or that I give my work away without care. It means that people trust me to help their businesses, and in turn, their lives. And in the same way, I trust them to support my work because they believe in it.

So, trust becomes our medium of exchange. Helping each other is the purpose. Establishing a photography community that stands by each other is the goal. I want to live in a world where we celebrate each other, support each other, and lift each other up.


How do I register?

Email me at caroline@carolinejoy.com with the following information:

  1. Your name + business name
  2. Three areas of business you reallyreallyreally want help with
  3. The amount you’re paying + why you are paying what you’re paying
  4. The slot you want:
  • Tuesdays at 11am: First meeting on July 1st + second meeting on July 8th + third meeting on July 15th
  • Wednesdays at 11am: First meeting on July 2nd + second meeting on July 9th + third meeting on July 16th
Instant gratification, right? We’ll get started in two weeks! So, now’s your chance to grab one of the spots. Can’t wait to hear from you!



on location // less is more


I’m excited, y’all. What started out as a curiosity–could I live with less?–has turned into a full blown passion, overflowing into just about every area of my life. Quick recap: hubby and I downsized to a tiny 600sf apartment last Spring and fell in love with small space living (and with less space to fill, clean, and maintain, we found we had more time) > I tried out a minimalist wardrobe challenge last Winter and dressed with only 33 items for 3 months > I loved it so much that I’m about to launch a fun new side blog about minimalist style and capsule wardrobes. I’m having so much fun exploring the idea that less is more.

Minimalism has trickled it’s way into my creative life too. I partnered up with Katy of Without Wax, Katy and Korie of The Weekend Type for this minimalist inspired shoot. We shot on location at the original homestead of Pflugerville–here are a few Instagrams of the shoot. I can’t wait to get the film back!

So the thought on my mind these days is this:

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. -Lao Tzu



note to self: celebrate!


Sometimes I just need to write a letter to myself and remind myself of some things that are true. This is one such letter. If it applies to you, just insert your name at the top and make it your own. :)

Dear You,

Today is a day to celebrate victories big and small. When you’re starting a new habit or growing a small business, it can feel like you’re moving at a snail’s pace—while everyone around you seems to be zooming by. For today, just don’t worry about what other people are doing.

What have you done recently that’s worth celebrating? List out five things you’ve accomplished this week. It could be anything: waking up earlier, saying no to a distraction, forgiving someone, sending a tough email, making a decision, following through with a commitment, or making plans with a friend. You may be surprised at how quickly your list grows if you give yourself 10 minutes of quiet think time right now.

Realize that all these seemingly small things are what make life rich—they may not be flashy or glamorous, but they are authentic and powerful. These things are shaping your character.

Too many times you try and push through super busy work days, as if you don’t deserve to savor our victories, big and small. No more! Make space in your own mind to celebrate these things, and then share the celebration with someone important with you—your spouse, best friend, mom, etc.

Yay for you!



“All to often people get caught up in the anxiety of their fast-paced lives, feeling there is no time to celebrate. I feel we impoverish our spirits if we don’t regularly come together for some planned happiness to make small moments beautiful.” -Alexandra Stoddard, author of Happiness For Two


on location // step out


I’ve recently had the joy of collaborating with the ladies of Grace In Love, a blog dedicated to helping women walk in compassion, courage, and beauty. I’m in love with their mission and, if you haven’t yet, you should totally check them out. :) Our last shoot was a blast. Think a bunch of happy girls, in this gorgeous space, styling and photographing pretty things, with fun music playing, and snacking on yummy cupcakes. I know.

The shoot really reminded me that photography is a way to play with possibility. It’s a way to create perspective. And it’s a beautiful thing to let that perspective go–go out into the world and change people.

I’m curious how many people out there have a dream to step into photography as a career, serve their clients with all their heart, and create their own perspectives.

Well, I’ve been repeating these words to myself a lot lately, and maybe they are for you too:

Life is exploration, and if you don’t explore, you can’t grow. If you don’t step out, the path will never appear.


morning coffee playlist

This playlist: From me to you. Made for the sunrise + a cup of coffee. Enjoy!



mantras: pick a good one


I love a good mantra.

But when Liene of Think Splendid wrote this blog post last Friday, I came across the phrase “avoidance mantra.” And it shook me up a little.

Let me explain.

Sometimes we justify not doing the work, right? We start off with great plans, end up not doing the work for one reason or another, and then chalk it up to “I’m too busy.” “Who has the time to…” “I don’t understand it, so it must not matter.”

These are avoidance mantras. And whether you like the word mantra or not, if we repeat something often enough we start to believe it. And if we continue to believe it we’ll be inflexible and reluctant to change. And we can’t grow without change.

Here’s what I’m NOT saying: I’m not saying that we need to bury ourselves in constant, never-ending work. I’m not saying we need to beat ourselves up about leaving certain things unfinished. Sometimes we get into a project and realize it’s not the most valuable use of our time. And I believe it’s a sign of strength to be able to let it go. We only have so much time–it’s not a renewable resource. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is say no. Boundaries are HEALTHY, and they don’t get the street cred they deserve.

But here’s what I am saying: I think it’s worthwhile to check our self-talk every so often. Because when we let ourselves see a negative pattern, we then have the power to change it.

And by changing, we grow.

Above photo shot with Mamiya 645 + FujiPro 400H film

Film processing: Richard Photo Lab


spring bridal session, austin tx

While cold temperatures sweep the nation, I thought we could all use a reminder of springtime. The colors, the light, the life. It’s coming!

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” –Anne Bradstreet




Sending so much love to Michelle Boyd, fellow photographer and dear friend, for planning this shoot and letting me tag along and shoot with her. :)
Location: Bull Creek Park, Austin
Florals & Greenery: Bricolage Curated Florals
Canon 1V + FujiPro 400H film // Mamiya 645 + FujiPro 400H film
Film processing: Richard Photo Lab


the idea that revolutionized how i set goals

My hubby and I just got home from 9 days of family-ing. It was lovely. :)

And suddenly, here we are…just one day before New Years Eve.


So naturally, I’ve been reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014.

In years past, when I’ve set goals, I’ve often chased success as the end all. This was especially true exactly one year ago. I think I felt a dark cloud on my heels: I’m 27–I should, you know, HAVE SOMETHING TO SHOW FOR MYSELF by now.

Ever been there before?

So. I did what any scared person would do.

I scrambled to set impressive goals.

I scrambled to appear put together.

I scrambled to be successful.

And as it turns out, 2013 was one long, beautiful, sometimes painful lesson undoing all that scrambling.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Now, I think I’m finally figuring out that when I stop chasing success, and start chasing the things that really matter in life–relationships, helping, serving, giving, learning–success comes too. And to be honest, the success part actually fades in light of the OVERWHELMING GOOD I’m gaining from the things that matter.

The desire for success is actually a watered down desire for meaning.

The moments that made 2013 special and amazing weren’t about success or money or appearances.

The moments that made 2013 special and amazing were about people and generosity and truth.

So, I’m setting my 2014 goals by this measure:

Relationships > Success

Giving > Success

Vulnerability > Success

Meaning > Success


What do you think? Does this resonate with you, or do you feel differently?


holiday bucket list

The holidays are usually a blur, right? Like, one minute it’s November 1st and you’re like, “Christmas shopping this early is for schmucks!” and then three seconds later it’s December 24th and you’re like, “Why, why didn’t I sign up for Amazon Prime?!”

Not pointing fingers. I’ve been there.

But I didn’t want to be there again this year.

So I signed up for Amazon Prime. :)

Just kidding. I mean, I did do that, but that’s not the point.

Aaron and I wanted to really immerse ourselves in Christmas-y things this year. Things that would create sweet memories with family and friends, things that would help us reach out to new people, things we could share, things that would help us slow down and absorb the miracle of Christmas.

We sat down early in November and made a fun little holiday bucket list. It’s been hanging on our fridge, and we’ve had so much fun checking things off our list. We’re almost done! We still need to do the ones with the *

  • make s’mores
  • dress up and see the Nutcracker ballet*
  • look at Christmas lights at Zilker Park
  • host Monday night Christmas movies
  • build gingerbread houses*
  • go shopping on Black Friday for the first time ever
  • watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade
  • dress up for New Years*
  • make Christmas cocktails
  • make white chocolate cranberries
  • go to a Christmas concert
  • go on an ornament shopping date (new holiday tradition: it’s where we go to a store together, secretly pick out a cute, silly ornament for the other, buy it without the other person seeing what we picked for them, and then present them to each other later that night)

What do you think about our list? Do you have one?! Please, please share it in the comments, below, if you do.


needing clarity + inspiration for life’s big decisions? here’s the recipe.

I’m sitting on the living room floor, Christmas tree lights glowing, blanket wrapped tight, puppy snuggled close.

On the surface, all is calm.

But look beneath the surface, and I’m in an ocean of change. A place where important decisions about the future need to be made…soon.

In approaching these decisions, I feel this crazy pull between two options:


Option 1: You better figure this out ASAP! Think, think, think! Don’t stop thinking, hurry! Priority #1 is to FIGURE. THIS. OUT. *commence banging head against wall*


Option 2: You just need rest. Like a total break from even thinking about any of this. Turn out the lights, take a nap, and stay inside. Shhhh…don’t focus on anything but resting. *commence napping for three weeks*


Does this resonate with anyone? I get caught between these two options all the time. But, especially this time, neither one holds the answer.

Forcing fresh inspiration can cause super-frustration. But exclusively resting seems too much like avoidance.



What do I do? What will help me find the clarity I’m craving?

It took me a few days to figure this out, but here it is:


I need to fill my cup with things that will inspire new thoughts and ideas. Things that will challenge and change the way I view the world.


Where do I find those things?

Specifically, in three places:

1. Books

“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” -Ursula K. Guin

2. Relationships

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin

3. Adventures

“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self….And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.” -Kierkegaard


That’s my formula.

Books, relationships, and adventures.

And along the way, I have no doubt the answers will become clear. :)



So, now that I’ve shared this, I’m curious:

Do you have a different approach? What do you do to find clarity when you’ve got big life decisions looming?

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