Hey there! I’m Caitlyn, a portrait photographer near San Francisco, California! I thought it was time for me to introduce myself, so here it goes!
California to Ohio and Back Again (x a million)
I was born in California, but my family moved to Ohio when I was in sixth grade. Most of my childhood was spent in the middle of nowhere with a lot of corn fields! When I was 17, I made what was probably one of the biggest decisions of my life. I packed up my bags, hopped on a plane to SFO and moved in with my grandparents to get my residency for college.
I planned on going to the University of California, Santa Cruz for marine biology and didn’t want to pay out of state tuition. I dreamed of being a dolphin trainer, like Rae on Free Willy or the people at Sea World who get to wear those cool wetsuits!
Long story short, that didn’t happen! AT ALL.
Instead, I fell in love with photography.
The summer after I graduated high school, I went back to Ohio. One day while I was there, my dad told me that he didn’t understand why I wanted to be a marine biologist. He said he couldn’t imagine me touching slimy things and doing science paper work all day!
Of course, he was right!
I was valedictorian of my high school and had gotten straight A’s since kindergarten. I could have suffered my way through college to get a marine biology degree, but that was not where my passion was! Don’t get me wrong, dolphins are still my favorite animal. I still think it would have been cool to spend my days with such amazing creatures. I’ll just have to visit them any chance I get and hopefully go swimming with them, if I ever find a place that doesn’t seem inhumane.
All of My Plans Fell Apart
In the Fall, I attended the local community college to get my general education credits done. That is where I met some pretty amazing people (like my husband) and fell in love with photography. I took a black and white film photography class and loved it so much that I would arrive three hours early so I could print my photographs. There was something about sliding my paper into the developer bath and watching the image appear. It was magical, and I was hooked! I took every photography class that college offered and then transferred to San Jose State University, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Photography.
While I was going to school, I also worked at JCP Portraits where I got to learn more of the business side of the photography industry. They taught me how to efficiently take portraits of a variety of families and how to get people to buy them! After I graduated, I was immediately offered the assistant manager position. It was pretty awesome and I was thrilled!
I am currently still working as the assistant manager and it is great, but I have dreams that are way bigger than what that company can handle. I want to own a home someday and build my own portrait studio in the backyard, where my clients can come and hang out with me. I want to take them to beautiful location spots around California (or wherever I’m living at the time). I want to be my client’s friend and not just someone they see for an hour as they check one more thing off their to do list.
Right now, I am working on building up my portfolio as I search for awesome location spots to take family pictures around the bay area. I am working toward my dreams because I am the only one who can make them a reality!
Now that you know a little more about me, I would love to get to know you! Leave a comment with a fun fact about yourself! Or if you have a favorite place to go around the Bay Area, I would love to know about it!