Wedding photographer finds true calling outdoors
Caitlin Dunlop remembers being quite young, maybe about eight or nine, when she first used a point and shoot camera and developed an interest in photography.
Her dad Kevin, a local marquetry and woodworking artist, would take photos to get ideas and inspiration for his own artwork. While on hikes, Caitlin would tag along, taking photos of trees, bark and lakes.
“Definitely that influenced me when I was younger,” she said of her dad’s work. “It was a cool hobby for awhile. I decided to try it out.”
A few years later, while on an overnight camp, Caitlin’s parents sent her with a camera.
“That was like, ‘oh, I want to take a picture of this, and this,’” she said. “I wanted to document everything.”
After the camp, Caitlin’s dad helped her upload and edit the photos, and she was hooked. She took photos throughout her teen years, remembering that she expressed herself a lot through photography, but hadn’t really thought to make it a career. Now, Caitlin is celebrating her first year as a professional photographer.
“It was always a hobby,” she said. “I never really wanted to pursue it, but here I am.”
Caitlin was in the right place at the right time to move into an available photography studio in Minden in November 2017. She was there until about March of 2018.
“I took over [there] for awhile but then kind of quickly realized studio photography wasn’t what I wanted to do,” she said. “Once I walked away from the studio, people thought I was out of business ... I’m still very much in business ... Once it got nice outside, I just saw no need to be in the studio anymore.”
Perhaps with her childhood experience of nature photography in mind, Caitlin got back outdoors to focus on shooting weddings and couple photography. She also shoots boudoir photography but noted that’s usually an indoor job.
Her work takes her to cottages and alongside lakes throughout the county and surrounding area, but Caitlin said she takes care to not fall into a favourite location routine.
“I like to change it up a lot so everyone’s photos are not looking the same,” she said.
Photography has even taken her to Cuba, where she was able to shoot an engagement photo session as well as a beachside wedding.
Now in her second year, Caitlin said wedding photo sessions are booking quickly and business is going well.
“Every wedding is so different,” she said. “I get to see that glimpse into their life ... which is really interesting. It’s so different every time. I’m not going in with a game plan. To an extent you are, the timeline is laid out, but in a studio I would have pose A, B, C, D. In a wedding you have to think on your feet, you have to be ready for any situation that’s going to come, rain or shine or whatever. There have definitely been some wild things at weddings. I think that’s why [I like it], it’s just always different.”
Samples of Caitlin’s work is available for viewing at caitlindunlopphotography.weebly.com, via Facebook at Caitlin Dunlop Photography or on Instagram at caitlin_dunlop_photography.