Today we’d like to introduce you to Carol LaBelle.
Hi Carol, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I love photography and have been taking pictures for as long as I can remember. I always had a camera close by as I was growing up and it is something that brings me great joy. Over the last 12 years, I have specialized in portrait photography and have a studio in Plymouth, Michigan. In addition to photographing people, I have traveled to various places building my fine art portfolio.
In the last year, I have decided to go take my fine art photography business to a new level and launched a new website in November of 2021. It was no small task, but I am excited to be back at the drawing board building a new small business. I specialize in Michigan fine art photography and travel Michigan’s shorelines and its interior, capturing the natural beauty in its landscapes and architecture. My goal is to help people relive a wonderful memory or fall in love with the locations I visit, by sharing my passion and impressions through photography.
One of my favorite quotes by D. Lange is, “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” This rings so true for me as I can’t help but remember the amazing memories and stories of our adventures when I look at images taken of special places like the beaches of Lake Michigan, lighthouses, the Upper Peninsula, or specific interior areas of Michigan. Michigan is an amazingly beautiful state filled with awesome people and landscapes. It’s a privilege to share my art and travels with others.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Building your own business has many great benefits, however, it is not easy. As I built my portrait business, I set out with the mindset that I would do everything possible, never saying no for the first 5 years. This allowed me to build a clientele in a variety of areas and helped me to find my strengths and weaknesses. Upon the completion of my 5 years, I understood how much I wanted to work and what areas to work within. This led me to high school seniors and family photography with some corporate work as it was needed. It was fun to really develop my skills in one particular area and referrals and business was steady. There was a lot of ups and downs and lots to learn, but it was a great experience.
Throughout my time as a portrait photographer, I knew I also wanted to have a fine art landscape photography business, so as we traveled the great state of Michigan, I began photographing the various places we visited, making memories as we went.
As the portrait business began to change and some family situations changed, I decided it was time to make the move over to fine art landscape photography and launched www.labellephotogallery.com. It has been a slow and steady process as I am learning to market and build clients in a whole new genre. I am working with other strong professionals to learn from and hopefully sidestep the big mistakes that can be made when starting a new business. Again, I know if will take a good 3-5 years to gain traction and see success. I am in for the long haul, so slow and steady will win the race.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a Michigan-based fine art photographer. I travel around Michigan’s shorelines and all roads in between capturing the beauty within. I grew up in Michigan and as a family we have traveled all over the upper and lower peninsula and I hope that my travels and experiences will encourage others to get outside and explore this great state or that they bring back wonderful memories of their childhood. There is so much to be seen and experienced and some of the most exciting parts are off the beaten path. So, while I share the popular places to visit, I also share my favorite out of way. spots too.
I believe what sets me apart from other photographers is the memories and passion that is invoked through my images. I have been told my viewers feel like they are there at the spot I am photographing and can feel the peace or excitement within the image. My stories blend into their stories, creating a bond created from the art.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Don’t worry about what is or isn’t happening in the moment, just keep working and doing your best as you learn and grow. Not everyone will like what you do, and this is ok. Just keep working to find the people that do.
- Fine art can be purchased at www.labellephotogallery.com
- Fine art prints, begin at $52
- Metals begin at $55
- Canvas wraps begin at $196
- Stationery begins at $25
- Website: www.labellephotogallery.com
- Instagram: @labellephotolp
- Facebook: @labellephotolp