“I don’t believe we as human beings are wired to not be creative. I believe that every human being has a talent. Some will never discover theirs out of fear of failure or some other circumstance. For me, I need a balance of a practical life and earning a good salary, having health benefits for my family, etc… but I also crave being creative. This was missing from my life for a long time. Now that I have it, I don’t want to let it go.”
– Carey Acquafresca-True
Website under construction Instagram
Carey Acquafresca-True is a Photographer who was born in Colorado and raised in California (LA and the mountains). Growing up, she remembers spending countless hours outdoors with her siblings exploring their mountains and valleys. In the 70s, kids just would go out in the morning and come home before dinner and this was truly what she did and where her love of the outdoors began. Carey’s parents worked and she never had a babysitter unless her parents were going out at night. She recalls her mother always having a camera in her hand and being a very talented photographer. Despite not always having a good camera, her mothers’ photos were always stunning. Carey’s mother was also an incredible painter and seamstress, who still sketches and sews to this day. She doesn’t think her mother truly knew of her potential and used to follow her around while she was shooting. A lot of her mothers’ photos were taken of people (especially her children) and many were also of nature and the outdoors. Her mother had a way of capturing people when they were most vulnerable.
Carey is living back in Colorado with her family now: her husband Jerry, their daughter Paloma and theis son Jax and works full time in the pharmaceutical industry. Many years ago, she started to feel a longing for something creative. She described feeling, “that my soul was withering away (don’t mean to sound dramatic but that was truly my feeling at the time)”. This was how her journey with photography began.
Tell us about your photography and how you got started.
I am drawn to outdoor photography. I love to capture our many seasons here in Colorado and if traveling, I like to capture the new and different landscapes around me. I started to become very serious about my photography about 5 years ago when my husband bought me my first DSLR camera. I use a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. I also use my iPhone from time to time. The iPhone camera is very powerful when you know the tricks and secrets of it. One day I will get a nice Nikon.
Was this always what you wanted to do or did it emerge over time?
I always knew I wanted more than just a 9-5 job. I was never a good artist, singer, dancer…when I finally accepted this, I naturally gravitated toward photography and found that I became better with time and after taking a few classes.
Who has helped you in the process of following your dream?
My family is very supportive of what I do with my photography. I also have a group of friends who have been invaluable with their support and promotion of my work: Catherine McCormick (@catherinegraceo), Suzanna Valdez, Lori Black (@lorbla). I have friends and family and members of our community who have purchased my work and this is quite motivating. I seem to be building a small network of supporters on Instagram too, which is quite fun.
What inspires you?
I am highly motivated by the works of many professional photographers whom I follow on Instagram and 500px.
I also take off spontaneously to shoot (after a snow storm, botanic gardens, chasing a fog bank). I have found that you need to be ready at a moment’s notice especially here in Colorado where our weather can change in an instant.
What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
One of my biggest challenges comes from working my 9-5 and feeling stifled by my responsibilities. While I do love my job, I am always antsy to go shoot. If I could, I would take a year off just to travel and take photos around our state and beyond.
Have you encountered burnout and if so how do you deal with it?
What message are you trying to share with your work?
I’m not so sure it’s as much as a message but rather sharing images from my point of view and where I live which others may not have ever seen. One of my Instagram followers commented on how my work was really special for her as she lives in a tropical climate and had never seen frost or snow before.
How do you overcome the vulnerability of sharing your work?
I feel vulnerable with everything I share. You never know what people will be drawn to but in the end, I have to trust myself and my work and feel confident about any image I share. If it resonates with my audience, great…if not, then I have learned one more thing about my audience.
What is it that you love about living a creative life?
Everything! I don’t believe we as human beings are wired to not be creative. I believe that every human being has a talent. Some will never discover theirs out of fear of failure or some other circumstance. For me, I need a balance of a practical life and earning a good salary, having health benefits for my family, etc… but I also crave being creative. This was missing from my life for a long time. Now that I have it, I don’t want to let it go.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
I would say that first and foremost, trust your instincts in identifying what you are good at and what you want to pursue. Some people are innately born knowing what they want to do creatively. Others, like me, do not learn until later in life – and that’s OK! It is never too late to pursue a creative path and don’t be discouraged by competition. Let that drive you and be open to learning from those who have been in the creative industry longer than you.
What have you learned in the process of following your dream?
You will not always be successful, get the response you hope for, or always produce great work. It takes practice. In photography, it may take 100 shots to get the one that is great. You must also be willing to make changes and tweaks to your work and be open to learning from others. Another lesson for me has been taking compliments. This is not always easy but you must have a balance of humility and accepting praise. This takes some time. Being too humble may prevent you from pushing yourself to the next level – you will need some confidence too.
What are you most excited for in the future?
I am most excited to see at what level I can take my photography. I am currently building a website to showcase my best work and to offer prints or canvas to those interested. Photographers are a dime a dozen but everyone is unique in their style and that is what makes each individual photographer so special.