Carol Merriman of Carol Jean Photography, located in California, is a momma, wife and creative soul. She is drawn to emotion, light and texture and seeks those out whenever possible. She strives to photograph more than just a pretty picture and instead, what moves her clients. She seems to capture movement and emotion flawlessly and woes us with her earthy tones. Please check out more of her work here.

And here she is, unraveled....


What inspires your art? Emotion, connection, light, texture. My children ,who are the reason I ever picked up a camera. To freeze memories in time in a meaningful artist way.

What other ways do you express your creativity? I was a hairdresser for 14 years prior to photography. Its still a way I on occasion express creativity. I also love interior design and am constantly decorating my home.

How do you de-stress at the end of the day? At the end of the day, it's wine lol. I do also love to exercise which is a huge stress relief.


What kind of music do you listen to while editing? I wish I had some cool answer for this, but I'm often editing late at night while my children are asleep so I listen to whatever I'm watching on Netflix.

What is your favorite book? I love to read, but can't even remember the last one I read. The first books that come to mind are favorites from high school and my early twenties. The Bell Jar and White Oleander. I like depressing books, not really sure what that says about me lol.


Name one movie that inspires you. Again I can't remember the last adult movie I watched (thanks kids). I would say The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. I feel like a lot of photographers would find it inspiring. The color and landscapes are amazing. I love the idea of this man lost in his own head and I love how he is on the hunt for this epic photo, but it turns out to be a simple but powerful image of real life. Plus Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig are hilarious.

How do you handle self-doubt or creative slumps? Ah, self doubt. It creeps up on you, as well as creative slumps. I think you just have to keep shooting, keep pushing. I get bored easily so I need to get out and try new things. Some work, some don't. I also have been lucky to meet (online) some incredible photographers who are open that I can't vent to and bounce ideas often.


What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey? Probably self doubt. Being ok with putting my work out there. Accepting that your art is not going to be everyones cup of tea, but still knowing my value. Hope that makes sense.

Who is one of your favorite photographers? I can't possibly pick just one and if I rattled off a few I would for sure forget someone. Impossible question.

Coleen Hodges