This little mama and I go way back! Back to the days when we were both unmarried, childless, and worked at Surfing Magazine together. Whoa are our days different now. Carolyn and I instantly connected not just because we were two of four women that worked in our male dominated office; we both share a love for all things creative. If you ever get to meet her in person you’ll feel like instant friends. Carolyn has a way of making you feel comfortable in any environment, maybe that’s the key to her budding and beautiful career in photography. Meet Carolyn Ruiz: photographer, marketing guru, mother to twins, and all round great gal with the most adventurous spirt.
CP: Tell us in 5 words what describes you best.
CR: Passionate, driven, extrovert, compassionate, creative.
CP: You’re a mom of twins! What is a typical day like for you?
CR: Well, let me just give you an example of what best illustrates a day in our life: A simple joy for most people, the quick trip to Starbucks, only nothing we do is simple or quick. With even one baby this can be an ordeal, but with twins it is a practice in Zen patience. I have to get them out of each car-seat, like a couple of wet octopuses strap them into the double B.O.B stroller (which is a monstrosity), maneuver the giant stroller through the crowd of Starbucks-goers (taking out businessmen and little old ladies in my wake) and providing a lesson in birth control for the young folks staring at us. Yeah. I earn that dirty chai latte (chai latte with 2 shots of espresso)! It is enough to make me want to kick my caffeine habit for good, except I am not crazy enough to think that is a good idea! But our days are also full of joys that can’t be measured. Watching two toddlers the same age laugh at each other, hold hands, play footsie in their stroller, and explore the world together. It is a happy chaos that I would not trade for anything.
CP: What’s been the hardest thing about transitioning from working full time to being a mom of twins?
CR: I am not sure if “hard” is the right word, but it has certainly been an adjustment reframing that part of my identity. I had very much connected to my career and the work that I loved. Not that the work that I did previously was easy, but there is a certain calm confidence in going to a job each day, feeling like you are fairly strong and solid in what you do, having the education, the experience, and the background to get through the challenges in front of you.
Being the mother of twins is like a crash course in life every day. Just when I think I have something figured out they will throw me a new curve ball, and I am fumbling through yet again! I love that this has taught me how to truly let go of control and how to be flexible and adapt in each moment.
One of the aspects of my former work life that I missed the most is that it provided me daily direction for my creativity. I need a creative outlet like I need to breathe. I now channel that into my photography business, which is a career that can support a more sustainable work/life balance with my busy family. And of course, my creativity is channeled daily into my children and finding new ways to show them the world.
CP: What are some current projects your working on?
CR: Currently, I am working on enhancing the marketing for my photography business. I am also seeking new beautiful locations for family, couples and maternity shoots. Weddings are especially fun, because it is not only about the couple, but about the event, the meaningful details the couple selected to make the day their own, and all the invited guests who are there to witness that special moment. Not only do I love the shoots, but the post-production afterward: selecting the pictures I know the clients will be obsessed with and playing with the best elements of each. It is kind of an addiction.
CP: What inspires your photography the most?
CR: Nature, music and travel are at the top of the list. Light and location are also very important to my aesthetic: I want my photography to reflect the sensual sun-drenched days of Southern California, as if it is another character in the story I am creating with each shot. With all the family sessions I have been taking lately, I suddenly realized that my ultimate inspiration is LOVE: the connection between people. I am a romantic. When I see candid, spontaneous playfulness, or a sweet glance between a couple or a mother and daughter, that is what I zero in on. I just keep shooting. I want to capture those sacred fleeting moments that we sometimes take for granted, especially when we all get caught up in the day-to-day grind. I want to capture the memories that I would want someone to take of my family.
Now that I have a family of my own, I am often in awe of seeing the world for the first time through their eyes. I now notice so many little things I didn’t appreciate before and am experiencing a renewed sense of wonder.
CP: What would be the best compliment someone could give you after they see your work?
CR: Please excuse my sappiness when I say this but… I’d feel so grateful if a client told me that my photography brought happy tears to their eyes, and that I captured the event and love between everyone involved just as they had experienced it and felt in their hearts.
CP: What kind of style would you say you have?
CR: Well, like I said before, I am a romantic. I love anything lace, beaded, or embroidered with beautiful detail. But I also have a glam side that has to be let out on occasion. Please just give me one day in Amy Adams’ American Hustle wardrobe!
CP: Any business tips or advice for mom’s trying to start their own business?
CR: Words that come to mind are; grit, perseverance, creativity and patience. One of my favorite quotes is “Diligence is the mother of good luck”. Being a mom and starting a business is seriously the hardest thing I’ve done. This is because I have to seize every opportunity to get stuff done, and I no longer have an office away from distractions to shield me. Being a night owl has definitely come in handy, because after the twins go off to dream land, my laptop and I get things done.
Ultimately, you need to be living your passion. Do something you love enough to run a marathon for!
CP: How do you and your husband make time for each other with your busy schedules of work and parenting?
CR: Almost every evening when he gets home from work, we all go on a walk together around the neighborhood. That used to be our tradition with our dog before we had kids and the tradition still stands with the little ones.
CP: Your perfect Mother’s Day would look like?
CR: I’m pretty easy when it comes to my perfect day. I love a good breakfast as a family: I crave a decadent French toast with a dirty chai latte. Then after that, a day spent at the beach together. Ideally, surfing with James (my hubby) would definitely be the cherry on top. There is nowhere in the world I love more than being at the beach with my family. It is like our second home.
Check out her beautiful family and gorgeous photography!
Head on over to carolynruizcreative.com to read more about Carolyn and her work.