Exploring new horizons with like-minded creatives.

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Michael and Carina Workshop Behind-the-Scenes | Backstage from 2become1 on Vimeo.

We are beyond excited to announce dates for our next workshop, our first international photography workshop, “Horizons” or “Orrizonti.” We fell in love with this region in the summer of 2015.

From August 28th – 31st, 2016, we are returning together with local Italian wedding planner & stylist Federica Beni of Honey & Cinnamon the Wedding Sparrow Team, and several other carefully chosen artists. Photographers from across the world are cordially invited to join us for an inclusive multi-day retreat + workshop in the rolling hills of Italy’s Marche Region. We have rented out an entire villa to share with our attendees just outside of Ancona, where we will have time for our welcome dinner, classes, & intensive Q & A sessions. The workshop will feature several highly curated styled shoots with professional models and photographers will be free to submit images for publication.

Is this right for you? 

This workshop is for photographers who have been in business 1+ years, and have a good grasp on the basics of photography. If you are interested in photographing in one of Europe’s most beautiful regions, connecting with your dream client, refining your brand, getting your work published, building lasting friendships in the industry, shooting FILM or simply shooting abroad, this workshop is for you! Finally, this is a workshop for photographers interested in PRACTICAL advice. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Review: “Remember in college when you’d sign up for that class that sounded so interesting? You’d show up the first day, sit through the class and think, “Wow. This is going to kill me.” But if you think back to that interesting college class, you showed up every day, you paid attention, and you became knowledgeable and awesome at a new trade. That’s what this workshop did for us. We had the opportunity to push our limits. Try new film stocks. Shoot indoors. Shoot boudoir. Play with fire (literally). We left the workshop feeling stretched, excited and new….which is exactly what we were looking for. Weddings are our business. And sometimes they can really take a lot out of you; you can easily feel rusty and creatively empty. This workshop was our opportunity to play, practice and create. We left… with a renewed spirit and a ravished creative appetite.” –The Happy Bloom

For more information regarding lodging availability, travel advice, and investment, write us at info@michaelandcarina.com or visit our workshop website.

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Detail - Table Setting - Michael and Carina Workshop | Virginia + International wedding photographer
Michael and Carina Workshop Locations | Michael and Carina Workshops in Italy
Michael and Carina Workshop | Michael and Carina Workshops in Italy

We have been so overwhelmed by the positive responses to our announcement of TRANSITIONS! We have teamed up with our excellent stylist team, Wit Weddings, to give away one seat to The Little Workshop, which will be held November 7th & 8th 2015 in Stony Creek, Virginia! This “scholarship” will include the opportunity to learn […]

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We have been so overwhelmed by the positive responses to our announcement of TRANSITIONS!
We have teamed up with our excellent stylist team, Wit Weddings, to give away one seat to The Little Workshop, which will be held November 7th & 8th 2015 in Stony Creek, Virginia!

This “scholarship” will include the opportunity to learn with other photographers, both experienced and new, to take part in several meticulously crafted styled shoots, and to engage in hands-on, practical learning with Michael and Carina Photography.

Giveaway Rules:

1. Reshare this photo on Instagram (also found below) with the tags @michaelandcarina, #thelittleworkshop & #michaelandcarinaphotography
2. Using the Rafflecopter app below, invite your friends to enter in the contest! You also have the option to share via Twitter, etc. which increases your chances of winning.
3. Post a comment on this blog post linking to your Instagram account and let us know why you would like to win a seat, or what you would hope most to take away from the workshop!
Note: The prize is non-transferable & not redeemable for its cash value. Travel & lodging for the workshop are not included.

One winner will be selected at random and the winner will be announced Friday, July 17th!

For more information regarding The Little Workshop, click here.
For more information regarding this giveaway, please contact us at info@michaelandcarina.com.

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Learning with Virginia Wedding Photographers Michael and Carina Photography  This past year has been nothing short of absolutely amazing. We have been so honored to have worked with some fantastic people, both clients and other wedding professionals and creatives. We still have to pinch ourselves about being featured on some of our favorite sources of […]

Learning with Virginia Wedding Photographers Michael and Carina Photography 


This past year has been nothing short of absolutely amazing.

We have been so honored to have worked with some fantastic people, both clients and other wedding professionals and creatives.

We still have to pinch ourselves about being featured on some of our favorite sources of inspiration.

We recently announced our 2nd workshop (for which there are two seats remaining!), and the response has been awesome. However, we know that for some people a workshop just isn’t a possibility right now.

Now we want to give back.

The road to success is paved with hard work, it’s true, but we believe behind every successful person there are people supporting them and believing in them along the way.

At least, that is how it’s been for us – and this is one small way we can say thank you.

That’s why we’re so excited to offer T W O mentoring session scholarships with us via Skype or Google Hangout, at absolutely no cost.

For two hours, we’ll sit down with the winners and answer all questions (about film, metering, finding your niche market, interacting with clients, pricing, getting published), and we’re also open to reviewing your work or materials and offering helpful feedback where it’s needed.

Just follow the instructions below to enter and on February 16th, 2015 the winners will be selected! Please be sure to leave a comment below letting us know what you’d be excited to learn with us!

Thank you again for your support!

xoxo M & C

Richard Photo Lab

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Anon asked: I’m new to film and am having trouble understanding how to do all of my setting without having an image to look at like with digitial. How do you know how to set a film camera to get the best result? Thank you! Hi there! The best way to get consistent results on […]


1. Anon asked: I’m new to film and am having trouble understanding how to do all of my setting without having an image to look at like with digitial. How do you know how to set a film camera to get the best result? Thank you!

Hi there! The best way to get consistent results on film is to use a meter and meter consistently. When you “get it right,” do the same thing over and over.


2. Turiz asked: How awesome! I have two questions. 1) How do you deal with “writers block”, or in better words, loss of ideas/motivation? 2) around what time in your career did you feel like you had found yourself in your style of photography. When did you feel like your niche? I kind of feel lost sometimes, but nonetheless I LOVE what I do! 

Great question! Give yourself challenges or personal projects. For example, go out and photograph 10 strangers. Document a local disappearing way of life. Try and capture a moving portrait of someone in three to five photographs. Three years ago, I picked up my first film camera for a wedding. I was as happy getting those film scans back as I was when I went on vacation with my wife in Egypt for a month. Anything that makes you that happy on a regular basis is more than likely your calling! Styles are constantly evolving, and you never want to allow yourself to become stagnant, but we probably comfortably settled into our style about a year ago after constantly shooting personal projects.


3. Dani asked:  I absolutely love how you “pose” your couples! What is your best advice for getting couples into their most natural state and capture those organic moments?
Give couples actions to perform, but also give them space. We’re wary of letting our personalities interfere with them and we like to give them room sometimes to just “be romantic” and “fall in love with each other again.”
4. Tianna asked:  Being fine art photographers I know so much of that just has to do with how you see the world and capturing it more organically. What advice would you give for someone trying to break away from the more traditional style of photography wanting to move into fine art?
Hi Tianna, Shoot something that connects with you, shoot to tell stories, and embrace your own creativity. “Turn off” Pinterest & Instagram and be inspired by music, by nature, by your surroundings, or by a painting.  Embrace your vision and when you shoot, don’t just capture but create beautiful images.

5. Kimberly asked: What light meter would you recommend buying? I’m just starting to dabble in film and I’m so excited to start and can’t wait to learn. 

Hi Kimberly, we use a Sekonic L358. Enjoy your film journey!
6. Casey asked: How do you afford to shoot film so much?
Hi Casey, film is an investment, and your pricing should reflect that accordingly. Don’t shortchange yourself. But also look at it this way. Does film help you define your style? How much is that worth to you? 😉

7. Kelsee asked: When there’s none, or not enough natural light at a wedding, what specific lighting do you use? what are the best resources for learning how to use lighting?

We use off-camera flashes & video lights. The best way is to mentor with an experienced photographer or take a workshop, and even better: practice, practice, practice!
8. April asked: 1)  (Hybrid) How do you sell your film vs digital packages? Explaining the difference. 2) where do you advertise and why [and] what does your referral program look like? 3) How much is one roll purchased and developed total?
Hi April, we don’t have any separate packages for film vs digital. Thus, no explanation is necessary. If someone likes our style, they’ll book us.We don’t advertise anywhere with the exception of one or two blogs that match the style and aesthetic of our photography. We don’t pay for Google Adwords or SEO help. We don’t have a “referral program.” We concentrate on consistently creating beautiful images and providing excellent experiences for our clients, and referrals naturally come.
This is the cost of one box of 5 rolls of Fuji400h. One roll yields 16 images on a Contax 645.  $37.50 divided by 5= $7.59. That one roll developed and scanned adds another $18-21 usually. Shipping all of the rolls to the lab overnight and having the negatives sent back also costs something, but let’s say it’s about $30 per roll, though some labs do offer loyalty programs. On an average wedding, we shoot between 45-60 rolls, and this year we’ve photographed 32 weddings. Film is an investment, but for us, it’s worth it!
9. Liz asked: Do you present the final wedding images to your client in person to see their reaction + up sell any additional product or just post them their images and why? And do you provide prints of all images as you shoot hybrid along with the digital file of ALL final images? Please keep doing these #askusanythings! X
Hi Liz, We do not usually meet clients in person, and we do not upsell any additional products. We have way to much fun shooting weddings, but if clients are interested in buying albums through us they may and many do. We do provide prints for our clients though as well as high res files of images from the wedding day; the cost of this is incorporated into their collection price. Glad you enjoyed!

10. Fiona asked: How did you guys get started in the business of wedding photography? Did you second shoot before you started/how did you go about finding opportunities to do so? Thanks so much! Love your work

Hi Fiona, Thanks for asking and for the feedback! We love photography and we love working together. We connect with our client’s love stories very strongly because we had to work so hard and for so long to be together ourselves. We did second shoot a lot though before we branched out on our own. We just asked if we could assist some other photographers, and eventually went from carrying bags to shooting.
Just ask! The worst that could happen is they say no… and then you can ask someone else! 🙂

11. Mary Anne asked: The tones in your images are so lovely. What type of film are you shooting with? 

Hi Mary Anne, thanks! We mainly shoot Fuji400h, Kodak Portra 800, and Ilford 3200, in that order. Sometimes I (Mike) also shoot Kodak Tri-X 400 for fun, too. For most of what you see on our website and our blog, it’s Fuji400h 120mm film.


12. Emily asked: With being film shooters do you ever take images into photoshop or do you do it all in the darkroom? What is your best advice for getting gigs as a second shooter?

We do some post-processing digitally to our scans when it’s necessary in Lightroom or Photoshop, but barely, and it is mainly limited to retouching skin or a slight adjustment in temperature. Communicating with our lab scanners and exposing properly helps us get most of the work done before we get our film scans back from the lab. Our best advice would be to reach out to another photographer local to you or to a community of photographers and ask. Ask in the spirit of genuinely wanting to help the other photographer; don’t simply go along to build your portfolio, but to genuinely support the other photographer and learn. Building your portfolio is important but building long-lasting relationships with other photographers is equally important and can even lead to referrals for your business (not to mention friendships with like-minded photographers). 

13. Michelle asked: I love your wedding photography! Do you use mostly natural light?

Hi Michelle! Thanks! We love natural light and use it whenever we can. We also feel it’s really important to be experienced with artificial light sources, even if you choose not to let them define your style. At wedding receptions, we use a mix of flash and video lights. But yes, we love natural light and especially love it at sunrise and sunset.

14. Alicia asked: Ooo this is so awesome, lots to ask! 1. What, if any, portions of a wedding day do you shoot digitally and why? 2. When getting your film developed, do you have a color profile you typically request or have you developed your own?   3. This one might not be clear, but I’ll give it a go: When I am shooting film and am using a light meter, should I ever change the exposure compensation on the actual camera? Or would I only need to do that if I was trying to use the meter within the camera body. I just cannot find any information if that actually affects the film or is solely for metering purposes!! Thank you guys SO much — this is the perfect Christmas gift.

Hi Alicia, awesome questions! 1. We try and shoot film whenever and wherever we can, but sometimes digital is just the better medium to convey the story of the day. Scenarios include wedding receptions after dark, extremely dim churches, or dark rooms on dark cloudy days with very little window light. 2. We definitely developed our own color profiles. The best way to develop your “profile” with a lab is simple communication. Labs – Photovision, Richard Photo Lab, The Find Lab, etc. etc., all have extremely communicative staff that work with you to try and nail the look you’re going for. If you’re getting back scans you’re not satisfied with or find yourself editing them a lot, give the lab a call and try to communicate what you’re not satisfied with. As you work more and more with a lab, the scanners working on the other end will know better and better how to nail the look you’re going for as long as you are exposing consistently. 3. If you are shooting in manual mode and using the meter, then you shouldn’t have to change the exposure compensation on your camera. We pretty much ignore the in-camera meter on our Contaxes and rely on the Sekonic l-358. Some 35mm cameras have more reliable meters though, so if you’re shooting with an EOS 1-v and want to try shooting in AV mode, we’d suggest erring on the side of overexposing with your meter.

15. Kat asked: I’d love to know about the feathers in your logo. Is there a story behind them?

Hi Kat, the logo is made up of two quill pens, which represents how Carina and I began the adventure our love story has been. 11 years ago we, after 6 months of writing each other as teenage pen-pals, I called her up in Germany from across the Ocean in the USA and asked her to be my long-distance girlfriend. Luckily, she said yes! Our correspondence didn’t stop there though… we still have boxes and boxes of handwritten letters we wrote to each other.

16. Kelly asked: My question isn’t related to film, but I’d love to know how do you best network or what do you do to reach your target audience?

Hi Kelly, we found that the best way to “network” is to simply be genuine, helpful people with fellow wedding professionals, in so far as we are able, and never take advantage of anyone. It sounds cliche, but it’s just that simple. The best way we have reached our target audience is by sharing sessions, real and styled, that reach our target audience rather than sharing “everything.” Selectivity is one of the hardest lessons to learn as a photographer, but it’s also one of the most liberating.

17. Robyn asked: Tell us about the Leica M6. What is it exactly and what are the advantages over the Contax, etc? What lens have you shot with on it?

Hi Robyn, The Leica M6 is such a fun and amazing little camera. I borrowed one recently from a friend for a session (it was my birthday present from him and my wife, who organized it), but I am not familiar with it enough to offer any real advice. I will relate our first impressions: it was a LOT of fun, it’s extremely quiet and unobtrusive, and paired with the right lens it has incredible bokeh. It takes some getting used to as far as focusing goes, but once I got the hang of it it was easy to focus. I shot a 35mm summilux on the m6 body. It will probably be our next camera purchase.


18. Michele asked: Oh, so so so cool! Recently, I took your advice from April (this blog) http://www.michaelandcarina.com/tag/canon-elan-7/ and snagged an elan 7 off ebay for $30 shipped with some cheap film. I am going to get it developed quickly so I can see if it works. However, I want to get some better film. What would you suggest to purchase? If things go well, could I then upgrade to another Canon for a little higher quality camera that I could still shoot my my L series lenses in autofocus? And, thank you for being so open and fabulous. Merry Christmas!

Hi Michele, What a neat gift for yourself! That’s great! There are tons of great choices out there; I’d recommend experimenting with them to find what works for you. Kodak Portra 400 and Fuji400h are good places to start. Also Portra 160 is a beautiful film to shoot as long as you have enough light. Portra 800 has noticeable grain, but it is not as bothersome as digital noise. My favorite black and white 35mm film is Kodak Tri-X 400. A better Canon film camera that will work with your L lenses? The best Canon film SLR is probably the EOS 1V. Merry Christmas to you too!

19. Payal asked: Awesome idea. How have you grown your business since the beginning?

Hi Payal, just trying to give the best service we can to clients and other wedding professionals while never losing sight of why we do what we do – a passion for the art of photography.

20. Heather asked: Your work is beautiful! Best tip for getting the wedding party to interact?

Heather, thanks! Try giving them actions to perform, in succession. For example, “Bridesmaids, look at the bride, linking arms,” (feel free to step in and with permission, make adjustments), and usually they start laughing naturally because they are staring at each other. Then, “Everyone look at the camera” while they are still smiling and laughing. Then ask them to walk towards you while linking arms and holding their dresses. If you do this with confidence, and in succession, your subjects usually can react well to your direction.

21. Lindsey asked: I love this idea! I’d love to pick your brains. 1) What advise do you have for a photographer struggling to bring in a clientele in a small town (pop 8000) with so many other photographers available? 2) Marketing. How. What. What works, what doesn’t. How do you reach your target market and plant it in their heads that they want you? 3) Education. What online workshops, if any, do you recommend? Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to your replies!

Lindsey, that’s what this blog is for! 1. You’ll find that no matter where you are, and no matter how big or small your town is, there will be other photographers available. And that’s awesome. You’d drive yourself crazy really quick if everyone in your town wanted to book you! Instead of concentrating on what others are doing, first consider: Who is your ideal client? Then: Does my portfolio reflect the client I want to attract? Does the experience I offer reflect the type of experience my ideal client expects? Make your portfolio, your brand, and the experience you offer irresistible to your ideal clients. Establish positive relationships with other local professionals, including photographers. Also, don’t limit yourself to your town. There might be a nearby city (I say nearby, one of our favorite places to shoot is almost a 3 hour drive) with tons of clients waiting to connect with you. 2. The best marketing is word of mouth, and that is generated by giving clients (and fellow professionals) amazing experiences from consultation to delivery, not only on the day of the shoot. 3. Education: we actually offer online mentoring sessions! We are also planning a major workshop for 2015 – more on that coming soon! Aside from that, there are tons of great resources on Creative Live or you could reach out to a photographer whom you admire and ask their fee for mentoring.


22. Maya asked: Thank you for doing this! really appreciate it. Love your work. I – How do you work with your lab and establish a color profile? 2 – Do you mix film stocks ? How do you achieve your consistent look? 3 – What are you rating your film stocks?

Hi Maya, As we said, communication with the lab is important as is properly and consistently exposing your images. When you shoot something and it turns out pleasing to your eye just keep doing that over and over again. You’ll gradually get better and better and develop a unique style. We mainly shoot fuji400h outside, Portra 800 indoors. Fuji400h we rate at 200, Portra 800 at 500-640, Ilford 3200 at 1250.

23. Evo asked: What’s your style?

Hi Evo, In three words, elegant, timeless, and natural.

24. Daytona asked: What’s the most important investment you’ve made in your business? 

Hi Daytona, as for the most important investments, probably education first, and brand second. (Note we also consider investing in film = investing in our brand).



M  E  N  T  O  R  I  N  G  

We currently have 5 spots available for Skype or in person mentoring in February 2015. Book by December 31st, 2014 and save $100.

Mentoring session includes intensive Q & A, portfolio review, and business coaching.

Email us at info@michaelandcarina.com to reserve your spot.


W  O  R  K  S  H  O  P 

U  P  D  A  T  E

There’s an announcement coming soon about workshops in 2015 with Michael and Carina Photography. Keep an eye out at the beginning of the New Year!

Until then, M & C


We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from other photographers about shooting weddings, timelines, networking, how we handle business consultations, and especially film, so we thought we’d open up our blog until midnight Friday for a round of Q & A! Ask us whatever you like and we’ll try to answer all of your […]


We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from other photographers about shooting weddings, timelines, networking, how we handle business consultations, and especially film, so we thought we’d open up our blog until midnight Friday for a round of Q & A!

Ask us whatever you like and we’ll try to answer all of your questions next week in a blog post! Please try and limit three questions per comment, thank you!

Until then, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!





Virginia Wedding Photographers | Williamsburg Wedding Photographers | Hampton Roads Wedding Photographers


Have you voted in Belle Lumiere’s End of Year Awards Contest Yet? We’re honored to be considered as 2014’s Emerging Film Photographers of the Year. Click HERE to vote! 



“If I ever marry, love,
then ever only with you."