CWK Photography - by Carolyn Wells-Kramer
My husband and I said goodbye to our stable, successful corporate careers. We sold our house and cars, packed our belongings in storage, and rehoused our two beloved dogs. All this to move overseas to New Zealand, where we would be unemployed. While the wine industry has a romantic appeal to its customers, the people who decide to pursue wine as a career endure a lot of hard work and sacrifice. My husband went back to school to study enology, and I studied photography. We returned to the United States in 2004 in time for my husband to dive straight into the Oregon harvest, his second harvest that year.
We spent a year and a half being broke and were now the parents of a little boy (born in New Zealand), so I decided to return to the corporate tech world to help fund our journey. I continued to pursue my passion for photography and focused on developing my skills. After our second child was born, I had two perfect little models to help me learn the craft. Over the years, I started to notice a need for a photographer within the Oregon wine community who could offer photography services with an insider’s perspective. I was married to a winemaker, had lived in harvest housing at a winery, and had spent countless hours listening to wine talk. It was all perfect training for the job. I realized that I could bring a different angle and approach to the wine industry. So, in 2008, I left the corporate world forever to pursue photography within the wine world. My first commissioned work began at Adelsheim Vineyard. As one of the founding wineries of the Willamette Valley, it was a perfect place to start.
Over the years, I have consistently grown my business with a flexible, innovative, and natural approach. I have worked hard to identify and add valuable services for clients with all levels of photography needs. I have built a studio in McMinnville capable of producing high-quality bottle shots that are distributor-ready. I even pick up and return the bottles to my clients. I have worked with more than 30 wineries since 2008 and continue to expand my client list each year. With each image, I strive to tell the story of the people and their craft while providing them with a comfortable, genuine photography experience. I believe that you can be a technically skilled photographer, but if you can’t relate to your subjects, your images will show it. Recently, my husband made the comment, “Change, grow, or die.” I find that statement to be so true in our daily lives as we pursue what we love. Here’s to great wine and to the people who make it happen!