About Me

 

carol-mellema-tennessee-nature-landscape-photographer

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to just pitch it all and hit the road? A native Illinoisan all my life, in July of 2015 my husband, high-school-age son, and I sold everything we owned (which included a 4000 square foot house, a 3000 square foot photography studio and a 2000 square foot business condo that housed my husband’s business), hopped in our RV, and ditched Illinois forever, making many of our friends and family very envious, and some think we were a little bit nuts. But that’s ok – we were never really made for “conforming” – you know – going to work in our cubicle from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday and taking a one-week vacation to Florida once a year. That’s never been our style, which is probably why we owned our own businesses to begin with. Anyways, we spent our first winter traveling where it was warm – Alabama, Texas, Arizona, and are now in the Smoky Mountains area of East Tennessee. Jim and I came here for our honeymoon almost 30 years ago, and have always loved this area! We have purchased a home in Jefferson County on Douglas Lake, which we rent to our adult children so we can continue to travel but still have a home base of sorts. We still live full-time in our RV while the kids live in the house. We have a young grandchild with a congenital heart defect who has had 2 open heart surgeries in the first 4 months of his little life, and will need one more, so having them close to us so we can help out is very important to us. However, we still travel whenever and wherever we can!

Monaco RV and Jeep Liberty Full Time RV Travel

In Illinois, I owned my own portrait photography business since 2003, specializing in high school seniors, babies and families. And now, I will continue my portrait business here in East Tennessee. I love being able to capture this fleeting time in your family’s life (and believe me it goes by way too fast!)

My photographs are currently hung in Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois, as well as in All About Kids Pediatrics, also in Naperville. I was chosen to write a chapter in Alain Briot’s Photography Book titled “How Photographs Are Sold”. For many years, I was a member of the Professional Photographers Association of Northern Illinois, where I participated in ongoing photography education as well as competitions. I also photograph stock images, and have been accepted and am active on Shutterstock, Getty, Adobe Stock, Dreamstime and 123RF.

I would very much look forward to working with you to fulfill all of your photographic needs, whether that means portraits of your family, or classes for you to learn photography yourself. Please feel free to contact me anytime!