Hi! I'm Jessica Dunning Meetze, the Photographer behind Carolina Photo Studio. I'm married to Luke, a teacher at Newberry Middle School. We have the cutest little boy, Troy that was born in April 2016. I have a fluffy dogter, Chloe, a ten year old Shih Tzu that still has the spunk of a puppy. I love working in my yard, filling it with beautiful flowers and making it a cool hangout for everyone. I follow Jesus! We attend NewSpring Columbia where I serve on the Care Team. My journey in photography has been long and awesome but if you just want the cliff notes skip to the final paragraph.
I'll start at the beginning. I fell in love with photography when I was old enough to figure out how to use a 35 mm film camera by myself. At six years old, I would set up a scene in my bedroom, my Trolls or Barbies all lined up and styled for their photo shoot, sometimes even my hermit crabs would make an appearance. I would even recruit "models," aka the girl down the street, style her and pose her, then go ask permission to use my parents' camera. They would usually only allow me three pictures, so I had to make sure everything was perfect before I released the shutter button.
Fast forward thirteen years. That's when I met my photography mentor, and realized I could actually make a living at what I thought was only a hobby. Bernie E. Littlefield, CPP, was a successful portrait photographer that had the COOLEST studio and I wanted to be just like him. I took my new Mamiya 645 AFD 300 miles from my home in Kenduskeag, Maine, to Turners Falls, Massachusetts, where I attended the prestigious Photography school, Hallmark Institute of Photography. I graduated in the top ten percent of my class and received the Presidents Award for my achievements. Upon graduation, I had two job offers I was considering. I turned down working for a studio in Boston Massachusetts as a wedding photographer, and accepted a job at Grenier's Photography Studio (now Grynn & Barrett) as a Studio Portrait Photographer, photographing high school seniors, undergrads, and proms. After working there for a few years, I decided to come back "home" to Lexington, South Carolina, where I was raised. I worked as a photographer for Pro Photo for a few years until I couldn't resist my desire to own my own company and photograph weddings.
In 2010, I launched my business, Carolina Photography, only to discover about a year later that name was taken! Renamed and official as of January 2011, I am the CEO of Carolina Photo Studio, LLC. Over the past eight years, I've photographed couples, weddings, maternity, babies, kids, families, high school seniors, small businesses, middle school sports, galas, and more.
Me photographing the Waimea Canyon in Kauai, Hawaii, July 2017.
My silly family. You can see the Photographer in me is the only one taking it seriously!