Hi! I'm Jessica Dunning Meetze, the founder and Lead Photographer behind Carolina Photo Studio. I've been married to my husband, Luke since 2014 and we have the cutest little boys, Troy and Drake. We also have a fluffy dogter, Chloe, a fifteen 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. My family and I attend International Family Church in Columbia. 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.
I launched my business in 2010. Since opening, I've photographed couples, weddings, maternity, babies, kids, families, high school seniors, school sports, proms, dance teams, galas, parties, small businesses, and more. In 2022, I decided to only focus on high school seniors and families.
Me photographing the Waimea Canyon in Kauai, Hawaii, July 2017.
My Ma, me, and my Dad with my awards in front of my school on graduation day.