Monday, January 26 — Speaker, Caroline Rutland

Conceptual Photography

Conceptual Photographer Puts You in the Story

Caroline Rutland

Caroline Rutland loves a good story. What she loves even more is putting her clients in the middle of their own stories through conceptual photography.

Rutland’s idea of storytelling through imagery has transformed the idea of portrait photography. Think of that photo of your senior student with his letter jacket and football; now put him in the big game. Does your little girl love ballet? She can be the ballerina turning in the music box. You and your spouse can be a medieval king and queen slaying dragons. “If you can dream it, I can do it,” she says confidently.

Rutland has always loved photography. “My dad was a hobby photographer,” she explains. “I did it as a hobby for a long time, then people saw my work and it snowballed.” A graphic design degree translated to doing ads and marketing for her company later. “I would shoot my own photos for ad layouts,” she says. She was so successful at photography she says, “I finally threw up my hands and said, ‘Okay, it chose me!’”

Magic of Literacy The Mermaid
Magic of Literacy – The Mermaid

When she began to get requests for her photography skills and decided to do it as a business, she did some research, took a course and learned from a gallery artist. She saw that portrait photography could be enhanced so clients could tell their own stories. “Think of a movie poster,” she says. “It encapsulates the whole movie in one image. It shows you can talk about things through body language and color schemes. I can do that in a portrait.”

Telling the story of a life in one image takes time and getting to know the subject of the photo. Rutland consults with her clients and talks about their lives, their interests and passions. Then she designs a thematic portrait image tailored to the client. Through pre-made and custom backgrounds she is able to create a portrait around a person.

Conceptual Portrait & Performance PhotographyCaroline is an award-winning conceptual portrait artist, public speaker and educator based in Thompson’s Station, TN. She has been married to her Prince for 11 years and together they have two princesses, two Shih-Tzu’s and a 19 year old cat named Boo.

While raising her family for the past five years she has built her conceptual and performance photography business. Her love of teaching has helped her develop courses so others can learn about this new but growing area in photography. “I can teach people where to start, where to learn, and where support groups are. This is such a broad category and everyone’s style is different,” she says. “I can walk you through a created image, show samples, and tell you how photographers have incorporated this new genre into their businesses.” She adds that with conceptual photography everyone’s style is different so making it your own is easy once you have the tools you need. She shows how one can personalize photographs from the sparkling to the mysterious, from fantasy to reality.

2015-01-26_Well_ThatWasEasyApplying these techniques is a great way to up-sell your existing clients or make your photography stand out in a crowded market. A voucher for $50.00 off Caroline’s two-day, in-depth work-shop on conceptual portrait photography scheduled for Spring 2015, will be given to all those who attend! (Dates for the workshop will be announced January 2015.)

Her program for the Cookeville Camera Club will highlight different artists and styles of conceptual photography, how to incorporate these these techniques to your existing genre or business, how to plan a conceptual shoot and will highlight the post processing techniques she used to create her most collected artwork, “The Magic of Literacy: The Mermaid”.

For more information about Caroline Rutland visit her website at and follow the link to her blog, “Sharing it Forward” for tips and tricks on conceptual photography.




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