Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA: Blog en-us (C) Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:47:00 GMT Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:47:00 GMT Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA: Blog 120 61 Abby | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa Meet Abby! Where quirky is her middle name. Abby is a senior at Hempstead High School and also was the model in my new video!

She has a wide range of styles. She's punky, bohemian, and girly. Also...she has the longest hair I've ever seen! She's been growing it for yearssss.



]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Wed, 21 Sep 2016 21:30:00 GMT
Milroy's Homecoming Shoot | Dubuque Photographer | Senior Portrait Photographer I had the pleasure of getting to work with Milroy's for a Homecoming shoot! I never went to Homecoming...but after seeing all the cool dresses I definitely wanted to go. To which my husband said, "You don't want to go homecoming, you just want to dress up." Fair enough ;)

These high schoolers were from around Dubuque and Monticello. High schoolers? More like models!

We met at Milroy's and the girls got to try on dresses to see which one they wanted to wear while they guys got in their outfits.

Barb, the store manager, was definitely amazing in helping the girls figure out what looked good on them and doing all the lacing. I tried, but admitted defeat, and she took over :)

I particularly loved this floral skirt and white lace crop top. Barb just got back from Atlanta to put an order in for prom dresses and she said strapless dresses are gone and it's all about the two piece outfits and higher necklines. I'm a fan of that!

I loved the way this blue sequin dress looked on Jessi. It was like it was made for her...and that back! *swoon*

This purple looked divine on Elle!

This red two piece on Isabelle was also a favorite of mine as well!

The guys looked good too!


]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Wed, 14 Sep 2016 20:45:00 GMT
Lexi K | Senior Pictures | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque, IA Lexi is a fireball! She's sassy, funny, quirky, and silly.

She was also part of my senior model program. She definitely brings a lot of attitude to the photo shoots as you can see from the outfits to the poses. 


]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Wed, 07 Sep 2016 19:30:00 GMT
Caroline | Senior Portraits | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa Sweet Caroline....buh buh buh...

I know I can't be the first one that has done that before. So props to not being original. 

But very sweet she is. It's also funny because she always gets called Carolyn and I, Carolyn, always get called Caroline. Funny world. 

Caroline is a junior at Wahlert Catholic High School. Not only was she sweet, but also a natural model. She said she doesn't really get her pictures taken, but then I would pull my camera out and *bam* *bam* *bam* she rocked every pose. Made my job really easy and fun. 

It was really hot the evening we took the photos. I think Caroline gets the trooper award. She rocked it the whole night and in the pictures she looks like a perfectly temperatured angel! (Is that a thing?)


We shot at her grandparent's gorgeous house, garden, and pool. All the heart eyes. Then we shot at her equally amazing house. All the heart eyes again. I'm going back there in the fall and I can't wait!

As a photographer I'm creative and "see" photos as a vision waiting to come to life. Sounds cheesy, but it's da truth. I would explain a situation in my head to Caroline and she would execute it perfectly. I asked her if she was ever in drama before because she took direction really well (she was).

For instance, I told her to walk through the willow tree in a fairy like manner. Not only did we get some gorgeous serious shots, but some beautiful smiling ones as well! See, it works. I'm not crazy!

She's enjoyed her time in Iowa but is ready to see what else is out there. Her dream is to be the next best-selling author! I hope I stroll through Barnes and Nobles one day and see a book written by Caroline. She loves music, singing, and hanging out with her close friends.

Caroline is certainly a busy bee. She's involved with cross country, tennis, varsity show choir, humane society, her school's spring musical, and a cappella choir.

She loves reading, writing, and watching lots of Netflix. Sounds just like me...

Her friends describe her as loyal, trustworthy, and creative.

Favorite music: The Front Bottoms, Panic! At the Disco, Young the Giant, Modern Baseball, Moose Blood, Brand New, The 1975, Mayday Parade, Flatsound, Taking Back Sunday, Hamilton Soundtrack.... to name a few

What makes a woman beautiful? "When she shines very bright with self-love and love for someone else"


We'll end on one of her favorite quotes:


"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am."

-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Ja


Till next time.


]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Wed, 31 Aug 2016 18:45:00 GMT
NEW PROMO VIDEO | Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa I've only had one video before that showed what it was like on a photo shoot with me, and that was over a year ago. I like makeovers and I thought it was time to recapture what the experience was like. 

Abby is a senior at Hempstead High School and lives in East Dubuque, IL. She brought her friend along who helped with some footage as well. That was very nice because trying to flip between photo and video was getting a bit challenging. Thanks, Bobby! And on that note, there are some pretty cool new photos coming if I can say that :)


Disclaimer: This video was not forced or "acted". She laughed at her own will. Probably laughed at me for being weird...but I'll take it ;)


]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior what to wear Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:30:00 GMT
Frani | Senior Portraits | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa Frani and her mom are just some of those people you meet that have true genuine, kind hearts. 

Frani was an ease to photograph, very natural in front of the camera, even if she felt otherwise... :)
She's a Senior at Beckman Catholic High School in Dyersville. Beckman, not Beckham, just in case you were wondering. For some reason I kept calling it Beckham, like David Beckham, the soccer superstar. But Frani is in soccer, so I guess that works. Somehow. ;) 

Along with being in soccer, she is involved in a couple clubs as well as being on the yearbook committee. Best believe I had to bring it! ;)


After high school she plans on going to college...just not sure which one yet! But her ultimate dream job would just be doing something that she loves and that helps others in some way! (Remember what I said about a kind heart?)


Her style lately has been flowy shorts and fun printed tank tops. She describes her style as girly but casual.  She loves to shop at American Eagle and Forever 21 (amen sista!)

That's why I *gasped* when she brought out this outfit! How fun and cute, styled perfectly with the hat.

Her friends describe her as funny, awkward, and supportive. She describes herself as silly and caring.
Something unique and quirky about her- she taught herself to say the alphabet backwards at 5 years old! Frani loves to hang out with friends and family. Whether they're watching a movie or playing a game, they always have a good time together!


Those shoes though.
Frani's favorite quote: "Smile; you're not the only one with problems in this world."

To Frani, a beautiful woman is someone that is happy with their self and show it through who they are.

Love that!

Thanks for the fun day Frani and good luck with your future endeavors! 



]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Wed, 17 Aug 2016 16:30:00 GMT
What to Wear for Fall Senior Pictures 2016 | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa Psst...this post gives more help on how to wear a classic outfit!'s my favorite time of the year. It's also a great time to get pictures taken. It's unique, the weather is cooler, and nature provides you with a stunning backdrop. 

It's fun to wear the latest trends while also keeping part of your outfits classic. Based on the trends from New York Fashion Week, Forever 21, and H&M, here are the top fall fashion trends for 2016!


1. Pumpkin Spice/ Orange Shades Clothing

From drinks to candle smells...pumpkin spice is everywhere and it's not going away any time soon. Translate this into clothing by wearing dark shades of orange. 


3. Back in time- Renaissance
I'm sure you noticed the start of this trend in the summer. Bell sleeve rompers anyone? This season, you'll be seeing that and more: velvet, bell sleeves, and corsets. 

4. School Girl
You've seen this style in movies and Gossip Girl Photoshoots, and now you're going to see it in "real life." Wear the school girl trend with plaid mini skirts, turtle necks, front button down skirts, over-the-knee socks, and varsity tees. Oh, and backpacks are actually cool to have now. 

What is your favorite one? What will you be wearing this fall? I gotta say I love the schoolgirl look!

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior what to wear Tue, 16 Aug 2016 23:09:38 GMT
Jillian | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa Jillian has been a client/model/friend for a while now. 

A couple years ago when I was looking for models to build a portfolio, her kind sister Jade volunteered. Through Jade, I met Jillian, and Jillian has been a sweet soul ever since!

She was part of my senior model group photoshoot, the gossip girl back to school photoshoot, and then her very own senior pictures! It's been fun watching her future take shape throughout the year and a half or so that I've known her. 

We did her photo shoot a while ago when it was pretty cold, so look at these pictures and feel glad that it's warm! Nonetheless, like a true farm girl, she strapped on her cowboy boots and said "let's do this."

We spent most of the photoshoot talking about her upcoming excursion to PARIS! We're kindred spirits in that sense because it's been my life long dream to go. By the way, I'm going in November! No big deal. ;)

Eiffel tower bracelet...Eiffel tower shirt...gotta show it off! ;)

There are a lot of layers to Jillian. She's funny, quirky, sweet, serious, dramatic, girly, hipster, a farm girl, and keeps it interesting and fun! 

She just enlisted in the Navy!!!

After the photo shoot Jillian and her sweet mama treated my husband and I out to lunch at a cute cafe downtown. I truly do have the best clients! 

I'm feeling a little nostalgic. One thing about specializing in seniors is that you get to photograph them in a pivotal moment in their life and then watch them go off and "face the world!" Hmm..maybe this is 1/10th of what mothers feel.

It's truly been a pleasure, Jillian. 

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Wed, 10 Aug 2016 18:07:49 GMT
Updated Portraits | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa | Personal Rarely am I in front of the camera. As I was going through my old profile photos on Google+ and Facebook and my website, I was thinking "Wow, I really need to update these."

So to my husband's dismay joy, I recruited him to help me take some updated photos. I definitely believe in supporting local photographers, but my friend Christina and I just couldn't get our schedules to line up this summer!

Here was my Google+ photo...

Not terrible. But it was taken 2 years ago!!

Here was my Facebook and website profile picture:
Also not terrible, but those were extensions so I don't even look like that (they were super fun though). Plus, I'm not really even smiling in the photos...and I'm a pretty smiley person. 

So I pulled out my favorite dresses and tried out a couple new locations! This was also helpful in not just getting new pictures, but seeing what's it's like on the other side of the camera and seeing how I can improve it for my clients. Do I feel awkward posing? Do I want more direction? Feedback? Is the photoshoot too long? Am I tired? etc. 

Here's the 2016 version of me!


Let's get real for a second. It's hard not to look at pictures of yourself and not see flaws. When you're always the one taking the pictures, you never know what it's like to see yourself through a different perspective. Just like in life, you always want to show the best version of yourself. You want to seem beautiful and put together. But I don't think that is real or authentic. So below is a photo of myself I don't like. Totally raw and unedited: 

The minute I saw it I started picking it apart "I look awkward!" "Oh my gosh, are my arms really that big?" "I don't have a neck" "Look at my huge under eyes!"

None of you guys probably even noticed that. How do I know? Because I've seen pictures of people that they post and then critique how they look. First glance, I have no idea what they're talking about. Then I have to squint to find it. Then when I "find it" I realize it's not a flaw at all and it never crossed my mind as something "bad." So heed this gentle encouragement to not look at yourself through the eyes of yourself...which are usually full of self-doubt and criticism, but look at yourself the way other people look at you. Beautiful & happy.

Whew, that was pretty deep for me. Now I'm going to go watch Friends to make me laugh.


]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) personal portraits Fri, 05 Aug 2016 20:45:00 GMT
Lexi V | Senior Pictures | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque, IA Lexi is very near and dear to my heart and this shoot was just a blast with her. Lexi has such a generous and serving heart. Matter of fact, she's in China right now on a missions trip!

I start off each photo shoot with a survey so I can personalize the photo shoot to their personality. Lexi is a free-spirited bohemian dreamer with a love for laughing and people. In her photo shoot I wanted to capture her clothing style (dresses, floral print, kimonos, and hats) while also capturing her inner style. Her friends describe her as fun, crazy, and kind. She describes herself as helpful, entertaining, and random. I agree with all of them ;)

She also chose a glamour package! We went to Contempo and she got her hair and makeup professionally done. I also like to spoil my clients so I went and got her favorite Starbucks drink as well.

I took her to some new, unique locations and we just let the inner gypsy go wild!

"Beyonce, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Hillsong United, and Ed Sheeran."

"I have never had piano lessons and yet, I can still manage to find my way through a song."

"My favorite color is blue, and my least favorite color is dark green! It reminds me of seaweed! Egh! xD"

"I want to go into radiology! I would love to someday become an ultrasound technician!"

Lexi is a wanderer at heart and loves to travel. She's been to Romania and China just to name a few. She's always on to new adventures- from driving cross country and spending her birthday in San Diego (we were both in San Diego when I was at Seniors Ignite)! Her dream job would be to travel the world and be a professional singer! Have you ever heard her sing before? It's amazing!

London is a place she would love to visit one day.

Lexi is also an avid reader, with Pride and Prejudice being her favorite book. 
Because Lexi has a flair for the dramatics (she's in drama and was the lead in Cinderella), we had to take some drama filled shots!

She looks like a princess here!

When I asked Lexi what would make a perfect photo shoot for her, she replied: "I just want to have fun! I want the pictures to reflect my happiness in the Lord and in life! Lots of smiles and activities! I want to never stop moving and posing and laughing!"

I would say we accomplished that! 

To Lexi, a beautiful woman is "
Her joy in the Lord, her sweetness in spirit. I believe beauty radiates from a woman that knows who she is and knows that Christ adores her."

Her favorite quote: "It's not gonna matter if you have a few scars. It will matter if you didn't live. " -Rich Mullins 1997

I would say Lexi lives all of that out very well by her sweet spirit and thirst for life! Congrats!


]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Fri, 29 Jul 2016 22:36:22 GMT
Gossip Girl Themed Photo Shoot | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque, IA In the last post I posted a preview of a really cool themed photo shoot Christina and I were gonna do! It was a back-to-school-gossip-girl themed photo shoot. It was so much fun!

Christina's friend, Abby, works at a salon and did the hair and makeup. She really brought out the theme and did a fantastic job. The outfits came together so well-it was fun putting them all together.

Thanks Wahlert for letting us use your awesome high school! 

you know you love me



]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Wed, 20 Jul 2016 21:56:08 GMT
Back to School Photo shoot | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque IA SNEAK PEEK!

Christina from Christina Ney Photography and I are way excited to do this themed photo shoot of back-to-school-meets-gossip-girl photo shoot in Dubuque! 

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:11:42 GMT
Divya | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA Photographer This senior session with Divya could easily be one of my favorites! Not only is she gorgeous, but she has an infectious laugh and great personality. 

Divya is a senior at Hempstead High School here in Dubuque. When she graduates she plans on going to medical school and being a cosmetic plastic surgeon. So cool!

favorite color: orange

favorite style: girly hipster

favorite drink: iced caramel macchiato 

favorite singer: Jason Derulo or The Weeknd 

favorite quote: "always wear your invisible crown"

Her friends would describe her as funny and creative and I would too! Something quirky about her is that she is always laughing! Needless to say, she is a happy, easy going girl. 

Divya is so full of joy it radiates off of her!

To Divya, true beauty in a woman is when she is truly happy. I think this is a great definition and I couldn't agree more!

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior Wed, 05 Aug 2015 22:20:01 GMT
Best Friend Photo Shoot | Dubuque IA Senior Photographer Sarah and Alyssa are winners of a best friend shoot giveaway I had on Instagram in honor of National Best Friend Day. It was hard to choose a winner out of all the great answers, but I loved the essence of the true friendship Sarah & Alyssa shared. 

Alyssa and Sarah have been friends for 4 years. They met through school and quickly bonded over volleyball. Their friendship is super laid back and fun...not serious. You can tell from the pictures!

Favorite memories include prom, going out to eat, volleyball bus trips, and hockey games.

Their friendship can be summed up in "funny" and "long lasting". They know that no matter what happens they will always be best friends.

I wanted to channel their super fun relationship through pictures with candy, the sun, and bright colors! The pictures reflect how much fun we had!


]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:45:00 GMT
Sarah | Dubuque IA | Senior Portrait Photographer Sarah is a nurse and a professional model in Dubuque. I've worked with her in the past and loved it! We first worked together when I was trying to build up a portfolio and through Facebook, she so graciously agreed to help me out. I remember that first time thinking how great it was to photograph her! She is so good at knowing poses, angles, and different faces.

When Sarah reached out to me to try this greek mini session she thought of, I couldn't say no! Not only do I love Sarah, but I love themed photo shoots :)

She did her own hair and makeup, perfectly I might add, and brought the jewelry. She already knew of a place downtown that had greek pillars. Everything else around it was downtown, but you wouldn't be able to tell by the pictures. 

The ivy head dress I actually found randomly at a dollar store and thought it might come in handy one day (hoarder?), so I just left it in my camera bag. It wasn't until I was unpacking my camera when I saw it and thought, "hey, this will be perfect!"

And it was!

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior Wed, 22 Jul 2015 19:30:00 GMT
Sydney | Dubuque IA | Senior Portraits A couple of weekends ago I had a great time spending the afternoon with Sydney and her mother. The state park in Anamosa was so pretty and I couldn't have asked for better weather!

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:15:00 GMT
Kellsey | Dubuque IA | Senior Portrait Photographer Kellsey and I met through an online Iowa model/photographers website, and I'm so glad we did! She is a full time student at UNI in Cedar Falls, Iowa and a part time model. She was even on the Steve Harvey show! 

A photographer friend let me borrow this black sparkle dress and my mind started thinking about new themed photo shoots I haven't done yet- and I thought about a masquerade theme! Kellsey was all for it, which was great, and we had a fabulous time! She for sure has the perfect look for it. Also...did you see how gorgeous her smile is? I didn't edit her smile at all!

I'm all up for trying new spots. Sometimes in smaller towns, there's only so many places you could go until everyone is going there. You have to think outside the box sometimes! We took these pictures at Clarke University in Dubuque. Their glass building was SO cool and I felt it fit the look so well.

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior portraits Tue, 07 Jul 2015 01:15:00 GMT
Chicago | Personal | Dubuque IA | Senior Portrait Photographer A couple weekends ago my cousin and I made a girl's trip to Chicago and had an amazing time. 

After arriving late Friday night we found a cool restaurant near our hotel, Epic Burger, and ended the day with some yummy food!

Saturday was our full day so we started bright and early! Taking advantage of the empty streets of course I had to take some pictures. ;) We had breakfast at Dunkin Donuts (my fav). After breakfast we explored the Gold Coast and looked at the cool Manhatten-esque houses and walked around. They had a farmers market going on and it was so cool! It seems like everyone in Chicago has a dog. And not just any dog, but the cutest dogs you'll ever see. This farmer's market was so unique because it had a crepe station, sold beautiful pink peonies and delicious slices of quiche. I definitely wanted to buy some flowers but it would have been pointless because I'd have nothing to do with them. ;)

After the farmer's market we walked all the way to Greektown and had an authentic gryo for lunch. This was a crazy long walk so a break was much needed. After walking around Greektown for a bit we headed over to the beach over by Soldier field. There was a Diplo concert going on at the same time and it was crazy. Apparently Diplo is a very famous guy that does beats. The music was so loud everywhere I can't even imagine what it sounded like in the stadium. After smoothies at the beach we went to Grant Park and there was a Blues Festival going on. I love blues music and festival food so this was a great night. After plenty of walking and a very full day we headed back to the hotel, got dessert, and had a relaxing night eating cheesecake. 

All in all it was a fantastic weekend with wonderful pictures to show for it. 

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) personal Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:09:34 GMT
Preview of Chicago Trip | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque Iowa "No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side"

Preview of a blog post on a Chicago trip I took with my cousin! Full blog post coming soon.
(this quote just seemed to fit) :)

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) personal Thu, 25 Jun 2015 22:45:00 GMT
Megan | Senior Portrait Photographer | Dubuque IA After having to reschedule this session 2 times due to rain... I was so excited when the day came and it was BRIGHT and SUNNY! I couldn't have asked for a better day to take pictures of the lovely Megan! Megan was such a great model and I loved switching up her outfits with all these different props. There are so many pictures that I love it was hard to choose some for this blog post. Enjoy!

]]> (Carolyn Victoria Photography | Senior Portraits | Dubuque IA) high school senior Mon, 22 Jun 2015 22:31:01 GMT