Desert canyons, lush forest floors, and mountain top scenery are just another day at “the office” for this sweet gal. Carmela Gender, photographer and owner of Carmela Joy Photography is an Arizona wedding photographer. She loves working with couples in love, and stealing away to some of nature’s most beautiful spots to capture romantic moments between them. Her work is beautiful, and I can’t say I have ever seen her without a smile on her face. Needless to say, she is also a joy to work with! I’m so excited to share a little bit about Carmela with you today!
Carmela began her photography adventure her senior year of high school. For yearbook class she was assigned to take photos of school events. It was love at first “snap”! From there, at the request of her fellow classmates, she began taking graduation photos. Carmela really took the leap when she purchased a DSLR camera. After that, she was all in! Family photos and engagement photos allowed her to practice her craft. But after taking the wedding photos for someone she knew, Carmela’s first impression was that wedding photography was stressful. I’m so glad that first thought didn’t stop her on her wedding photography adventure!
In the meantime, Carmela also attended ASU studying kinesiology and ultimately earning her degree in the subject. While she still loved, and continued, taking photos as a hobby, her plans were to pursue a career in physical therapy. She kept finding herself ending up in the wedding industry, however. She worked at two venues in the valley and worked with Deanne of Darling Found. As a result, Carmela has tons of past experience on the coordinating side of weddings.
It is a huge asset for a wedding photographer to have coordinating experience. Carmela also just really loves her clients. She wants to be a friend, supporter, and guiding voice as you travel through the possibly stressful wedding planning process. It was in 2017 that Carmela made the decision to go all in with wedding photography, devoting herself to it full-time. She hasn’t looked back since!
Carmela takes a variety of photos, including family, newborn and seniors. But it is wedding photography that is her jam! She loves connecting with couples. The experience of meeting them for the first time, walking with them through their wedding planning, and experiencing the big day is a blast to Carmela. Staying connected with couples as they start the next chapter after the wedding in marriage is also a joy for her.
If you are interested in Carmela’s services, booking her a year to a year and a half out is her recommended timing. Carmela’s services don’t only include her photography, but she also serves couples by being a valuable resource as they navigate the wedding planning process. She helps couples create a timeline for their big day, and is a friend and resource for support throughout the process. Her packages start at $2,100 for 6 hours of coverage with lots of customization available.
The style you can expect in Carmela’s photography currently is in between light and airy and dark and moody. Capturing both posed and unposed moments, you will find classic photos and natural moments in her work. All against beautiful backgrounds, Carmela loves experiencing nature with her couples during sessions and at celebrations. Better seen than described, you can view this Arizona wedding photographer’s beautiful work on her website and Instagram. You won’t regret taking a peek at this sweet gal’s work, and smile!