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Carolyn Bates (Photo by Peter Larsen) Over thirty years ago, Carolyn moved to Vermont in the throes of the hippies looking for an alternative way to live. While she began her work as a freelance photographer, Carolyn spent her nights in an unheated attic under an electric blanket while her dog wore her down vest at night. Though now her hair is shorter and she has an inside bathroom fully equipped with running water, Carolyn still has the same passion for what she does that she had when she first started taking photos.

 With all the cutting edge technology that is available to Carolyn, she still remembers her first camera.

 “My first camera was a Kodak Brownie...the one that used 120 B/W negative film, and you had to hold your breath and stand still while you clicked the shutter in order to have the photograph stay in focus!!! Our darkroom lacked a timer so my father taught me very accurate counting methods for developing and enlarging... "one one-thousand, two one-thousand," etc. The "strobe" had flash bulbs you scratched on rough surfaces before use to guarantee a success in one out of four shots.”

 As for many of us, her interests go beyond her professional life. Carolyn spends her time within her community in Burlington, Vermont. She embraces the scenery around her as well as the people in her neighborhood. Her personal interests also extend to the environment. She has a special passion for keeping our waters clean. After all, she is only three blocks away from Lake Champlain.

 In addition, Carolyn commends the discovery of new things. Recently, she has been following the growing trends of becoming green in architecture and interior design. She loves the idea of an eco-friendly no-carbon footprint home where recycled items are re-purposed.

 With each day that she is able to do what she loves, she thanks all of those who have made her journey possible.

How Carolyn Works

With over 40 years of being a freelance photographer, and working now, solely in digital images,  I have decided instead of spending eons of time on location, and dragging a truck around to carry all of my lights, and hire assistants to help, I have reverted back to my days as a photojournalist, carrying very little, using available light, or deleting it, as I can with black and white cloths, or time of day, and spending less time on location, thus decreasing costs of everyone else on the job, but mine.   I then spend that deleted time on location, behind the scenes, working in photoshop, "adding lights" color, contrasts, window views, color back into lamps and chandeliers, and subtracting light, to make the scene the way I would have done had I dragged all of these lights. 

The time I spend on location is about 25% of the total time needed to complete a job.  I always scout a job, and I ask my client to have the images ready to go when I arrive.  Ie props in place, grass cut, flowers weeded, make up on, etc. so I can spend time shooting, and not cleaning up the location.

Digital allows me to finally get each image just the way I want, without dragging tons of heavy equipment around, which I hated.

My clients are very happy to spend less time on location. When I dragged lights in I would get 2-4 interiors finished in a day. It usually took a full week to photograph one house.  Now it is 1/2 day to 2 days. Scouting is a very important part of the equation.

As I work on a shot on the compuer, I think about it, I rework it, I sometimes start over.  I try to keep it fresh and light.

I know how I want the image to feel when I shoot it, based on my discussions with my client and my own thoughts.  I take the images I want to get there, and then wave my magic wand in photoshop....and sometime it works right away.

Before and After

 "With years of Photoshop, I can weave my images together to give you the very best final image you can want!"

When working on a photo shoot, Carolyn takes into account every aspect that is needed to achieve the perfect shot. She will style a room and stage it to acheive that perfect setting, but that is not all Carolyn brings to a job. She has years of Photoshop experience that allows her to enhance any image to bring out the best features of a room, exterior, or landscape.

Here is an example of how she has created the perfect image.



CLB-before-after-2013-blomstrann-13ag CLB3062-sh-web-c


Listed below are the organizations that Carolyn is a currently member of.

Vermont Professional Photographers (VPP)

American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)

Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (aiaVT)

Vermont Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (VTASLA)

Vermont Green Building Network (VGBN) 

Keeping Track

The Lake Champlain Committee (LCC)

Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center (LCCSC)

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (LCRCC)



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Praise for Carolyn Bates


"That looks amazing!!!! I am thrilled to pieces. Thank you I couldn't be happier." - Margery Keasler, Optimum Health Acupuncture  

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Mailing address:
Carolyn Bates Photography
PO Box 1205
Burlington, VT 05402

Shipping address:

Carolyn Bates Photography
20 Caroline St.
Burlington, VT 05402

Telephone: (802) 238-4213

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