Living in Jackson

She is the Real Thing

October 23, 2020

Seeking a story with her lens.

Carrie Stadelman does not do regular ol’ portraits. The portrait artist told me she was drawn to the Commercial Exchange building because of its industrial warehouse texture, the natural lighting, and all that has happened here over the last 125 years. She said what she looks for through the lens in her camera is much the same. “I focus on my client’s passions and history, their character.”

“Growing up I was the little girl who had a raspy voice who everyone thought was sick (all of the time), the girl who talked too fast and too loud, who had buck teeth because I secretly sucked my thumb until I was 12, and had a laugh that could be heard for miles. These were traits I desperately tried to hide in fear of getting made fun of,” said Stadelman.

She told me overcoming that not quite good enough feeling she had growing up made her sensitive to other’s doubts. She believes everyone is photogenic.

“Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves. I look for that goodness through my camera.”

Stadelman is from “up north,” Gaylord, and lives in Jackson with her family. She became a certified professional photographer in 2010 and received her Master of Photography Degree from Professional Photographers of America in 2016. Her bachelor's degree was from Albion College before she studied at the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.

I asked Carrie how she is surviving the change in seasons and the Covid19 Pandemic.

“My work and family keep me going. And, I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate (I hate that I LOVE it so much). And I could not make it through a Michigan winter without my hot cocoa and marshmallows.”