THE Experience

 

 

Hannah & Max

"It almost feels like Carly found us! The majority of photos I liked on Pinterest or other wedding sites had Carly’s name attached, so I thought she would be a safe bet for our wedding photographer. What an understatement that turned out to be. Carly was a welcomed part of our wedding planning from beginning to end. At our engagement photo session, she put us totally at ease. It felt like we were hanging out with a friend. We could not have been happier with how they turned out!

 

In the months leading up to the wedding, Carly was so helpful and quick to respond to my emails. Right before the wedding when I started to get overwhelmed, I remember Carly emailing me, 'Hannah, you’re going to be fine. It’s all going to be fine. It’s me!' And she was totally right about that – she is someone that you can really trust.

 

On the day of the wedding, Carly fit in seamlessly with everyone, all while working tirelessly behind her camera. How one person could have captured every single moment is incredible…borderline magic! The results of her hard work left us with not only perfectly composed memories of our wedding day, but also a new friend. Carly’s talent speaks for itself, but the way she truly cares for her clients is something that puts her in a class of her own."

Hannah & Max

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Madeline & scott

"We found Carly through a friend who posted pictures from her wedding on Instagram. They were absolutely stunning and matched the look and style I envisioned for our big day. Her photographs are the most aesthetically pleasing that I’ve seen to date. As someone who is very picky in terms of style, I knew Carly would deliver. And boy did she! Her imagery is timeless, classic and incredibly vibrant. I could look at her work for days! I loved her work so much that I even hired her for my brand’s website photography. She’s a G-E-M!

Carly is as personable and warm as she is professional. She made our entire wedding party feel so comfortable and she was a pro at directing the groomsmen..ha! She was incredibly accommodating (traveling all the way to Door County for our engagement shoot!) and made our entire experience a true joy. Without a doubt, hiring her to capture our wedding was one of our best decisions! Thank you so much, Carly!”

Madeline & Scott

Laura & David

"Down to earth, personable, positive, energetic, calming, reassuring, patient, organized, professional - are just a few of the qualities that immediately come to mind when trying to sum up Carly as a person and photographer.

 

We were lucky enough to have Carly for not one but two engagement sessions, plus our wedding. We got engaged in winter so I of course thought it’d be awesome to capture a Wisconsin winter wonderland in the woods. The day that ended up working out for us turned out to be in the double-digit negatives and Carly didn’t bat an eye and was more than ready to tackle trudging through multiple feet of snow to capture the vision we had imagined. While we got ready in our hunting shack she was out in the woods scoping out the best places to use. The photos she’s able to capture in any setting and element are truly amazing.

 

Jumping ahead to the summer where we also wanted to take advantage of another Wisconsin season, Carly was happy to accommodate a second session and jumped to the occasion in researching locations to use. Instead of insanely low temps she effortlessly dealt with humidity, waist high weeds, and gnats without being phased, all so we could capture our second idea of being in a meadow.

 

I should also mention my husband and I are not ones to be in front of a camera but Carly put us at ease from the beginning and gave simple direction to capture effortless shots. Being awkward and goofy we figured we’d be a challenge to capture anything good and why we thought we’d do two engagement sessions to get comfortable ahead of the wedding. However, with Carly and her natural approach and guidance, it became more so just extra time to slow down, hang out, and create some special moments to relish what this was all really about.

 

On to our wedding day - her imagery was like a movie playing out for us. We did not have a videographer but the photo’s that Carly provided made it feel as if we did. The photos bring back every emotion from every moment for us to relive over and over. She really captured the most magical moments on the day without us even knowing it. How she was able to catch so much is still unknown to us! Her more candid approach is a breath of fresh air and truly captured us and our adventure that we’ll forever be grateful for.

 

In the 10-month span we had from engagement to our wedding Carly was always so responsive and was such a help in planning multiple pieces from start to finish by her extensive experience. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not one for timely arrivals - if it wasn’t for Carly in being so flexible, adaptable, patient, and organized, our wedding probably would have been delayed by hours. Not only was she our phenomenal photographer but also morphed into personal attendant, coordinator, and down right life saver of a friend. Her talent and overall professionalism are second to none.


We will be forever grateful we had Carly as our photographer for more reasons that I can list, and I could not be more thankful for the role she played before, during, and after on this journey of marriage! Carly managed to encapsulate special moments of our day in such a natural yet elegant manner, and better than anything we could have ever imagined. We thank you from the bottoms of our hearts that you made so full in sharing your incredible talent and friendship!"

LAura & David

Lindsay & Jake

"To me, photography and capturing our day was THE most important element of our wedding day. I received a few referrals and did some of my own research and narrowed it down to my three favorite photographers simply based on their work. When it came time to jump on the phone and speak with each one, there was something different about Carly.

 

We connected on so many levels and right off the bat we developed a rapport that quickly turned into a friendship (i.e. having a cottage in the same town in Wisconsin!). After much consideration, we chose to go with Carly and from that minute we couldn't have been happier. We emailed surrounding everything from outfits to wear for our engagement photos, to locations, to even her very own personal recommendations for vendors. She was an amazing partner and friend throughout the entire wedding process.

 

When we finally met Carly in Stevens Point for our engagement session, the connection was magical! It was like we knew her for years. We had an amazing time getting to know her more, shooting together and learning her style. Though we were unsure on the necessity of getting engagement pictures, we were SO glad we did. Not only did we get to familiarize ourselves with one another, but the pictures were so natural. Carly truly captured our everyday selves.

 

Fast-forward to our wedding day...Carly was a GEM. She helped orchestrate where we needed to be, shots we needed to make sure we got...she had it all covered. To say our photos (both wedding and engagement) were amazing would be an understatement. Our photos were amazing in so many ways, capturing our emotions, love and passion. I am forever grateful that we chose her and that I was led to her by chance. I LOVE our pictures and one of my favorite pasttimes is looking through our wedding album that Carly made for us. Thank you, thank you x infinity!!!!"

Lindsay & Jake

Katie & Tyler

"Choosing Carly to be our rehearsal dinner and wedding photographer was one of the most valuable decisions we made when planning our big weekend in Lake Geneva. We looked at countless photographers in the Wisconsin-area, and upon discovering her gorgeous portfolio, fell in love with her dreamy lighting and all of the organic moments she captured for other couples.

 

Carly felt like a close friend right off the bat, and she was able to capture the energy and excitement as we welcomed our guests to our celebration.

 

She has a genuine talent at being in all of the right places, despite the excitement and chaos of the festivities. The quality of her collection was stunning and still leaves my husband and I feeling as though we are reliving the best weekend of our lives as we leaf through each print.

 

Carly is, without a doubt, the best investment we made for our Wisconsin wedding."

Katie & Tyler

mackinnon & eric

"There are so many pieces to planning a wedding that is meaningful, fun, unique, and truly celebrates the life that a couple is building together with their closest family and friends. While many of the tiny details will fade away after the big day, we have cherished the moments that Carly captured of our wedding day and are so grateful to have found her!

 

Being based in Brooklyn, NY while planning a wedding in Wisconsin, we had no idea how to get started. Looking around Carly’s portfolio, I was excited to see that her eye + style really resonated with what I hoped could be captured from our wedding. We got to know each other over the phone, and it was wonderful to hear that not only were her photos stunning, but she was also such a lovely person.

 

Carly sent artful little notes and helpful prep items beforehand, so I felt like I got to know her even though we weren't able to meet before the wedding day! At the wedding, she found a great balance of being friendly and warm with our families and wedding party, but also captured moments where I didn’t even know she was there.

 

We ended up with hundreds of gorgeous images and none of the staged, unnatural-looking photos. One of the hardest parts of working with Carly was figuring out which of the pictures to choose for our album since there were so many options that we loved!

 

We just celebrated our two-year anniversary looking through the beautiful album of moments that Carly captured. It brought back memories and stories—just what I had hoped when I started to look for a photographer—and I know we will cherish these photos for many years to come. I just wish Carly was in New York to do our first family + baby photos, but we'll have to wait for a visit back to Wisconsin!"

mackinnon & eric

Jillian & Henry

"We were wed in Wisconsin but live in Boston. Finding a photographer was one of the most important parts of wedding planning, and we thought that it might be challenging from afar. As a professional choreographer, I wanted to find someone who would approach shooting our wedding with an artistic eye and real style. As soon as I contacted Carly, I knew that she would be the best person for the job. Carly is warm, thoughtful, intelligent, creative, and attentive. She fit our style aesthetically and socially.

 

At our wedding, Carly was so quiet and moved with ease and stealth, capturing as much as she could from every angle. She laughed with me like an old friend as I was getting ready to walk down the aisle, and I felt like she was an unofficial bridesmaid.

 

The night we went through our gallery of images, we opened a bottle of champagne and spent a few hours with our mouths dropped over each piece of art Carly delivered. Everyone who has seen our wedding images feels like they were at the event because Carly caught the moments, personalities, style, details and warmth of the day.

 

The images are evidence of how much love filled every inch of our wedding. The walls of our new home are covered in Carly’s photos because they convey not only our love for each other but the gorgeous details in flowers and sky, and each image delivers the character and sense of place in Elkhart Lake.

 

Carly has become a friend and will remain a friend way beyond her shooting of our wedding. As our family expands, we hope to call upon Carly to capture the next moments in our lives, not just our wedding day. There are many times when living far away from Carly really makes us sad, as we wish that we could get to know her even better. She is the best mix of professional and open-hearted. She lets you in and cares deeply about the couples with whom she chooses to work. It would be incredible to get married again just so that we could have more art work by Carly McCray!"

Jillian & Henry

Meghan & Mark

"We first found out about Carly through a friend of hers, and after perusing through her portfolio and blog for probably two hours and falling in love with every shot, we knew we had found our perfect wedding photographer. Her photos were all so elegant yet simple and had an organic quality that we were looking for.

 

We worked with Carly for both our engagement and wedding photos, and while we both consider ourselves somewhat camera shy, Carly made us feel comfortable and allowed us to be ourselves, which really showed through in the photos. She has such a bubbly and welcoming personality, that even though we had never met her upon arriving at our engagement shoot, we felt like we were spending the morning with a friend.

 

At our wedding, Carly was able to handle the chaos of herding our very large family and friends together for shot after shot (which was not an easy task!) and did so with a smile on her face. We received countless comments from our wedding guests about how wonderful Carly was to work with and how well she was able to balance more organized 'poses' with candid beauty.

 

When our photos were released soon after our wedding, we had so many people telling us how beautiful they were and asking for Carly’s information. Most importantly, we were told how the photos really captured us as a couple, and for that, we couldn’t be happier. We are so glad we chose Carly for our wedding and would do it again in a heartbeat!"

Meghan & Mark

Melanie & Chris

"We were drawn to Carly’s photography not only for the fine art quality of her work, but also because the emotions of the day came through in her photographs.

 

After working with Carly for our engagement photos, I knew that we would not be disappointed when we received our wedding photographs...I was blown away when we received the full suite.

 

Every time I look at our wedding photographs I am overcome by emotion because they take me back to our wedding day. When looking at the photos, I can vividly remember the sounds and tastes, the laughter and the love, because Carly has a way of capturing all of that in a photograph. The photographs have a magical and dreamy quality.

 

It's amazing the breadth and depth of photographs she captures, as Carly shoots alone. Our full day was captured, and Carly has a talent for capturing the essence of people she has never met before.

 

We had a great time working with Carly, and I think the investment in Carly was one of the best and most important investments we made in the wedding planning process. We look forward to sharing these heirlooms with our children and grandchildren in the years to come."

melanie & chris

Rebecca & Sal

"I can say with 100% confidence that choosing Carly to document our day was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding.

 

There is no doubt that Carly is talented. She has an amazing artistic eye that lends itself to beautiful, natural looking photos...taking a quick browse through her photographs will tell you that! But one thing that sets Carly apart from other wedding photographers, is that not only is she incredibly talented, but she is the type of person you will call a friend afterwards. She puts everyone at ease throughout the day and captures every moment and detail with the utmost professionalism.

 

Even moreso, she was incredibly organized and responsive throughout the entire time leading up to our wedding. This made me trust her fully. I felt like she truly cared about our day, and she works incredibly hard to make the entire process go smoothly from beginning to end.

 

Our wedding day has come and gone, but what is left are the photographs. And we couldn't be happier with the final product. Our photos from Carly are treasures that we will keep for years to come, and we can't sing her praises enough!"

Rebecca & sal

Nicole & Jim

“Photography is a huge love of mine, and I knew being able to find the perfect fit for us might take a little time. After reviewing more than sixty photographers in the Milwaukee area and obsessively looking at Carly’s work, I knew she was the perfect fit.

 

Carly is the kind of person that makes you feel comfortable even after knowing her for a few minutes. Her kind and playful soul makes you want to give her a hug. (Although, I think I resisted during our first meeting.) Her style is inviting, warm, approachable, flexible, and beyond creative. Carly’s sincerity and genuine desire to tell your wedding story helped us feel comfortable every step of the process.

 

Wedding photography can at times appear predictable, staged, and forced; Carly’s images capture the emotion of the day through her soft and candid approach, creating images that are unique and one of a kind. When you look at her work, you can feel the love jumping out of each picture, a talent that cannot be taught. Carly has a natural way of mirroring the vibe of your wedding day, picking up on the energy of the couple, and running with it, even making walking around in the fall leaves barefoot in your wedding dress feel beautiful.

 

When we received our gallery, our pictures turned out more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. Each image had a natural glow that brought us back to all the emotions of our wedding day again. We feel so lucky we were able to find Carly to be our wedding photographer, and it is a success I still talk about!”

Nicole & Jim

Est. 2007

Carly is a light + airy Wisconsin wedding photographer

specializing in intimate weddings for brides and grooms throughout Lake Geneva, Door County, Madison + beyond!

PH: 715.630.5449