Known for its coastline of sandy beaches and mountainous trails, it is no wonder that travel creative Carley Rudd has her hometown of Maine to thank for her profound connection to nature. Today, the self taught photographer and blogger shares many new sources of inspiration as she left the world of marketing behind to take on full-time photography to share her enthusiasm for nature in a new light. “I try and make an effort to immerse myself and observe all the sights, smells and sounds around me,” says Rudd.
By traveling to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, Rudd has been able to capture the theme of escapism, transporting her followers to the sweeping bays of Australia, the vast dunes of Morocco and the lush waterfalls of Sri Lanka. And while she enjoys sharing the adventure, she also recognizes the importance of succumbing to her surroundings whilst in the moment, saying, “I do think it’s important to put the camera down, sometimes, just to take in your surroundings without any distractions.”
This careful authenticity doesn’t go unnoticed, as Rudd’s work has been featured in publications such as Condé Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure, and Afar. We caught up with Rudd to learn more about her style of shooting, editing, and of course, in picking her next travel destinations where nature is at the forefront of the itinerary.
What was the moment in which you knew you were going to be a photographer?
I was always the girl with the camera, since as long as I can remember. I definitely inherited my creative side from my family. Both my parents are jewelers and my grandfather is an incredible photographer. Wherever I go I am constantly framing compositions with my eye and observing the light. It’s something I just can’t turn off.
I’ve had a few different careers in my professional life, but I think it was only a matter of time before I made photography a full time gig. It was a side hustle for me for quite some time, and then I finally got to the point where I had a chance to make it my full time career. I was getting enough photography work on the side and finally built up the courage to leave my 9-5 marketing job. I haven’t looked back since.
When did you realize Instagram was the way to leverage your work?
I was working in social media marketing and influencer relations when Instagram influencers were first becoming a thing. From the very beginning, I saw how valuable this app could be for defining your personal brand’s visual aesthetic, sharing your work, and connecting with people and companies all over the world. My number one referrer to this day remains Instagram.
Do you believe in filters? If so, what is your go-to?
Editing photographs is something I really enjoy, almost as much as shooting. Editing and applying different filters can really bring a photograph to life and help portray a certain mood. That said, I still think the lighting, composition and the narrative you capture are the most important elements to creating a beautiful photograph. Like with anything, you have to start with a good base before you put on the finishing touches. My favorite editing apps are VSCO and Snapseed. I also create my own filters using Adobe Lightroom on my computer.
What is one of the favorite destination shoots you have done? And do you ever leave the camera behind to experience a place from outside the lens?
From my recent travels, I would say Sri Lanka has been my favorite place to shoot. The country has so much diversity making it a travel photographer’s dream. From old colonial towns, world class safari’s, tropical beaches, mountains and waterfalls, Sri Lanka has it all. I do think it’s important to put the camera down sometimes just to take in your surroundings without any distractions. I try and make an effort to immerse myself and observe all the sights, smells and sounds around me. You can’t always do this if you’re focused on shooting.
To see Carley’s latest work, visit her website at carleyrudd.com.