OAKHURST — One local photographer is not only intent on taking beautiful pictures, she’s got her mind set on changing the way women look at themselves and think about beauty.
“A Moment in Time Photography started unofficially ten years ago when I did my first wedding,” explains owner Carrie Jenkins, who recently put up a cheerful shingle for the studio on CA-41. “I’ve always taken pictures, starting with film back in the old days, and I realized this was something I wanted to do on a larger scale.”
Carrie has been in the mountains for 25 years, though she moved to Hawaii more than a decade ago. In that lush environment, she captured on camera the excitement of vacationing tourists and the beauty of island-sunset weddings on the beach.
In 2012, Carrie moved back to Coarsegold where she’s been raising her children while working at home doing search engine optimization (SEO) work and website management. Carrie ‘s two daughters are Emily, 14, and Lexey, almost 13. The family lives on a ranch where the compound includes her mom and stepdad.
A Moment In Time offers a range of services designed to capture images from all phases of life. Carrie’s clientele includes couples seeking engagement and wedding photos, pregnant women, newborn babies, toddlers, families and you-name-it. Throughout these stages, her lens is most frequently focused on women, with an emphasis on reconnecting to innate beauty, in whatever way that exhibits itself.
“It’s different for every woman,” explains Carrie, who enjoys the one-on-one process to find that element that is “sexy and confident. I work with each woman to discover what works for her.”
The goal is to identify and celebrate what is unique to each person’s family, style, and interests, says Carrie, using her camera to tell that story.
Noting that women may be overly critical of themselves in pictures, Carrie wants to eliminate the urge to magnify that which is deemed unflattering, and allow women to see in reflective imagery what they don’t always see in the mirror.
“We have this ideal of what beauty is and if someone feels they don’t match it properly, then my job is helping them to see in themselves what other people see. I tend to prefer more candid shots, those moments when everyone is laughing together.”
With an essentially photo journalistic style, Carrie adds balance by incorporating traditional and formal poses into her photography, all while talking to her subjects to keep the action moving.
“It’s a dynamic interaction to maintain that connection without being too structured, and to hold that rapport during the whole shoot. I like to help engage by getting to know my clients first. Usually the best shots are at the end when people are relaxed.”
Creating memories for people to pass down through generations is not just something Carrie does for others, she does it for her own family, too.
“I create a photo book every year and I gift it to my mom and dad. My girls love to look back on the memories, and throughout the year I say to them, ‘You’re gonna love this when you’re older, just stand there and smile!’ Much of the time, quick digital photos stay on the computer. The photo books make them appreciate the professional photos even more. ”
That’s one of the reasons Carrie opened her welcoming shop, filled with the comforts of home and studio, including a seating area with a big screen where she can reveal photographs to her clients with a slideshow set to music.
“My goal is to have clients walk out the door with a print they can hang on the wall. I help with specialized printing, including canvases of wood and metal, as well as photo books, slide shows set to music, and traditional prints.”
The new shop is charming at 1,000 square feet located on the west side of CA-41 across from Subway Sandwiches, next to the florist. The studio features a sitting space along with the viewing area, and a safe room that’s tailored to newborns and kids. She also created a larger studio area for families and boudoir photography.
Carrie works on location whenever the job calls for it. Another specialty, dating back to her days in Hawaii, is the vacation shoot for families visiting Yosemite and Bass Lake.
In addition to time spent professionally behind the camera, all while raising her family, Carrie is involved with a host of community activities including Coarsegold 4H. A Moment in Time was the official photographer for the Coarsegold Rodeo and Royalty two years running, and Carrie volunteered on the Heritage Day committee.
A chamber of commerce member in Coarsegold and Oakhurst, and a member of the visitor’s bureau, Carrie is always looking for ways to give back to the community. None of those committments, however, supercede her primary mission to help women genuinely like the way we look.
“I say all the time: even if you want to change, you have to love yourself exactly where you are. You can’t change when you come from hate or anger at the way you look. We all have beauty. Get in front of the camera with your children and families for a change, be with them in photographs so they have those images of you. They will see you smiling with them, not judging how you look. The time and love, that’s what they’re going to remember.”
A Moment in Time Photography is located at 40366 CA-41, Oakhurst, CA 93644
Join Carrie Jenkins for a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce — Tuesday, May 24
See some of Carrie’s photos in Coarsegold Rodeo Down Without A Hitch