Carletta Girma: Photographer

Born: 1978 in Lynchburg, Virginia (Oh, what’s that? It’s got the word lynch. You’d never want to go there? Tough town for black people? Yeah, I never heard ANY of those things before 🙂 )
MBTI: I can never remember what I am, but I’m an extroverted nurturer of some sort. I generally consider myself to be an extroverted introvert. I LOVE people, and they love me back, but I recharge alone in quietness.
Educational Background: I went to college for a bit and studied Spanish. Ultimately, I decided I hated school and dropped out. I have no regrets about not finishing and honestly wish I’d either not gone or waited to go.
Current Computer/Mobile Device: iPhone 8+, MacBook Pro and an HP Envy 27
High Point: Starting this business and being successful at it
Low Point: They are innumerable, but they are not WHO I am, so I’m just going to say the lows have been life lessons. 

What do you do for a living?


What do you love about your work?

The people. The human connection of capturing people in memorable moments is so important to me.

What do you not love about your work?


What’s your favorite photograph you’ve taken?

This varies on the day you ask me. I’m also an artist, so I’m sensitive about my shit. I’m my very worst critic, so this would be impossible to choose.

Is there a photograph you wish you had taken?

Only like 700 times a day.

What are your favorite apps/tools that help you do what you do?

Adobe Lightroom, JPEGmini, Blogstomp, WordPress, Pic-Time, Google Drive, Instagram (although I don’t like having to use it)

When you make sacrifices for your work, do you tell people or keep it to yourself?

I am very much a keep it to myself person. I don’t like to make others feel bad or let them down.

How do you keep track of what you’ve done?


What is your most significant accomplishment? Is there anything you hope to do even greater?

Starting my own business! I want to continue to grow it in a way that will allow me to nurture other photographers.

What do you do to recharge yourself?

Listen to music, read, nap. LOL!

What is a song, album or playlist that everyone should hear?

I could probably name 100 things here, but an album I’ve been coming back to lately, again and again, is London Grammar’s If You Wait. It’s perfect from beginning to end.

What is happiness to you?

I love to laugh. I find happiness in moments big and small: a quiet meal with a loved one, snuggling with my cat, listening to a song I love, when I finish working on a big project.

For what are you most grateful?

Love. Both given and received.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration in just being and connecting with people.

Who is the most influential person in your life?

This depends wildly on the subject matter, but overall? My husband.

How’d you meet your husband?

Let’s skip this one for now for reasons. LMAO!

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

That I am VERY sensitive.

When is the last time you cried and why?

A handful of days ago and out of sadness at something someone said which was not intended to hurt my feelings.

What do you feel your impact is on those around you? What would you like it to be?

I think I have a unique ability to make people feel better because I take the time to listen, and I am genuinely invested in feelings and stories. And honestly, that makes me happy because it is who I am.

What was your childhood dream?

To be a teacher and a mom.

What’s the last dream you remember having while sleeping?

I honestly can’t even recall.

What scares you most?

The loss of people I love.

What has been your biggest disappointment in life, and how did you handle it?

This is not light and fluffy, but once I had neighbors who fought A LOT. Once, the woman got the courage to run from the man, and she knocked on my door and asked for help. I called the police and stayed with her, but I should have invited her in and shut the door. I’m mad at myself for that because she went back, lied to the police and never looked me in the eye again.

In conversation do you tend to talk or listen more?

Listen. 100%.

What are you looking for when you have a conversation with someone? What topics do you want to discuss?

Honesty was the first thing that popped into my head. I am, by nature, an inquisitive person and so I like to ask a lot of questions. And I don’t think there’s one particular thing I want to discuss; I’m all over the place – news, music, food, religion. Everything.

If you were guaranteed honest answers to two questions, what would you ask and to whom?

I don’t know that I’d ask anything of anyone because I believe in my heart that if I needed to know it would have to be someone I care about, and I think those people would be honest. Outside of those people? I don’t know that learning these things would help me or my life.

Who is your favorite person to follow on social media?

@melissabeck, hands down.

What piece of literature has influenced you the most?

Right now, during this phase of my life, I’d have to say it’s been Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass. It was just very empowering, thoughtful and smart.

What are you currently reading or is the last book you read?

Not currently reading anything, and the last thing I finished was Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss by Stephanie Wittels Wachs.

What is the most exciting thing you’ve read online recently?

Probably something from the aforementioned Melissa Beck’s Patreon.

If you could take a one-month trip anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go and what would you do?

I would probably try to tour South America. I would eat a lot, consume art, take photos and just BE.

Where is your favorite place?

My gut reaction was to say at home, but honestly? As long as I’m with people that I love, I am happy.

Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a while? If so, what is it and why haven’t you?

I’d love, love to travel more, but time (and money!) means that we have to backburner some places because my husband’s family lives in Ethiopia, and our international travel is typical to there.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Ice cream if we’re talking a treat, but I also find solace in breakfast food – fried potatoes, pancakes, that kind of thing.

Do you have a favorite restaurant? If so, what is it?

I don’t, but I LOVE food. From the fancier (Estadio – SO GOOD!) to the pedestrian (What up, Outback?)

What is your favorite food to prepare?

I’m a pretty good cook, so I love to make food for others. It is a way in which I show my affection.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?


What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned?

If you don’t prioritize yourself, there will be nothing left to give to others.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Same as the previous question: if you don’t prioritize yourself, there will be nothing left to give to others.

Do you have a mantra or quote that guides your life?

I try VERY hard to live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12).

How would you like to be remembered?

As a person who cared for and loved people.

Who would you like to answer these questions?

These were so thought-provoking, I want everyone to answer them. But maybe @karsh, @jonmadison, @huny, @_xtinathegreat.

Connect with Carletta Girma

Visit Carletta Girma’s website

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter