Meet Julie Fischer McCarter! A Lucketts, Virginia resident, she is the founder and owner of two businesses that happen to blend well together- she is a licensed therapist and a professional photographer. We asked her to join us for a Q&A and allow you to learn more about her businesses and get to know her a bit better.
Tell us a bit about your work and your clients:
As a licensed therapist in private practice (Julie McCarter, LLC), I specialize in helping clients with mood disorders and addiction live fuller and more balanced lives. In my practice, I incorporate with use of therapeutic photography; which is a way to use photography to aid in the healing process.
As a portrait photographer with Shoot Photo Inc., I work with corporate clients and families to create images that beautifully tell their story and capture their unique personalities. My skills as a therapist come in handy here, as it really helps me put people at ease in front of the camera.
How did you get started?
I studied fine art photography at The Academy of Art in San Francisco, but I never thought I’d go into business as a portrait photographer. It’s not until I started photographing my newborn niece (13 years ago),that I fell in love with photographing people. I’ve been shooting portraits ever since. Of course, I still exercise my fine art photography skills by capturing the natural beauty of Loudoun County with my camera. The portfolio I am currently working on is my own emotional expression while practicing presence and mindfulness with Mother Nature.
If the sky were the limit in what you see your business doing, what would that be?
I teach expressive photography workshops for teens and adults, in which I offer a simple method of photography that can be used as a tool for health, healing and emotional balance. If the sky were the limit, expressive photography would be a daily practice for the masses. I would like everyone to experience the joy, peace and creativity that is so readily available with just a cell phone camera.
What events do you have upcoming to tell our readers about?
My two upcoming workshops are: Girl Vision: A workshop designed just for teens ages 13-17, using photography to explore topics of self-acceptance and empowerment (September 20th).
Expressive Photography and Mindfulness: A workshop for adults to expand their creativity, develop personal insight and practice mindfulness skills (September 27th).
What has been your biggest surprise?
My biggest surprise has been how hungry people are for creative expression in their lives and how creative we ALL ARE when given the opportunity to express ourselves.
What is your FAVORITE thing to shoot?
My favorite subject to shoot these days are entrepreneurs who want to change the world. I love that they have such unique vision for their businesses and they have incredible passion which is just really fun to capture with a camera.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend morning?
My favorite way to spend a weekend morning is a late start to the day with my husband, cooking a healthy breakfast with delicious food from our garden.
Where is your favorite spot in Loudoun County?
My husband and I love the easy access hiking trails at Balls Bluff Regional Park. We take Charlie, our golden retriever, for a dip in the creek and make some time there for exercise and meditation. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone, but we actually got lost once for about a hour (which is hard to do) with no cell phone and no trail guide.
How do you give back to others?
My favorite way to give back to others is by using my skills as a photographer to cover events & portraits for non-profits. I was honored last year to photograph the cast headshots and the live show for This is My Brave (An annual performance that aims to reduce mental health stigma by showcasing true personal stories through poetry, essay and song). I often work with local non-profits that don’t have the budget for photographers, but could benefit greatly from images that showcase their amazing work with others.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by my desire to help others shine their own light in this world, both while in front of my camera or in my therapy practice. I believe fundamentally that we each have all that we’ll ever need to thrive inside of us – and it is both through connection with others or our higher self where this is revealed.
To learn more about Julie and her businesses, or to stay up to date on her workshop offerings, feel free to join her mailing list!