Gabe’s 40th // Fiesta Birthday Party // Santa Cruz

I’m the type of person who likes to celebrate just about everything in the biggest way possible, while my husband, on the other hand, likes to keep things pretty low key, so for his 40th birthday party I decided to host a laid back fiesta for our closest friends and family. I have to thank the ladies of Beijos Events for all of their amazing party ideas and for providing many decor items, and Katie from Wylie Weddings for bringing her elegant touch to help dress up the property with lots of beauty and bougainvillea. While Gabe may hate to be the center of attention, he loved starting his new decade of life surrounded by some of his favorite people on such a beautiful summer’s day. He still makes fun of me for picking fuchsia and turquoise as ‘his colors’ though. 🙂 Some of the party highlights included shots of tequila by the pool, badminton/corn hole wars, the taco truck and their amazing churros that they made fresh on the truck, watching the kids run wild wearing stick on mustaches and giant sombreros, and having the kids go home with a babysitter while all of the adults had a sleepover that kept us up until 2am! So thankful for such great family and friends full of heart and humor. It was a day we’ll never forget! Check out Style Me Pretty Living to see the full feature.

Event Design: Beijos Events // Floral Design: Wylie Weddings // Invitations:Vintagebabydoll // Hexagon Side Table: Statsky Design // Pillows: Amber Interiors // Ribbon Board: Katie At Wylie Weddings // Catering: The Truck Stop

Carlie Statsky Photography Carlie Statsky Photography

Carlie Statsky Photography

40th-0085Carlie Statsky Photography

VSCO selects | Australia trip | Sydney photographer

We love VSCO (Visual Supply Co) and I often use both their camera app and their presets for editing my images, so I was incredibly honored to have 2 of my snapshots from Australia chosen as their VSCO selects and featured on their blog. If you are ever in need of visual inspiration check out their VSCO grid and their journal too, as they feature so many amazing photographers from all over the world. These two images were taken using my iPhone on an early morning run during my very first day back in Australia. This is the exact spot that I used to live before I met Gabe in California and moved to a new hemisphere for him. It’s a place holds so many great memories for me and it’s probably one of my favorite places on the planet. Some days I miss it terribly, but I always feel lucky to have lived in such a beautiful place, and to still have friends there who will always make it feel like home.


a brand new look for carlie statsky photography

After months of working on re-designing my brand, my website and my blog, I am beyond excited to share the new look with you all! Breanna Rose helped me bring my vision to life with her amazing design skills and Tom Wilz brought the whole website and blog to life with his coding skills….and together they make a pretty sweet team. I can’t thank these two enough for all of their help throughout the entire process. There are still a few more changes/updates in store…but I’ve never been the most patient person, so I had to share everything a little early. Have look and send me your feedback, I’d love to hear what you think.

Here’s a look at my blog’s new ‘about’ page, which is a little different from my website’s ‘about’ page….it’s one of my very favorite pieces of the new design.


iss magazine | cover shoot with coastside couture

I could not have been more excited and honored to collaborate with the lovely Stacie Ivers Francombe and her talented team behind the ISS experience, (providing knowledge and inspiration to vendors in the wedding industry) especially since they wanted me to do a cover shoot for their ISS magazine featuring my dear friends at Coastside Couture. Karissa and Heidi are two of the most hard-working and fun people to work with in the wedding industry and I’m so happy that they’re getting the credit and exposure that they deserve! We had so much fun out at their Carmel Valley office that day, and I kinda wish we could do it all over again. These ladies lived up to their stellar reputation by going straight from their photo shoot to co-ordinating and setting up everything for the ISS experience in Carmel that started later that day up at Holman Ranch. The also managed to do it all in 4 inch heels and with smiles on their faces! See the full magazine feature below, including an interview with me about my photography career and how we approached the shoot. ISS is a really amazing resource for wedding professionals, so go and get your subscription here, or sign up for one of their conferences that are held all over the US and beyond.

dig gardens | inspiration shoot

Some things are just meant to be. When I first met with stylist Laura Cook and we both had on the same wooden cuff bracelet and the same handbag I took that as a sign that we were destined for some quality collaboration, and this shoot was the first of what I hope will be many projects together. From the very start we knew that we wanted DIG gardens in Santa Cruz to be our location. DIG is not only a beautiful space for events, but it’s also a garden store and nursery, so it seemed fitting to unify the shoot with the theme ‘love grows.’ This shoot was inspired by all things organic, bohemian and local, and I loved how Laura blended vintage and modern elements to make this wedding so full of character. Laura also did an amazing job sourcing all of clothing and accessories, helping to design all of the printed goods and then styling everything from the alter, to the table, to the models. We had a stellar team of vendors, each of whom helped to bring our vision to life, (please look below for the full list) and I was in heaven photographing this gorgeous couple as well as all of the unique details including invitations and menus that were printed onto thin slices of wood, signature rye-jito cocktails, a turquoise fisheye toy camera, and the whole wedding party holding up a ‘love grows’ sign in front of a vintage cadillac. A huge and hearty thanks to everyone who helped make this day happen, it inspired me as a photographer and I hope it offers some ideas those in the process of planning their own big day.

venue: DIG gardens in santa Cruz (available for small weddings)
photography: carlie statsky photography
co-ordination and styling: Laura Cook
makeup & hair: Sarah Viraphanth of Mimi & Taylor Salon
accessories: Cameron Marks Boutique
feather earring and place settings: Fly Love Jewelery
additional accessories (like the camera) sourced from Urban Outfitters, Piperlime and Stripe
printed materials (menus, escort cards, wine labels, love grows signage & invitations) Heidi Allen at
flowers: DIG gardens
Cadi: George Purnell
bride’s dress: vintage

venue and flowers: DIG gardens

concept, co-ordination and styling: Laura Cook

makeup & hair: Sarah Viraphanth of Mimi & Taylor Salon

jewelry: Cameron Marks Boutique

feather earring and feather and suede place settings: Fly Love Jewelry

printed materials: (menus, escort cards, wine labels, love grows signage & invitations) Heidi Allen at Probos Creative

cadillac: George Purnell of Rides 4 Brides

bride’s dress: vintage …and additional accessories sourced from Urban Outfitters, Piperlime and Stripe







mara & frankie | maternity & newborn | santa cruz photographer

I’ve known Mara since before she became a mother for the first time, over 5 years ago, and she’s become one of my dearest friends here in Santa Cruz. Mara is one of the most magnetic people I’ve ever met and she seems to be constantly surrounded by great people, great beauty and great fun. She is exactly the kind of woman who was meant to bring new life into this world more than once because the world could definitely use a few more content souls raised by a bold, brave and incredibly loving woman. All that personality and the girl is drop dead gorgeous on top of that, so you think she might be up for having a few photos taken of herself, but I seriously had to force her in front of the camera and she gave me all of about 5 bashful minutes to photograph her and her beautiful belly. She went 10 days past her due date and then, finally, she gave birth at home to one of the cutest newborns I’ve ever met and has since named her Frankie Luella (but is putting Fiona on her birth certificate in case she wants a more feminine option.) I met Frankie when she was 2 days old and of course I had to bring along my camera to do another mini photo shoot to capture her in all her newborn perfection. Mara I’m so happy for you and your whole (and now complete) family, and Frankie, I can’t wait to watch you grow and get to know the woman who you will become.





happy mother’s day | i love you mom

In honor of Mother’s Day I wanted to share a little love for my own amazing mom. She is one of the most open-hearted, open-minded, down-to-earth, nurturing, excitable, and youthful-spirited women you could ever hope to meet, let alone have raise you. Growing up I have to admit that I used to be embarrassed by her gregarious and eccentric ways, (like rolling up to my conservative high school in her convertible blasting some techno beats) but now I love the fact that she has never been influenced by what other people thought of her, she was simply true to herself. I am constantly inspired by her strength and her passion for life, as she has transformed herself from being a woman who struggled with agoraphobia and panic attacks to now being able to fly across the world alone, free from fear. Her energy is bright, industrious and contagious, making her an incredible host and motivator to everyone she cares for. She makes you want to tackle even the most overwhelming of projects, and the woman is like a tornado on crack when there is a job to get done, and she does not stop until the task before her is completed. She has taught me so much about how to live well and how to mother well, and she’s always reminded me to follow my intuition. I am so thankful to have her as a mother and a best friend and now a GG to my kids (she refused to be Grandma because it made her sound too old in her opinion.)

I love this series of my mama because it shows all of her different sides; her joyful side, her sultry side, and her free-spirited side. Mom I adore all of you, and I am forever grateful to you for giving me life and love.


vacation | bernardus lodge & carmel valley ranch

I just got back from a 24 hour vacation to Carmel Valley to celebrate seven years of marriage to my man and I am one happy girl right now. With two kids and two businesses, it is so important to make the time that we never feel like we have, to just get away to play and relax, and Carmel Valley was the ideal place for that. I even forced myself to let my big camera take a vacation too (well, for most of the time at least) and I just used my phone to document the fun. We checked in super early at the Bernardus Lodge and headed straight for the hills of the Garland Ranch Regional Park. It was one of the most beautiful runs that I can remember, going through mossy oak covered paths, up to waterfalls, ponds and majestic views out over the valley. After that we felt like we had truly earned our relaxation time on the gorgeous grounds of the Bernardus that we felt like we had all to ourselves. We hung out poolside, in the massive hot tub and in their eucalyptus steam room that I wanted to take home with me. The next day we played bocce ball and explored the town a little before heading up to the beautifully re-designed Carmel Valley Ranch for lunch and one last cocktail before heading home in time to pick up the kids from school. It really was a perfect trip, one that we hope to repeat again in a year!


christine & aaron | monte rio wedding weekend

This is a wedding that’s exceedingly worthy of a ridiculously long post…and I’ll fully disclose my bias now by adding that the bride and groom our some of my favorite people on the planet, (the groom is my daughter’s godfather and my husband was the best man.) This was more than a wedding, it was like a full on vacation, only far easier and more enjoyable, because Christine and Aaron planned everything much better than we could have. I couldn’t edit out any of the fun, so I’m starting with the day before and finishing with the day after to show the whole Monte Rio experience. On Friday the rehearsal dinner was held on the banks of the Russian river, where they brought a taco truck to serve people whatever they wanted to go with their keg cups full of beer, followed by a few games of baseball, a toasty bonfire and then some late night antics back in our shared cabins and houses that were all situated right on the river and within walking distance to each other and the ceremony site. We entered our vintage style bedroom to find handmade gifts waiting for us; a beautiful wooden candle holder that Aaron made for everyone in the wedding party. The next morning we went for a jog around town while others went our for a canoe and by the afternoon we were all feeling relaxed and connected, and definitely ready to celebrate the love.

I initially thought that I was going to be a guest at this wedding, but Christine asked me if I would photograph the ceremony since their main photographer, the amazingly talented Stephanie Pool, is one of her best friends and also one of her bridesmaids! I was so honored to get to help document such an important day for them, and I loved getting to hang with the boys while they got ready. There is something so sweet about watching boys help each other get all dressed up, and it was pretty hilarious to see them all riding into the ceremony site on the back of a pickup truck with a bottle of whiskey between them…in perfect keeping with the country spirit of the event.

Christine and Aaron did such an amazing job pouring their hearts into this entire wedding weekend. Everything felt so personal, relaxed and soulful, and nothing conveyed that more than their ceremony. They simply picked a beautiful spot by the river, surrounded it with flowers arranged by family and friends, had a dear friend recite poetry by heart, exchanged some of the most beautiful vows I’ve ever heard, and then had their dog Bella run up the aisle with the rings and lay at their feet while they were announced as man and wife. I thank my camera’s auto-focus for seeing beyond my tears.

After the ceremony everybody walked up past the old movie theatre and into the reception site together. It was at this point that I went into party-mode myself and probably should have put my camera down, but there was too much fun to capture, from everyone taking turns on the swiss alphorn, to Christine and Aaron’s first dance that surprised everyone when it broke out into a fully choreographed dance routine, to the entire guest list dancing in a line behind the band, to a game of identify your husband’s calves, and ending with late night limbo. The next day everyone had breakfast together at one of the houses and then a bunch of us spent the entire day playing in the sun on the river. It was a weekend that we will all remember and I honestly couldn’t be happier for these two…they were meant to find each other.