Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck


I was on a girl’s trip a few years back and the topic of winning the lottery came up. ‘If you won the lottery and could do anything, what would you do?’ 

Each woman spoke, and all of them said they would do something different than what they were doing now. All of them said they would change their jobs, become painters, or aestheticians or travel. As I listened to this conversation that should make me excited to answer I just felt dread. When it was my turn I was the last one to share. Almost in tears, I responded, ‘I would still be a photographer, is that so lame?’

I just couldn’t imagine wanting to do anything else.

Everyone was quiet, then they erupted in a chaos of ‘Hell no’s!’ and laughter and I burst into tears as I realized that I was doing what I loved now, with no lottery winnings. I check in with myself every once and again to just see, test those old waters out and make sure. And sure enough, I am still so in love with photographing people and events.

I love interpreting light, thinking on the fly at your wedding, and visual problem solving. I love the intimacy my clients allow me to see, when sometimes I am the only other person there with them as they exchange vows. I love the backstage access to your wedding, the ability to be allowed everywhere to document the tiniest of details and the most epic moments. I love pouring over my images and seeing your story come to life before my eyes as I add my finishing touches. I love holding your finished wedding album and running my fingers gently over the prints while feeling the weight of the book in my hands.

I love the process. All of it.

Having me be a part of your wedding day is the highest honor, and I strive to document your event as if you were my family. So go on and settle in, and enjoy seeing the stories unfold. – Carla Ten Eyck Connecticut based international wedding photographer

Want to get to know me further? Check out some of my favorite blog posts that share some insight into who I am by clicking the links below:

Me ranting about Frozen Two the Movie and a Snowy Photoshoot with my Kids

Read this post about a Hartford Winter Elopement that got my heart RACING

Inspiration shoot at the most colorful and WILD Hotel- The Greenbrier in West Virginia

Carla Ten Eyck

With over 19 years joyfully photographing weddings + events all over the world, I bring my vast experience as a photographer to your wedding day, event or family session.

My BFA in photojournalism from the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology gives me a foundation of art, design and photography to help me create gorgeous and timeless photographs of your wedding, family or event.

You love candids, you say? Being a photographer at The Hartford Courant, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / Times Union and an editor at The Associated Press in New York City helped mold me into being an unobtrusive photographer on your day, waiting and watching for those perfect candid moments you love.

Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime event, and you want a photographer there who has the experience needed to help make your wedding day run as smoothly as possible. With hundreds of weddings under my belt, I am prepared with contingency plans for many things like weather, harsh lighting or rowdy wedding parties!

A sense of humor is important in helping you and your partner feel comfortable in front of my camera. Most of my clients are not professional models, so helping you understand what looks best while also looking most natural is my specialty.

I am a proud author of TWO inspirational wedding coffee table books The White Dress: In Color, wedding inspiration for the modern bride; and  The White Dress: Destinations; I was the Photo Director for the Engage Luxury Business Summits; was co-producer of  Inspire Photo Retreats; and has delivered many speaking presentations all over the country to help inspire and motivate wedding professionals.

In addition to photographing weddings, my second love is telling stories through podcasting.I started my podcast, Eyes Up Heart Open to share the remarkable and touching stories of people I know, in an open and heartbreakingly candid way. You can subscribe to my podcast via iTunes + Soundcloud, or listen direct through the site,

‘Eyes up, heart open’ has been my motto for life, and I work hard to enthusiastically breathe energy, excitement and fun into everything I do from turning ideas into reality; to shooting in new locations around the globe and to simple things like snuggling with my kids and hiding in the studio trying to scare anyone I can!

The Studio

Welcome to My Home

I warmly welcome you to visit my historic home studio, that’s flooded with natural sunlight and laughter. Conveniently located in the historic West End of Hartford CT, this charming space, with a loft feel and reclaimed barn wood floors, is perfect for professional portraits and afternoon meetings.

The Park River, formerly called The Hog River, runs happily through the woods in my woodsy and lush back yard. It’s a wonderful spot for photographing families, maternity sessions or engagement shoots.

Any space in my home is open to be used as a location for photographs, from my front porch compete with curtains that billow in the breeze, my porch swing or my giant 72″ soaking tub!


Carla Ten Eyck, Beth Chapman and Candice Coppola are three creative and entrepreneurial women of style, substance and charm. They are a trio of friends powering their successful businesses with imagination, a commitment to family and community, and a dedication to inspiring brides to think outside of the wedding binder. Based in Connecticut, and longtime veterans of the retail, event planning, design, art and photography industries, they share their expertise in their two books, The White Dress: In Color and The White Dress: Destinations.

Planning a wedding offers many beautiful opportunities that are just waiting to be discovered. To help inspire couples and ignite a creative spark, The White Dress: in Color is filled with photographs that celebrate the creative spirit through beautiful bridal stories and innovative planning tips from industry experts. Follow each tale as it unfolds in gorgeous on-location photography, and then go behind the scenes where tips and ideas on color palette, textures, flowers, stationery, and, of course, the dress, are revealed.

From rustic barn settings to industrial loading docks to tropical beaches, this journey covers thousands of wedding planning ideas in 200+ images and is an ideal source of inspiration for couples looking for a muse to foster creativity throughout their wedding planning process.

You can purchase both books on or at you favorite local book shop!



She is sitting at the front of the ceremony. They sat her there a half hour before the guests arrived to avoid making a spectacle. Her hands, folded neatly in her lap, tighten and shake every few moments from pain, but her smile never leaves her lips. Her nails are perfectly painted, hair just so.

When I learned that the bride’s mother had only a few weeks to live, I knew there was no mistake that they had found me to capture their wedding. Having lost my own Mother years before, I have a deep and complete appreciation for the moments in life that truly matter.

After they said their vows, kissed, and turned to face the crowd, the bride, perhaps with nobody else noticing, locked eyes for a few seconds with her Mom. It was one of the most powerful moments, and reassured to me why I was there, documenting their powerful story.

While I may have images published on magazine covers each season, and my top-selling book can be found in leading book stores across the country, what makes my heart beat the hardest are the moments, and memories, that can never be replaced.

Your Grandfather standing alone in the foyer gently placing a kiss on a framed portrait of his wife of over 40 years, now passed away; the way he squeezes your hand just before you are announced in to your family and friends; the hysterical laughter between you and your best friends as you pile into the elevator after hours of dance-offs…

Of course I love capturing the exquisite details and flawless design that make weddings so beautiful, but I also have an unapologetic passion for what makes them completely unforgettable.

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