Our Why Not Girl! of the Week Mariah Carle is a full time artist and boudoir photographer out of Oakland, California – an emerging hot bed for local artists and businesses who are striving to revitalize the city with their creativity and love of “Oaklandia.” Mariah specializes in boudoir photography, a genre of photography that traditionally features sensual images of women in a “dressing room” location. Mariah prides herself in not only reflecting the flow of creativity from the people that she photographs, but the diversity of her city. She is very active in her community by providing photography, art installation, writing and teaching efforts to many community outreach events including the Jingletown Arts Walk. This annual event is comprised of artists who are opening their studios to help bring more people to this neighborhood of Oakland.
Photo Courtesy: Mariah Carle Photography
How/why did you decide to say, Why Not!?
Why Not! say Why Not!? I was raised by Why Not! women, for generations my family has has a strong artist and creative streak that was encouraged by our independence. Many times people ask me about my family and how they “deal with” having such an off center creative activist artist daughter. They many times reply that they ARE the ones who raised me. So they are very supportive of my artistic and entrepreneurial adventures. My most recent Why Not! this year has been pushing myself to do MORE outreach and networking outside of my artists circles of friends. Sometimes artists find ways to stay isolated from non artists and miss out on a lot of new interactions with people who might not quite understand them.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a Why Not Girl!? The most challenging?
The most rewarding part of being a Why Not Girl! is the slow realization that I am respected as both a businesswoman and an artist, two worlds that don’t always collide well. I love working with people that realize that yes, we CAN do both: run a business and be fulfilled as an artist. The challenge for me is to keep a healthy balance. Even though I’m a boudoir photographer, and not a fireman or an OB-GYN I still receive phone calls and texts at midnight and 6 am. I meet those time/life balance challenges by doing my best to have regular studio “hours” and taking days outside of the studio completely.
What is one lesson you have learned in your quest in being a Why Not Girl!?
I have learned that no matter how much I love my job and sense of adventure, sometimes I need to step back and give myself time to recharge. Even when you LOVE lemon pie, you can’t eat it 24/7. I have also learned that even though I say Why Not! often, there are times that I need to stand my ground and tell myself that’s it’s also ok to say Not.
Who would you say is a Why Not Girl! That has inspired you?
I have been inspired by so many people it is hard to name just one. My clients and my friends inspire me each day. They bring so much creativity to the table and constantly push me to excel.
What other ways do you plan to say Why Not! either now or in the future?
Why Not! write a book? I have never written one but a local publisher has been talking to me this past year about doing more teaching and writing as a boudoir photographer. I have never written a full book before, so this is going to be a huge step for me. By 2014 I hope to have three small guides to marketing and art and one full book dedicated to beginners boudoir photography.