Oklahoma Photographer's Creative Approach Touches Hearts Nationwide

This request involved a dad hundreds of miles away. He is deployed in Africa. “Being able to bring them together in the same place even though he couldn’t be there, I think that’s what made it special,” Carrie Sanders said.

Tuesday, August 22nd 2023, 5:33 pm



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The work of a McLoud photographer has been seen and shared hundreds of thousands of times.

Her creative approach in honoring a military family touched hearts well beyond the limits of her small town.

She works primarily out of the living room of her home. There, toys fill the extra spaces. Photos of her husband and children fill the extra space on the fridge.

It’s easy to tell what fills up the most space in Carrie Sanders’ heart. Capturing those moments for others fills up most of the space on her computer. “I have this deep drive passion for it,” said Sanders.

She looks through her portfolio of maternity shoots, weddings and newborn photos. It’s clear she loves to capture families. She taught herself the post-production software.

“This is my baby. This goes with me everywhere,” she said holding the camera she also taught herself to use. When a client came with a new request, she would teach herself again.

 “Most people, when they do maternity photos the dad is there,” she explained.

This request involved a dad thousands of miles away. He is deployed in Africa. “Being able to bring them together in the same place even though he couldn’t be there, I think that’s what made it special,” she said.

Through Photoshop, she was able to bring them together in one photo. “Basically, I just cut him out from the background and I placed him – I dragged him over into her photo,” she explained.

The composite photo struck a chord. In no time, it racked up nearly four million views on social media.

“There’s somebody else out there who is away from their family, their wives, their children. They’re fighting for our freedom,” she pointed out. It’s the reason she believes it moved others.

To understand her love of capturing these moments, you have to understand the moments in Carrie’s own life. “I came from a really bad home life,” she recalled. “As a kid I got adopted through Indian Child Welfare when I was 12. I remember the environment I was kind of raised in.”

It’s the reason she wants a different life for her own children. She now captures those moments in print and canvas. “To do it for somebody else,” Sanders said. “That’s just even more special.”

To see her work, click here.

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