We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmen McConnel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carmen, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
No one is going to push you, and no one is going to stop you from giving up. With my photography even when I deal with imposter syndrome or I’m not happy with a session I know the only way I’m going to get better is to keep going. I keep learning, showing up, and driving to fuel my passion. Giving up isn’t an option because this is what I love to do. You only have one life and one chance to chase what you love, and I can’t let myself down.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My passion started with capturing farm animals while working as a farm manager. I quickly found myself taking photos of livestock and all things western life. I have had the pleasure of traveling across Arizona photographing ranchers and their lifestyles along with capturing family’s yearly photos in the desert. My love for Arizona and the western lifestyle keeps me capturing all its beauty. I’m passionate about my photography and love the families I watch grow year after year.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My love for Arizona landscape would take over this weekend. If it is summer, we would have to float the Salt River and take a hike in the White Tanks or Superstition Mountains. We could find a food truck or spend some time at the Olive Mill in Queen Creek. If its winter, we would have to go snowboarding at Snowbowl and quick photoshoot in the aspens. While in Flagstaff we would eat at Pizziceltta or The Toasted Owl Café and enjoy the fresh cold air!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Fiancé Ben has pushed me to go after my goals. He has been my support through this photography journey. Ben is the muscles behind so many of my sessions. He carries equipment, he’s great with getting smiles out of the little ones and he even helps get the horses to put their ears forward to capture the shot!

Website: https://hazellightsphoto.wixsite.com/mysite

Instagram: hazel_lights_photography

Facebook: Hazel Lights Photography

Image Credits
Hazel Lights Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.