Where do you want the art in your home to take you? Travel photographer Carley Rudd wants to invite you on a journey, both within yourself and worldwide, with her work. Her minimalist compositions, calming and, at times, intimate scents, and soft, natural hues certainly transport you to the many locales she and her husband lived and worked nomadically for four years before establishing themselves back in Portland, Maine. Born and raised in Maine with two master jewelers as parents, Carley developed an appreciation for craftsmanship as well as her sensibility for quality over quantity and passion for creating original work early on. Her photography career took off during her four-year travels, as stunning locations from Bali to Portugal to Nicaragua were partnered with "life's passing moments," which she says are her medium. We have been huge fans of Carley's work for a while now, and with her print series as part of our wall art collection, we were excited to briefly chat with the photographer for our latest artisan feature. She reflected on the thought process and methodology behind her work, noting that she is driven by crafting fine art images that capture the world's beauty and draws the viewer in. Carley also spoke about which Lulu and Georgia styles might work best with her framed prints' soft colors and escapism scenes, with the rattan and cane and light wood furniture collections being her choice. Check out our entire conversation with Carley below and shop her line now.
Tell us about your upbringing with two artist parents in Maine. How did it inform the way you see the world and your work?
Both my parents are master jewelers and design one-of-a-kind fine gold jewelry using traditional goldsmith techniques. The jewelry is formed by hand and made to order, making each piece truly unique. This appreciation for craftsmanship, quality over quantity sensibility, and passion for creating original work was instilled in me from a young age.
Similarly, how does your home base of Maine, specifically Portland, inspire you still today?
I am inspired by the slower pace of life in Maine. The way it invites you to live in the moment. I always tell people Maine can feel a bit behind the times, but in the best way possible. I have so much nostalgia for the long country roads, rocky coves, and mossy forests. Portland is a small city but offers so much. From incredible restaurants, artisanal shops, art galleries, and some of Maine's most beautiful beaches within a 15-minute drive from downtown. It's the perfect place for me to recharge and reset between travels.
When did you decide to pursue travel photography professionally? And what aspect of your creative journey came first, being a nomadic traveler or as a photographer?
I left my career in advertising back in 2016 to pursue photography full-time. I worked as a freelance photographer in Los Angeles for one year before my husband and I packed up what would turn into four years of living and working nomadically around the world. During this time, my photography career really took off, and I established a name for myself in the travel photography space.
How would you describe the style of your photography?
I have a predilection for minimalist compositions. Soft, natural hues and tranquil scenes permeate my work. My photography evokes a feeling of blissful escapism. Each image invites you on a journey—both within and without—inspiring a sense of peace, harmony, and an appreciation for our shared world.
Could you walk us through your shot-taking process? Whether you're on assignment or traveling for yourself, what elements usually catch your eye to create a fantastic shot?
My work is very intuitive. I love to wander off the beaten path and wait for inspiration to strike. Life's passing moments are my medium. That's the beauty of photography.
Is there one subject you tend to favor shooting over others? Many of your photos revolve around water—oceans, coasts, bays—what draws you in?
I am drawn to creating fine art images that capture and honor the beauty, colors, and compositions of our world. From dappled, late afternoon sunlight on a basket of oranges in Mallorca to a misty morning from a hotel window overlooking Le Sacre Coeur in Paris, beauty is all around us.
What is one thing you want all customers to know about your photography prints?
My work, like many artists, is deeply personal. My print series offers an invitation to view the world through my lens. And my hope is that this work inspires you to go both within and without. To be drawn towards beauty in all of its forms.
Any styling tips for layering your work into peoples' homes?
I like to consider the color palette, textures, and mood of a space. Then find prints that can complement this. My work depicts soft, tranquil scenes that bring a sense of calm to people's homes. The artwork in your home should also be a reflection of your personality and style.
In the same vein, are there any Lulu and Georgia pieces that would pair well with your prints?
The natural wood and neutral tones of so many Lulu and Georgia pieces pair beautifully with my prints in open, airy spaces. The rattan and cane furniture collection and the light wood, Scandinavian-inspired pieces complement the soft colors and escapism scenes throughout my work.
Congrats on being recognized by Condé Nast Traveller as a top travel Instagram account to follow! As the summer travel season is fast approaching, what are the top 5 places we need to visit next?
This summer, a few of my favorite destinations would be Maine, Portugal, Puglia, Mallorca, and Fogo Island (in Canada).
What's next for you and your photography business? Where are you excited to be heading to next for work?
I have an endless list of destinations I'd love to visit and photograph. Some of the countries at the top of my list include Japan, Argentina, Egypt, and Kenya. As for business, I am looking to partner with more design hotels to commission exclusive fine art photography for them to display. I'm also working on publishing my first fine art photography book. And, you can look forward to a new series of limited edition fine art prints rooted in mindfulness that invite you to go within.