Nowadays, Caroline and Jayden Lee are bonded by their business, Woodnote Photography, but the pair initially discovered a connection via a shared love for atusic. Fast forward 12 years past a fateful concert meet-up back in 2003, and their creative passions have admittedly evolved. But the Lees’ love story is one that has stood the test of time, giving them more than a decade’s worth of travel and entrepreneurial memories along the way.
Today, they channel their love affair through their wedding and lifestyle photography, and, as a result, their portfolio is packed with charm and whimsy to match their own vibrant personalities. So, it’s no wonder that their home is full of unique character and pops of punchy pink (even Caroline’s hair sports the pastel hue!). A quirky flamingo, a fuschia pouf and a gorgeous pastel door are just a few of the lust-worthy details dotted throughout their LA home. See the world through Caroline and Jayden’s rose-colored glasses below.
Was photography the thing that brought you and your husband Jayden together? How did you meet?
Jayden and I actually met because our first love is music! Back in 2003, Jayden was touring with a band from Australia (he’s an Aussie), and I was playing violin at the same place. We met backstage, hit it off and became instant friends, then fell in love in 2004 and got married in 2005. Time is flying!
How has your shared passion for photography affected your relationship, and later, your business? Is it tough working with your significant other? How do you find balance?
Jayden and I both grew up with similar interests in photography, so the business aspect evolved fairly naturally after we got married and were shooting and traveling together constantly. We’ve learned how to work together in a similar way that we’ve learned how to do marriage together—one day at a time, slowly learning (often the hard way) what works and what doesn’t and who has what strengths. The biggest joy came when we realized that we are good at different things—something that makes us a more effective team in our business and in our relationship. I don’t have to be annoyed at the things Jayden doesn’t do as well as I do, and I get to celebrate the things he kicks my booty at (and vice versa, naturally).
Describe your respective photography styles in three words.
Caroline: Tacos, tacos, tacos.
Jayden: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Where do you go to shop for vintage home goods? Where do you shop for brand new pieces and accessories?
Our home is filled with pieces that have stories and meaning to them—from the hand we took off of a mannequin in a dumpster in Madrid, to the carpets we brought back from Morocco and then started selling. We love knowing that the pieces in our space have histories behind them. When it comes to new stuff, we love Instagram, actually! My latest finds that I’m obsessed with are Unison Home (grid bedding), a Bye Felicia welcome mat from Josie B and a stunning black and white vase made by Nicola Vruwink. Instagram is such a wonderful, colorful and creative community, and I love “shopping” there, too!
When it comes to the technology side of your business, what equipment and apps do you rely on? Are you Mac users or Microsoft fanatics?
We’re iPhone people (almost 100% of our Instagram photos are iPhone), and our favorite app is VSCO. Once you go Mac, you never go back! We like to keep things simple with equipment and apps, too. If the creative idea is there, then you can usually make it happen with whatever gear is accessible to you. Our DSLR work is done with Canon 5D Mark III.
What has been your favorite trip yet? Where would you love to travel to again?
We went to Antarctica last year and that was a life highlight, for sure! We’re already talking about going back as soon and as often as possible. India is also very close to our hearts, and we adore going there one to two times a year, as we partner with the women of Elephant Landing.
Describe the ideal bride and groom duo for your photography aesthetic. What types of events do you love to shoot?
Our ideal couples are into adventure and fun, and value community and art, too. They also trust us to do our thing, and welcome us like we’re part of their inner circle. Wedding photographers spend the most intimate moments of your day with you, so liking them is a good place to start! We love shooting weddings because we love telling real stories and getting to know and celebrate real people.
What’s your favorite accessory or piece of art in your house?
This is so hard! Can we pick our top three? The pink chair from Craigslist, the Moroccan carpet from Coco Carpets or the Adam Lee painting (Adam is Jayden’s brother but he’s also an incredible, well known artist in Melbourne).
What should we check out the next time we travel to Australia?
Melbourne is our fave! The food is divine, and there is so much good art and fashion happening there, too. Email me when you’re planning a trip and I’ll send over my latest recommendations!
What’s your favorite meal to enjoy together?
Jayden is a wonderful cook. We both love eating anything he creates while we sit in bed and watch Netflix (pasta is a guilty fave). Simple pleasures, right?
What’s next for Woodnote Photography? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
The beautiful thing is that we could never have guessed what today would look like five years ago, so we love not knowing what the next five years will hold either. We do know that if we keep giving our all every day, our work will continue to evolve and transition into new avenues. We say “trust the process” a lot. It reminds us that the journey and the adventure are really the ultimate prizes.