Iron Woman, Photographer, Writer, Annecy, France
Caroline is a thoughtful photographer and a guide in a quaint French town; she is also a major coffee lover. If those alone aren't enough to whet your appetite, she's got an ace up her sleeve. Caroline is also a major endurance athlete and scales mountains, runs ultra-marathons and participates in world's toughest competitions. We met while she was in the final training stages for the Ultra Beast - a five-hour and 26+ mile race through the rugged terrain with over 70 obstacles. I kept this in mind as we chatted about Caroline's diverse interests and skills. Perfect WOW Woman, femme incroyable.
2. Where is your hometown?
Benicia, California, USA.
3. What is your profession/career/title/self-label/designation?
Lifestyle and Food Photographer and Digital Strategist.
4. What was the journey like to get where you are (in life and career wise)? What are some accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of photographing and styling a best selling cookbook in the United States, called “The Seasoned Life” by Ayesha Curry. Ayesha and I met years ago, and when she asked me to photograph and style her cookbook I was very honored. I love working with a clean slate, having an open book to create. The work for the cookbook was fast paced, and engaging. My journey of getting to where I am now has been the result of thinking outside the box, working hard, and willing to create creative outlets that ultimately suit my career as a photographer.
5. What did you study in school?
I studied World Literature and Photojournalism.
6. How is your life different from what you pictured at 20?
I always knew I would be doing something creative but did not know I would be living abroad, next to my favorite mountains, speaking French.
7. What was your biggest disappointment and plan to overcome it?
One of my biggest disappointments was a job that I was hoping for, had several interviews, was given an offer, and then I heard nothing after two follow ups. It was right when I first got to France, so for me it was a big blow to my ego. I over came it by starting small, working, and really just being persistent.
8. Advice for other women?
It’s really easy to feel like you want to compete with others for jobs, compare, and continually size up this or that. I believe the best thing to do is work together, build each other up, and find power in community.
9. Knowing what we know now in current political climate, can women be "all that we can be" in today's world? What is the way forward, as you see it for "feminist values"?
The way forward is working together, setting our own boundaries, and saying no to things that do not suit our ideals or vision as female.
10. Where in the world do you feel “tallest” (i.e. where is your happy place)?
Running in the mountains, on a trail, or finishing a race. I feel the happiest outside.
11. What extra-curricular activities/hobbies are you most proud of? Why?
I am an avid trail runner and obstacle racer. I am most proud of running close to a race every weekend for the past two years. The races are challenging physically and mentally, so I am proud every time I cross the finish line. For me, crossing a finish line is the result of my passion for the outdoors, hard work, and effort. I have a goal that by the time I am 36 I am one of the top elite racers.
12. What do you want to be when you grow up? Future goals/challenges?
I would love to be a professional obstacle racer and source of knowledge in photography. Teaching photography on a world platform would be incredible. As I studied writing in college, and have written a lot of articles, I would love to use my experiences and publish a book. That would be incredible, and is definitely in the cards.
13. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?
Great question, I think it’s daily fears that most freelancers have or business owners: the idea of doing enough?
14. Anything you'd do differently if you had another go at life?
Absolutely nothing, I think journeys are long and are meant to teach lessons. Some lessons are positive, others are challenging, but they all point you in the direction of where you need to be at that moment in life. Easier said than experienced but I truly believe this.
15. What inspires you?
The outdoors, going to a new place, running.
16. What are you hopeful about?
My career … making a jump internationally was scary and still is as there is a huge learning curve. But I believe learning a new language, living in a new culture, is the key to growing as a photographer and individual. It has taught me to be more resilient and patient.
17. What are some ingredients to a good life?
LESS is more.
18. What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?
Have fun, run, go outside, and boys are a waste of time until you find one that will run trails with you.
19. What are you reading now? (what books do you gift most and what are your favourite reads?)
The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo … The Power of Now is a gift I have been gifted and give. It’s a continual read. But, my favorite is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I found it in a French bookshop and at the time when I read it the words really were pieces of knowledge.
20. Who is a WOW Woman in your world who inspires you and why? Can you nominate three women you know who perfectly fit WOW WOMAN description?
It would definitely be my sister, Amanda Egan, she has always lead by her actions, is fearless in how she lives life, and leaves people feeling great about themselves. She is talented in everything she sets her mind to.
My sister’s wife Kristina Jacobs is an incredible athlete, motivator, and has the strongest will I have ever met. I am lucky to have these two women as role models in my life. Kirstina is a cancer survivor but I have never heard her complain about her experience. She works hard, and will do anything for her friends and family.
Third is my coach at Crossfit Emeline, she was one of the first people I met in France when it came to training. We only speak French to each other but she has a way of explaining a stretch or exercise where it just clicks for me. She is positive, inspiring and a woman who just does.
21. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?
You can find my everyday photography and life on my Instagram @coeurdela read about fitness, photography, and the in between on my blog www.coeurdela.com and see my work on: www.coeurdelaphotography.com
living life to the fullest
and really appreciating
things" - Caroline Egan