the artists


"I love to make women feel beautiful. It was my company mission when opening this studio 10 years ago. Boudoir photography didn’t really exist as a professional speciality, I had no idea what I wanted my portrait experience to look like- all I knew was that I wanted to dedicate my craft to women’s portraiture. I wanted to do something to help women feel beautiful in a world with so much damn noise. So much noise telling us that we are not enough- pretty enough, thin enough, motivated enough, successful enough, smart enough, healthy enough, engaged enough. Good enough as workers, listeners, moms, wives, partners, friends. ENOUGH! So after almost a decade as a wedding photographer I handed in my resignation and began the journey to build, what has become, The Atelier today. That was ten years ago. I still love making women feel beautiful. I want to photograph any woman in the world who has ever felt like they are not enough. I want to spend the day celebrating her badassery (yep, I just made that word up) and hearing her story. I love everything about women's photography, but mostly I love getting to know my clients and watching them transform into supermodels before my eyes. Most ladies come in nervous, maybe a little apprehensive. ALL ladies leave feeling like the bad ass bosses that they are. Watching that swagger and confidence build and radiate- that is the greatest gift of all." -Cara

A photographer with over eighteen years of professional experience, Cara Garbarino’s work has been seen in such magazines as Town & Country, Forbes, Chicago Social and North Shore magazines. She has had the honor of photographing numerous celebrities and public figures, including former President Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Handler, Lebron James, the Chicago Cubs, former Vice President Al Gore, former President Vicente Fox, Gavin Rossdale, Cindy Lauper and many more. One of the midwest's first boudoir studios, Cara opened The Atelier in 2009. She sought to create a custom portrait experience to help validate and empower women through her honed craft of fine art portraiture. Ten years and close to one thousand clients later, she still fiercely believes in the importance of this work and the powerful value a boudoir portrait experience can provide for women. Cara lives and works in Chicago with her kick ass husband, two iron-willed maniac toddlers and rescue pitbull.


Owner Cara Garbarino

“Women’s photography is such a wonderfully intimate form of portraiture. To capture beautiful photographs that speak to the self confidence the clients are feeling, to be witness to the journey of a woman’s self realization, it has been rewarding in a way that can not be explained. When client’s come into this photographic experience they are excited and nervous and full of jitters, it is so fun to guide them on their journey and watch them transform. To watch them become relaxed, uninhibited and free as they become their authentic self and realize their own body confidence. This is what is beautiful and what makes this genre of photography not only rewarding, but important.” -Cindy

Cindy carries a bachelors of fine arts in photography from the University of Illinois. Upon graduation she placed her focus on the art of archival printing; perfecting the craft of black and white fine art printmaking at Ross-Ehlert, Chicago’s premiere photo lab for professional photographers. She went on to work as a studio manager for commercial photographers where she learned technical lighting, working with clients and ad agencies. In 2000 she joined nationally acclaimed wedding photography studio Garbo Productions, where her and Cara met, by 2003 she was a lead photographer. In 2006 she took the plunge and opened Fandl Photography, she has since had a busy career photographing weddings, corporate events and family portraits. As a woman in the arts Cindy has always felt an affinity toward women’s photography, she was thrilled to join Cara and The Atelier to pursue her passion of helping women capture their unique beauty. 

Photographer Cindy Fandl

Photographer Cindy Fandl