the artists

"I love to make women feel beautiful. It was my mission when opening this studio 10 years ago. Boudoir photography did not exist as a genre at the time, all I knew was that I wanted to open a studio that was dedicated to women’s photography. 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 moms, wives, partners, friends- ENOUGH! So after eight years as a wedding photographer I handed in my resignation and began the journey to 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 looked in the mirror and not felt good about the reflection staring back at her. I want to photograph her, celebrate her and honor her with beautiful images that reflect who she is and the beauty that I see. I love everything about women's photography, but mostly I love getting to know my clients and helping bring forth their beauty from within. It is an honor to bear witness to their journeys- the journey to unguarded self love- this 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, CS Brides and North Shore magazine. She has shot hundreds of upscale events, from elite charity circuit and corporate functions for Fortune 500 companies, to luxury weddings and she has photographed numerous celebrities and public figures, including former President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, President Vicente Fox, Paul McCartney, Lebron James, Cindy Lauper the Chicago Cubs and many more. One of the midwest's first boudoir studios, Cara opened The Atelier in 2009- seeking to create a custom portrait experience to help validate and empower women through her craft of fine art photography. Ten years and hundreds of clients later, she still fiercely believes in the importance of this work and message.Cara lives and works in Chicago.

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