We’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing artists and this month, we’re collaborating with a charming Mississippi native who has chosen Tucson as her home and inspiration. Katie Corley is the uber-talented owner of Moon Valley Creative. Her photography captures the moody side of Tucson. She has infused her laid back vibe and unique eye for photography into Earth Based Body’s imagery.
We’re thrilled to shine a light on this Tucson superstar as we team up to give 3 lucky people a 12-pack of postcards featuring Tucson scenes plus a Get Fresh vegan lippie!
In celebration of our collaboration, I sat down with Katie to hear more of her story. Check out some of our conversation and please support Moon Valley Creative.
All right, Katie, tell us how you arrived in Tucson.
So I lived in Mississippi for pretty much my whole life. And in 2018, I had a plan that I was going to get out of Mississippi. I was checking out some locations I wanted to go to for sure, and Tucson was the first place I visited. I was working with Hip Camp and taking on shoots for people while traveling up through the West Coast from Arizona, California to Washington.
When I landed in Tucson and went over the iconic gates, passed down through the Saguaros, I fell in love right there. I’ve never seen such a thing. And then I went down to the San Xavier Mission and was in awe of this second iconic place.
After I had road trip all the way around the West Coast, I met my husband Kyle. Basically, we were cold in Washington and we were like, “Oh man, we don’t like this, where should we move to?”. I told him I’ve been to Tucson it’s this really rad place. Then he revealed he’d always wanted to go live in the desert, too. We explored different areas then figured out we liked way out on the west side better.
What is it about the desert that feels like a place that you can call home?
It’s just this really surreal place. I would get postcards from my uncle as a kid so I’d see like all kinds of cool places in Arizona with rock formations, or the Saguaros, and the sunsets. Sunsets are some of my favorite things to look at everyday. And, the fact that you can see mountains as part of the sun setting is amazing. Growing up, I was only seeing trees and nothing else, so I just fell in love, pretty instantaneously, man.
What inspires your desert photography?
I like the lighting a whole lot, but also the landscape with what’s there. I like the way the light might touch a certain cactus, or just like the way these rocks might pop out and then the light could hit it a certain way.
It’s also all the neat things you see in the desert. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen back home. There is something satisfying about capturing something new.
I love mixing people into desert portraits to make it more interesting. I feel like it adds a whole new element to how creative you can be with your environment.
You mentioned getting postcards from your uncle when you were a kid. Is that what inspired you to do your own postcards?
Oh yes. He would always send postcards and I thought that was a really cool thing. He would actually just take an old film camera and have his film printed out and they he would just write on the back and throw it in the mail.
That’s how I started. When I saw the reaction to them, I developed a process where I could offer expertly printed versions.
How do you want people to use these gorgeous postcards?
My goal is for people to use them to send love out to other people. It’s always fun to get mail. My goal is to use them to stay connected in a special way. Send a funny joke or sweet story. Do whatever feels good to bring a smile to somebody’s face.
You’ve shared that you love to support small and local businesses. What does that look like in your life?
Okay so yeah definitely support, the small and local businesses. It has been so fun to work with brands, like Earth Based Body. I love supporting local coffee shops, herb stores. My favorite thing is shopping small for gifts. My eye always goes to something that’s a little bit unique and artistic. I love to surprise my people with random little things I find in those shops.
I’m a sucker for good packaging. It always wins me over.
What is your favorite Earth Based Body product?
Also, my favorite is Get Fresh, because my lips are always chapped out in the desert. I went through that stuff so fast! So like all day, I’ll be applying it. I love that and I love that you use natural ingredients so, like, I don’t have to wonder what is it that I’m putting on my skin because you know, your skin is absorbing all of this and that is something that’s in the forefront of my mind when I am applying stuff so it’s like knowing it’s plant based and healthy. Pretty much it’s like, I don’t have to worry.
Get Fresh is very hydrating, it’s clean. It stays for hours, really. And then after that, like your lips still feel nice and smooth. I get addicted to the whole feeling of like, oh my lips are super soft so then it just makes me want to put more on. Oh, I’m so into the peppermint.
What’s next for you?
That’s a really good question. I’ve been more focused on my mission versus like working on photography stuff. I’m taking the time to start being more intentional with my plan. I definitely feel like a storyteller, and an entertainer, and I enjoy being able to, like, see how people react to whatever it is I’m sharing and hopefully getting a good laugh or a smile out of it.
I do enjoy working with different people or brands to create a unique for their specific audience. I love bringing their vision and my style together in a creative way that will present a product beautifully.
And for portraits, I like to just bring out like what is it that you enjoy about yourself or life.
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