Goodbye Illinois, Hello Florida!

Embark on this new adventure with me and learn a bit about where

Fox Lens Studios came from.

united states map, travelling pins

If you know me, you know that life has taken me all over the country in the past couple of years. Like a never-ending roller coaster, I've been propelled through the deserts of the west coast, up the mountains of Colorado, looping down to the marshes of the Mississippi, and taking a 3-year detour on Chicago's frozen shores. Like all things in life that have a beginning and end, my time in Illinois where Fox Lens Studios was born, has come to a close.

I'm A Gyspy At Heart

The decision to leave this small town where I discovered myself, my career, love, and friendship was a difficult one. My father has always joked that I'm a gypsy at heart, and the pull of the next adventure had begun to weigh heavily. I felt stagnant in my relationship, with someone who was safe, kind, and supportive. I'm not sure what seed the universe planted in me that makes routine feel daunting, but I had reached a time where my soul wasn't happy, and the southern horizons were begging for my attention. Maybe it was the pandemic year, being cooped up in the house far longer than healthily acceptable, or it was missing my nephew’s birth, or not being able to hug my parents when Dad was diagnosed with and beat cancer, but I began feeling further and further from home while pacing the small apartment in Morris, IL.

I will forever be grateful for the time spent in Illinois. I got to watch the cornfields rise under the summer heat, boost local economies in the fall, and freeze under the weight of snow as the Earth tilted away from the sun. I fell in love with the seasons, witnessed the enchanting beauty that is a field of fireflies, felt the pure joy of crunching leaves underfoot as the streets changed to shades of gold, and gained respect for anyone living north of Tennessee where snow and ice are daily struggles in the winter. I learned more about myself in those three years than I have in 25 trips around the sun.


Fox Lens Studios is a child of this discovery. I had a business idea in mind for years which was originally established as Pure Wildflower Photography. As my passions grew and took shape, so did my business plan. “Studios” was introduced to encompass the wide range of art I enjoyed creating. Down the line, as I learned more about marketing and branding, I knew I needed to shift my 2009 idea into a new face that reflected the growth I’ve seen. Just one year before the pandemic hit, Fox Lens Studios was established. While the weight of small-town life in the north had begun to take its toll on me personally, it helped FLS grow solid roots with a supportive community.

The hardest part of moving Fox Lens Studios with me is the clients I will be missing. Not being able to photograph my prom kids’ college graduation, missing the senior portraits of the giggling babies who splashed in milk baths, and not experiencing those newlywed’s first child will be difficult. FLS is rooted in capturing memories and moving to the southern tip of the US is missing out on a lifetime of memories with the amazing clients. If there’s anything out of this move I want my clients to know, is that I am eternally grateful to have been able to share in those memories, and wish each and every one of them a life full of joy and love.

I'm starting a new adventure in the Sunshine State

As the summer months beam down on the south and storms roll in from the sea, I’m starting this new adventure in the place where the adventures began. I don’t know how long the universe will keep me in the Sunshine State, or if my journey will continue around this country, but for the foreseeable time being Fox Lens Studios will be capturing memories among the orange groves and lakeshores of Lakeland, Florida. I’m eager to see how my hometown has evolved as I’ve been able to in the last couple of years and look forward to what opportunities await me here.

-Ciara Martin, Owner, Photographer, Chandler

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