We are so humbled and excited to share with you today the heart behind AE Photography - Over the next few months, we are sharing our favorite small businesses and preferred partners (the inspiration behind your events). We get the opportunity to work with these amazing people to help make our events magical, and we want to shout from the rooftops why you should be passionate about what they do as well! Thank you Aubree for sharing your sweet heart - we hope you enjoy and learn something powerful. Make sure to check out more of her work here.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I’m a DWF based photographer with an obsession with queso, my awesome husband Jared, and my puppy Willow.
Q: Oh, we love that pup! She's beyond adorable. Now, we want to know what made you want to start your own business?
A: I wanted to find my own way in the creative world and follow my passion. I first started out in design and figured I would be working for agencies most of my career. But the longer I designed, the more drawn to photography I found myself. After a few bumps and turns in the road, I opened officially AE Photography in 2015. I now have the freedom to fully explore my craft, work with the types of people I want, and pursue what excites me!
Q: What type of photography do you do the most? What do you enjoy the most and why?
A: I am a portrait, editorial, and lifestyle photographer. I LOVE shooting couples. There’s something so humbling and magical in those shoots that makes my heart so happy! With every shoot I have one goal in mind: to not “shoot what it looks like, [but] shoot what it feels like.” That’s a quote by David Alan Harvey that has become my business motto. Whats the point of a photo if you don’t feel something?
Q: Love that we can literally feel your passion when you talk about your trade - On that note, what inspires your passion?
A: Movement inspires me. A ripple in water, a couple melting into a kiss, a splash in a pool. Anything and everything that tells a story through movement makes me want to grab my camera and shoot away.
Q: What is the most challenging part about running your own business?
A: I think the most challenging part of running my own business is to appreciate where I’m at. It’s easy to look at pinterest or other photographers and think, “I must be doing it wrong…” because of the clients they work with or the places they travel. Comparing yourself is probably the worst thing you can do as any sort of business owner. I think in my young business, that’s been the most important thing I’ve learned and the hardest thing to keep in check. I am my own photographer. The best thing I can do for myself is to focus, be proud of how far I’ve come, and push myself to my own limits.
Q: That was really beautifully stated - It seems we all feel pressure to compare our business instead of celebrating others victories and our own... When did you become interested in photography?
A: I’ve always been fascinated with the still picture. My mother is a photographer and she instilled my obsession at a young age. I have been incredibly blessed to have two supportive parents who nurtured an appreciation for all things creative. I really came into considering it as a profession in college when I took my first film class. There’s nothing more relaxing than being in the dark room and developing a photo that you took. The whole process is like my very own therapy session. After that, I started designing right out of college then through the grace of God I got the courage to jump into the deep end and I’m never looking back.
Q: And now for the big one - Why is your work important to you?
A: My work is important to me because it’s about relationships. The joy of shooting what it feels like is that I get the opportunity to listen to people, get involved with their life in some small way, and share all kinds of love and happiness.
Q: What advice would you give anyone looking to start their own business?
A: To anyone looking to start their own business, DO IT! There will never be an ideal time to start. There will always be reasons not to. But I promise, you’ll be fine. Get your business plan in line, surround yourself with encouraging people, find yourself a support group of others in a similar situation and talk to them! And like I said earlier, don’t compare yourself. Give yourself slack when needed, but always push yourself to be the best you can be. You got this ;)