AE Photography // small business feature

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 ;) 

THANKSGIVING IS HERE // WHAT WE'RE THANKFUL FOR

It's one of our favorite holidays, and this year N and I are making a list of all the things that we're grateful for this year - the main one being the launch of JGE! It's been such a whirlwind, and we've learned so much. By now, y'all have seen how passionate we are about small businesses and supporting shopping small. If you're thinking of starting your own business or have questions and just want to know the process we went through, we will have a post coming soon for you! 

For now, here are some thoughts from S and N about what we're most thankful for in life.

S: I am so thankful for family. My sweet husband, my community and my parents have been an endless supply of support and love during the launch of JGE. I know that there is no way that I could have found Noelle, or pursued my dream of bringing joy to others without them! The encouragement is the best gift I could ever receive. There are so many people and circumstances waiting on you to fail or mess up, but having those there to hold you up and to remind you that you are fully known and fully loved no matter what you do. That truth right there is what I am MOST THANKFUL FOR. Jesus's sweet love and never ending grace is really what life on this earth is about. Reflecting His love for His people, taking care of each other and looking out for each other - I'm so grateful that I get to witness that personally through every season of life. To Noelle, as sappy as it is, I couldn't have found a more talented partner than you. You are so incredibly kind and creative - Thank you for your patience and your incredible friendship. 

To our readers and clients, please take time to focus on what is good in your life. You may be in a season of hurt or darkness or maybe a season of joy and deliverance, but through it all there is good in people and in those that are in your life. Seek people out who will hold you accountable but love you deeply. Be thankful, and let them know the impact they have on your life. You have all had a great impact on ours, and we are SO grateful for you every day! With that being said, make sure to eat plenty of turkey and spend time with those you love most today!

 

N:  Goodness. Where do I even begin?  First and foremost, I am thankful for the FREE gift of salvation from God through His son, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I have nothing. He has blessed me with wonderful parents, in-laws, friends, community and a ( good lookin' ) husband who loves me unconditionally. I am thankful for you, Sarah, for treating me like a sister since our very first encounter. I am humbled to get to work alongside you and draw inspiration from your ambition and genuine desire to bring happiness to others. And a big thank you to our readers and clients for having confidence in JGE. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you!

 I am also thankful for the simple things in life that are sometimes overlooked, one being the magnificent and intricate creation we live in. Think about the thousands of different kinds of birds there are....and flowers…and trees…and animals…and bugs!!! Bugs are actually fascinating little boogers if you really take time to look at them. It's truly mind blowing how detailed they are. A few more simple things I’m thankful for include, the kisses my husband gives me every morning as I leave for work, the beautiful church bells that chime hymns every weekend right by my house, the warm greetings when I walk into work on a Monday morning, tiny hugs from my nephews, a delicious home cooked meal from mom when I visit my parents, a friendly hello from someone I don't know and so much more. I feel like a lot of us (including me)  tend to focus on what's missing in our lives instead of focusing on the little blessings that are right in front of us every day. I hope that you will take time to look for those simple things to be thankful for this season and every day after...  Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!!