Friday, June 24, 2016

Meet This Week's Guest Judge: Aubrey Dettmer

This week, Aubrey of Applewood Photography asks you to "dream the impossible" Enjoy her beautiful personal work as you learn a bit more about her here:

1. Tell us about yourself:

I am a 33 year old wife of 10 years to an amazing & very patient man, and mother to two beautiful daughters. Born and raised in small town Indiana, we live on 5 acres in the house my husband grew up in, surrounded by corn and soybean fields. We have 2 barn cats, a small fluffy white dog named Mademoiselle Foo Foo and 3 pet goats. I bought my first DSLR over 5 years ago in the hopes of using it when we had children, which is my favorite way to use it. I work part time for a local credit union and take on 2 photo sessions a month through my business Applewood Photography (named after our farm), generally family or children sessions. I love coffee, the German language, anything Irish, reading, drawing, piano and I am a huge monster without LOTS of sleep.

2. What ignited your interest in photography? What fuels it now? 

I have two very different sides: an analytical side (I work at a credit union and have a degree in Accounting) and a creative side. I've always loved drawing and piano, but when we bought our first DSLR in the hopes that we could someday have children to photograph, I was hooked. I was always frustrated when I couldn't draw exactly what I see, but with photography, I basically can!

I am now fueled by my two beautiful daughters. I fear the day when they're grown and I don't have their funny antics and daily discoveries to photograph. I am obsessed with good light, which doesn't always come easy in an old farmhouse, but I've come to learn a lot about my house from photography.

3. What's in your camera bag? 

I rarely even use a camera bag unless I have a session. What I use daily is my Canon 6D and Sigma 35mm, which sit on top of the piano for easy access. I rarely use anything else, but once in a while I'll use my nifty fifty, and I never or almost never use my 70-300 f/4-5.6. I would loooove to get an 85mm or 135mm...but money.

When I do have a session, I use my 6D and 50mm, and carry with me an extra camera body, my 35mm and 2 flashes (which I also rarely use now).

4. What's your dream project? 

My dream project...hmmmm. Just to keep my daughters tiny and photograph them for the rest of my life? ha ha But really, I'd love to photograph farmers and what they do and the land they work on. I think farming is such an important legacy, and in our area, there are a lot of subdivisions sprawling over what used to be woods and farms, so that we're losing a big part of the history of our area. I'd love to show what farmers really do to put food on our tables.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face a s a photographer? 

The biggest challenge I face is time. When I first started, I didn't have kiddos, so I was looking for something to cure my boredom, a passionate hobby. I take way too many photos of my kids and often feel overwhelmed with the sheer volume of editing. When I have a session, though I've cut way back, it's tough to find the time to edit.

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography... should I spend $500? Probably a little marketing, or maybe outsourcing. But I would loooove to buy a new 85mm or 135mm lens. And I really would probably spend it on a lens.

7. Is there any advice you wish you had been given at the beginning of your journey?

I wish someone had told me to do photography my way. Don't worry about the other photographers in the area, about price-hopping clients, or those who don't like your style compared to another photographer. I started out just about killing myself by charging $35 a session (I really shouldn't have been charging at work was so bad!) and doing whatever the client wanted. Now I determine when and where the session takes place, and I will turn people away if I already have 2 sessions in a month booked. It's necessary for my sanity. I try my best to make the client happy, but I have a family that needs me too, and capturing my own family's memories is the reason I bought a camera in the first place.

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