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Meet Audrey Priel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Audrey Priel.

Hi Audrey, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m obsessed with light. When I was growing up, I always ALWAYS wanted to learn about photography and taking the best possible pictures, but it was never in the cards for me. My science classes always came first. Flash forward to the cliche of… Mom has kids. Mom wants to take pictures of the kids. Mom finally buys a “fancy” camera to take the pictures of said kids. I own that cliche.

I was having an absolute BLAST learning how to take pictures during my free time from teaching special ed and being a wife and a Mom. Landscapes, nature, and pets were my thing, and I created a Facebook page to share my nature photography and positive quotes… I wanted a place where people could see something and read something that made them smile. I named it “Rose Trail Images” as it sounded very nature inspired while still being connected to ME as ‘Rose’ is my middle name!

After a few months, a fellow teacher asked me take her family pics. They were adopting their second child and wanted pictures to commemorate it. I refused at first, telling her I wasn’t a people photographer and it seemed too stressful, but she insisted. So I obliged… and I absolutely LOVED it! My hobby turned into a passion where I could not only create beautiful art but create memories for people as well through emotions and laughter. I was hooked!

I finally got to the point where it was a strong enough business that I felt like I had two full-time jobs… one that drove me insanely happy and one that just drove me insane. About three years ago, I quit teaching to become a photographer full time and I haven’t looked back since!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road to doing what I do has definitely not been easy, but I wouldn’t exactly call it challenging either. I absolutely LOVE my job. I love creating art. I love making people laugh. I love capturing connections and emotions. I hate emails and business junk. I hate being away from my family on the weekends while I’m shooting weddings and mitzvahs, no matter how much I love my job.

Thankfully, I haven’t had too many issues as a business owner. I love my job so much that everything else seems like a shrug instead of a huge deal. I’ve missed deadlines before. I’ve had technology snafus that almost gave me heart palpitations. I’ve been horrible at writing emails back sometimes… especially during the pandemic where motivation is at its lowest. Covid made me re-evaluate and wonder if I would survive, but I’m still here doing what I love!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As a photographer, I provide authentic and candid photos for people who want to preserve memories… while creating them! I am SO passionate about creating art and sharing laughter with people for both big events and the everyday. I focus more on connections, emotions, and laughter in natural settings with a laid-back, unposed feel. I have three rules… 1. Find amazing light and textures. 2. Put people in it. 3. Make them laugh.

I also have something that I like to call the “vicious cycle of awesomeness”…. when I snap a pic that I love, I squeal and jump up and down, as I get SO EXCITED! This typically leads my clients to laugh at me because… I look ridiculous. While they’re laughing, I’m still snapping pictures, which in turn creates even BETTER images, and MORE squealing… it really is a cycle of awesomeness! I have been told that my job and enthusiasm is infectious, and I love that!

I am MOST proud of being able to provide for my family by doing something that I love soooooo very much. I have created a business that means so very much to me, I have clients that have turned friends and have made so many wonderful relationships because of what I love. I’m so very darn lucky!

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
I have had so much help along the way… my family and besties who have supported me from the very beginning (even though they had some very funny and unfortunate names for my business at the very start). I’ve had photography and business mentors here in the Triangle, with Amber Robinson and all of my Mastermind ladies. I also credit a lot of my business and shooting practices from one of my favorite photography companies, Twig and Olive, based out of Wisconsin. They have helped me grow into who I am today, for SURE!

Pricing:

  • Mini Sessions… $299
  • Full Sessions… $450
  • Weddings start at $2400
  • Mitzvahs start at $800

Contact Info:

Image Credits
(headshot of me) is taken by Kathy Howard Portrait. All others taken by me.

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