Just call me Deb. Sure, I’ll answer to Deborah, too. (That’s a bit formal though as soon as you get to know me – even a little.)
I was born in Watford City, North Dakota. There, as a tiny baby (I happen to believe), I fell in love with the big sky, wide open, wind-in-your-face, raw landscape kinds of places. As a child, I was determined to not wear shoes – no matter the weather. I was often in the way of my 3 older siblings, even when they adored me, and I loved my cats – and animals in general. My parents nurtured my wanderlust and I have always been a seeker, a dreamer, and an “outdoor girl” with a desire to do good things in the world and find the best in people.
My passion for photography began over thirty years ago when I purchased my first camera with a high school art scholarship (let the adventures begin). I spent about fifteen years in a content, mobile lifestyle, primarily working as an outdoor educator for the National Outdoor Leadership School, traveling domestically and abroad. In due time, I earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.
For the past twenty-two years, I have made my home in rural Ely, Minnesota, a unique area, where I find endless visual inspiration from the stunning northwoods environment in all times of year. Known by many as “The End of the Road”, Ely, MN is also the central gateway to the beautiful Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and has a way of attracting independent-minded and creative people – I have photographed many of them.
As a child, my dad nicknamed me “The Do-er” because I was always such a busy little girl with all sorts of projects and pursuits. Little has changed through the years, and it is this drive that fuels my adventure and goal-seeking personality. Be it photographing people, running a business, Nordic ski racing, running or wilderness travel, I love to set benchmarks and work hard to achieve them. One such goal was realized in January of 2007 when I opened my Gallery & Portrait Studio in Ely.
My photographic style is also my personal style. It all starts with my three word mantra: honesty, integrity, listening. When I am invited to photograph you, your extended family, or your children, I consider it an honor.
I am a bit reserved person and still appreciate good humor and laughter. I have learned that my calm and patient demeanor opens the door to listening and learning about you. My goal is always to:
- Acknowledge the uniqueness of each person I photograph
- Discover the nuances and expressions that make each person special
- Capture that essence in a treasured piece of portrait art