She was just a kid when her mom gifted her a little Kodak for Christmas. After that Aimee Giese said she was lucky to learn the ropes early on in high school thanks to photo classes and time in the darkroom. So she knew early on that when push came to shove, a career in photography was going to be it. That’s not all she does though, oh no. This mother, wife and photographer is also a web developer, graphic designer and a blogger. So I considered myself lucky that she found some time in her busy schedule to share about her time with photography; what it’s like to get that perfect shot, the ownership of a photo and more. Plus, she makes one hell of a playlist and throughout you’ll hear some of the songs that mean a lot to her.
Kendra: You wear a lot of hats in terms of careers. Knowing how busy that can make a person, what advice do you have when it comes to juggling a million and one tasks throughout the day?
Aimee: It’s all about organization and prioritization. Sometimes I just sit at my desk, overwhelmed and I have to make a list for what to do the next hour! That’s only when it gets really bad. In general, I make great use of online and shared calendars, lists documents and spreadsheets.
Kendra: Back to photography now. What significant changes have you noticed in your style over the years?
Aimee: Obviously digital photography changed everything, especially for me. A professor in college always used to say that if you get one good shot from a roll of film you are doing well. Which makes you feel better about your art – but it gets expensive! Now I can experiment a lot more in camera because I am not worrying about wasting film. In the past few years, my photos have settled into basically three styles: black and white, colorful or a retro sheen, and I usually edit them into one of those three ways depending on the feeling, composition and exposure of the shot.
Kendra: Did becoming a wife and a mother change your outlook on photography at all?
Aimee: My son was born right as digital technology boomed so it was a bit of a crossroads that I really started getting back into portraiture at that time. It started with taking a million photos of him, then friends, then clients. Also, his elementary school has an annual rock concert fundraiser that I ran for five years, so that is really how I started in concert photography. I met local bands, started shooting them and built my portfolio from there.
Kendra: There are people out there that like to take things and not give credit where credit’s due. How important is it to you, and other photographers, for people to not just steal pictures like that?
Aimee: Very important. Most people don’t understand that whoever snaps the shot is the copyright owner. For example, if I handed you my camera and you took a photo that then became famous, you would own that photo technically. Then there are rules about editorial versus commercial use and model releases in each case…but it just comes down to the golden rule for me. Be nice! Just because we have easy access via the internet to photos doesn’t mean they are anyone’s to take and use.
Kendra: Based out in Denver, what do you feel the most picturesque place is out there besides the mountains?
Aimee: I live close to downtown, and believe it or not I do not ski. So, while OF COURSE the mountains are gorgeous and while I love living near them, I don’t get up there very often. Denver, the city itself, is beautiful and has so many adorable little neighborhoods. Right now, though, I am loving the street art revolution that is happening on the north and west side of Denver – it’s pretty stunning.
Aimee: It’s so funny you ask this. There is a concert photographer named Chris Owyoung who I greatly admire and he recently tweeted this funny gif of someone falling back from the computer, snapping their fingers and making a crazy OMG face. He titled it, “when you see THE portfolio shot.” That’s how you feel.