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Check Out Gaby Deimeke’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gaby Deimeke.

Hi Gaby, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
It’s a funny story of how I got started in photography. When I was around twelve years old, my mom gave me her old point and shoot camera to take to a concert. But instead of taking pictures of the band, I shot my first portrait. I’ll never forget the moment. I turned around, and there was a girl with a sunhat with colored beads on her head, and she was wearing a lavender tank top to match. She had her head turned and was looking off in the distance. Almost instinctively, I put the camera to my eye and clicked the button. And just like that, I snapped my first portrait. I looked down at the shot in awe. I didn’t even have the terminology yet to understand that was a portrait of her face I had taken, but I knew it was something important. I looked up at my mom and showed her the photo. I waited to gauge her reaction. Her eyes got wide and her mouth turned into a frown. “Gaby!” she exclaimed, “You can’t take pictures of strangers!” Nevertheless, I kept taking pictures until my parents finally agreed that it wasn’t just a phase. I took my camera absolutely everywhere I went: basketball practice in elementary school, a summer camp in high school, college parties, and then to London for grad school. And here we are almost twelve years later, and I’m so lucky to get to do the whole camera thing as my career. Every day I wake up and get so excited because I have the best job in the entire world. Photography has been one of the most challenging and exciting creative endeavors so far in my life, and I’m so grateful for it.

I majored in photography and minored in Studio Art at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and while there, I studied abroad in London at Regent’s University for a semester. After discovering Europe and getting a taste of the cultures out there, I knew she had to find a way to go back. So, in the fall of 2016, I packed a few suitcases and moved to London to study fashion photography at the London College of Fashion, making sure to take plenty of weekend trips to Paris, Greece, and Italy. After two years in London and the most incredible memories made, I graduated with a Master’s degree and set my eyes on a new adventure: New York City.

While I was freelancing in NYC, the idea for a new photo series came to me. It was a portrait project focused on interviewing and photographing female business owners who were doing their thing, regardless of the outside option. This project became the #BadassWomenNYC photo series, and after two years of collecting stories and portraits of these women, I held a gallery show in March of 55 portraits in Brooklyn, and it was a hit! A week later, Covid hit NYC, and every photo job I had booked for the entire year got canceled within about a week. So I made the tough call to pack up my stuff and move back in with my parents. I spent the summer quarantining on their farm in Missouri, and then in the fall, my partner and I moved to Austin to start a new adventure here! And I’m so glad I did because the creative community here is wonderful. I’m also continuing my Badass Women series, and when I’m not photographing weddings or portraits, I’m currently working on photographing 50 more portraits of female founders for the #BadassWomenATX project. I hope to have a gallery show of the images in early 2022.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Ha, no way. There have been so many challenging moments, from moving to NYC without knowing one person to figure out how to pivot when Covid canceled all my shoots. For me, it’s been helpful to try to keep the mindset of 1) staying calm when problems arise and 2) switching your brain from stressing about the problem to figuring out how to solve the problem. My partner and I like to say that problems are just puzzles because when you think about it like that, it’s not so hard to find a solution.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a commercial photographer. My favorite style of photography is portraiture and the exciting challenge of using photography as a medium to capture the likeness and personality of those around me. I have a variety of areas of expertise within photography, including food photography, concert and music festival photography, and wedding photography. But at the end of the day, I like photographing people. I’m really proud of my Badass Women series. Being a feminist and advocating and uplifting women is really important to me, so to get to show so many women how amazing they are through photographing them has been a real treat. I hope to one day expand the series to many more cities (maybe one day London!)

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
A lot of people ask me what my favorite lenses are for photography. My go-to lenses are either the 50mm 1.4 prime lenses for portraits, or the 35mm prime lens for wider shots and travel. You really can’t go wrong with those lenses. They are so versatile. In terms of books, I recommend everyone to read Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Impact by Christen Brandt and Tammy Tibbetts. They are all written by strong women, and especially books like Big Magic and Impact show you ways to use your creative energy to make the world a better place, which is what I’m trying to do.

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Image Credits
Gaby Deimeke

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