People often ask me how long I have been a photographer. The answer is, “All of my life”. My father was a professional photographer in Los Angeles, and later moved our family to Austin to open his studio on Mesa in Northwest Hills. As long as I can recall, I remember him posing patrons and turning them into works of art with his camera. As a child, inspired by this magical transformation of people into masterpieces, I began to use my little "Kodak Brownie" camera to capture people’s essence. As an adult, I founded “Aimage” as my own fully digital photography studio. As I look back, the path to the present has been filled with diverse and enriching experiences.
In high school I became an active photojournalist and went to skid row in Los Angeles to document the destitute men and women living on the streets. As I photographed the people on the LA streets I seemed to have captured their spirits as well, which earned me a photographic scholarship award from Bank of America.
Upon graduation I entered San Jose State University, majoring in graphic design and photography. It was there that I learned my trade and became the first President of The Women Artists of San Jose. I developed programs with the San Jose Museum of Art, and later placed my work in the San Francisco Museum of Art, which became a world-wide traveling works art exhibit. After briefly work with advertising agencies in San Francisco I lived in Italy for two years, traveling and photographing the people of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Egypt, and Israel.
Upon my return, I took my Father's offer to join him in his work at the Austin studios. After he passed away, I opened my own photographic business and from that day I have been photographing weddings almost every weekend, as well as producing all forms of portraiture, convention coverage, and product photography. My company, Aimage, was formally incorporated in 1999 as a fully digital studio with on-location capabilities. My family business includes my husband Don Shepard and sons, now spanning generations. Our beautiful artwork and award winning photographs have been featured at many Austin venues as well as in contemporary publications such as People Magazine, Cowboys and Indians Magazine, Knot Weddings, Southern Bride, Glamour Magazine and Tribeza Magazine.
What intrigues me most about being a photographer are not only the journalistic roots from which I began, but the expansion of this love to include light, shape, form, emotion, and spirit to enhance, and beautify my patrons. It is in the beautification of my subjects that I thrive. I love the challenge, the mastery, and the privilege of it all. And though it is all created in a moment of time, it is timeless. I have had the honor to photograph generations of families, their love for life and for each other and to preserve these images for those generations who have yet to arrive.
My husband Don and I both shoot with Canon 5D Mark II cameras presently, and employ a variety of lights and lenses both in the studio and on location. My favorite lenses include my Canon EF 135 mm 1:2 lens, a Canon fisheye EF 8-15mm 1.4 zoom lens and my trustee Canon EF 24-105. Don's favorite lenses are the Canon EF 70-200 and the Canon EF 24-105. Specialty lenses include a Canon EF 100mm 1:2.8 lens (for food shots) and a Canon EF 85mm 1:1.2 lens (for certain portraiture). Our studio lighting is a mix of Showtime spider lights and Novatron 300 flash units, suspened from the ceiling on light racks as well as on tripods throughout the shooting room. As you can see from the picture on this page, we have an "Infinity" wall or "Cyc" (Cyclorama) wall which includes white, black and green screen finishes. But my favorite new gadget is my video light, a small rechargeable LED unit that allows me to get great focusing and fill exposure in very dark or very hard to light (like spiral staircases) locations.
Aimage studio has participated in the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Wedding and Portrait Professionals (WPPI) and various chambers of commerce throughout Texas. Aimage has participated and taught photography at numerous other seminars, high school photography courses, and venues. I also taught Art at the Texas School for the Deaf for a time (I sign).
Aimage is highly recommended and referred at the Austin Convention Bureau as well as numerous Austin Venues including but not limited to:
Villa Antonia, Nature's Point,
Star Hill Ranch, The Mansion at Judges Hill, Kindred Oaks,
The Hyatt at Lost Pines, The Downtown Hyatt, The Four Seasons Hotel, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, One World Theater, The Driskill Hotel, The Omni Hotel, The Hilton Hotel, Lakeway Inn, and many other business establishments, synagogues and churches throughout the Austin area.
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