Welcome to my portfolio! My name is Gabrielle Bremer and I am from a small town in northern Minnesota. My passion for photography started at 12-years-old when I went to the county fair and saw all of the pretty pictures in the 4-H barn. From then on, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. So, I went home, got my cheap point-n-shoot camera, a couple of friends, and started shooting. The posing was wrong, the lighting was horrid, and the pictures were just terrible. However, I stuck with it and got my first camera for Christmas that year. My Sony NEX-F3 was the perfect starter camera for a teenager and it helped me hon my craft.
One of the first photos, taken late 2012.
The next year, at the county fair, it was my turn to enter my photos in to open class. To my surprise, I won Premier Exhibitor, grand Junior Champion, and a plethora of blue ribbons. It was the confidence booster I needed as a teenager to prove to myself that I was good at something. I went on to photograph, enter, and win ribbons at the county and state level. In 2014 (my ninth grade year), I entered an independent study with the art teach who introduced me to an international photo competition by Photographer’s Forum. I entered a couple photos and on of them was a finalist out of thousands of photos. Since then, I have entered photos in the Forum’s fall and spring competitions and have been a finalist in all of them.
First year as Grand Junior Champion and Premier Exhibitor (2013)
After taking home my winnings at the first county fair, I decided to start my own Facebook page to get my work out there and getting paid to take pictures for people. Most of my followers were my friends at first and then my parents friends. Eventually, I gained a following and stated having friends of friends contact me for photo sessions. When I started expanding my portfolio, I started getting different kinds of clients, other than high school seniors. I photographed my first wedding at sixteen, which is an immense amount of pressure to make someones special day memorable when they look back on their pictures.
Click on the image to go to my Facebook page
After Photographer’s Forum, I started looking for other photo sharing websites and contests to showcase my work. National Geographic Kids was a great place to start because the community was very positive and uplifting for new photographers. The organization partnered with (at the time) Vice President Joe Biden to promote young artists work. All photos chosen were displayed for one month inside the Vice Presidents house and I was only the lucky ones whose photo was chosen. After having my work displayed in Joe Bidens house, National Geographic Kids published a photo of mine in their July/July 2016 issue. This was a huge point in my photography career because I was recognized by the National Geographic community. By then, it was a huge dream (and still is) to become a photojournalist/journalist for National Geographic.
Image published in National Geographic Kids
The summer before my senior year of high school, I was on a personal mission at the Minnesota State Fair to write about the atmosphere, food, and events. While there, I was looking to capture a romantic image of a couple on the Sky Ride. Instead, I took an image of a very tired, young looking couple. Finding it hilarious, I posted the picture in the Minnesota Photography Club on Facebook, something a lot of people do when they capture funny ones. Well, the photo blew up on the internet overnight and when I woke up the next morning, someone had taken the photo and posted it on Reddit and Imgur. This photo had accumulated over 30,000 views in one night and even became part of the Photoshop Battles on Reddit. At first, I thought it was really cool, my friends thought I was a “meme god”. Then it started to gain traction on larger social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. People started making memes out of this photo and many news organizations put out a call to find the photographer, me. A couple friends told me they saw this image on Good Morning America and the Daily Mail. While this was all pretty cool, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the couple. Their faces were plastered all over the internet and some of the comments were less than appropriate. One of the good things about the Internet, things lose momentum quickly. Now, I look back and laugh about how big it was, and every once in awhile a meme with the picture will pop up.
“Bored Millennial Couple”
In my sophomore year of high school (2015), my aunt took me on a trip to Italy and it was here I realized my love for travel. What made it even better was that my photography and travel paired nicely together. The next year she took me to Spain and then the year after that it was Belgium and the Netherlands. My aunt encouraged me to take a trip of my own the summer after I graduated high school. After a lot of convincing and planning (I even made a PowerPoint presentation), my high school friend and I were on a plane to Brussels, Belgium. We were on our own for two months and ten countries. People tell us we were pretty brave and I think we were too. We both made it back in one piece without anything being lost or stolen. The thing that I always tell people is that traveling isn’t hard once you’re use to it. Even structure can be found when traveling. One year after the big adventure, I was off to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco… by myself. I don’t think I had ever been so scared to do something as I was boarding the plane that would take me across the ocean. Once landing in Porto, Portugal, and after freshening up and grabbing a coffee, I realized there wasn’t anything to be concerned about. My first solo trip gave me confidence and a new level of independence.
Before the adventure
After a summer of gallivanting (as my parents call it) around Europe, I started school at American University in Washington D.C. I quickly realized college is not that hard (at least not yet) and I like the freedom to be my own person in the big city. As of now, I’m majoring in journalism and minoring in graphic design, creative writing, and religious studies (overachiever, right?). Being in a city like D.C. gives me access to all of the protests, city events, and culture a photographer could ever ask for. I feel that since leaving home, my growth as a photographer and aspiring journalist has grown exponentially. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time in D.C. will bring me and where I head next.
“Gabrielle, your passion for photography is awe-inspiring. The Admissions Committee is excited by your level of commitment and exemplary record of sustained achievement.”
At the start of my sophomore year, I scored my first internship at the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. It’s a non-profit, faith based, organization that brings together 11 faith traditions in the D.C. area. I was their communications and publicity intern and worked on designing social media graphics, flyers, brochures, and I even started my own video project. Overall, I enjoyed my semester working at a small non-profit and doing work that I thought was meaningful. Next semester I’m off to study abroad in Rome.
To be continued…