Birgit DeVae

Owner of DeVae Photography

Birgit DeVae, professional photographer and owner of DeVae Photography, is dedicated to capturing life’s most cherished moments through her storytelling approach to photography. With over two decades of experience, Birgit has become a true veteran in her field, driven by her passion for capturing memories that will last a lifetime. In 2019, she launched DeVae Photography, which has since become a widely successful business due to Birgit’s unique and captivating approach to photography. Though based in Darien, IL, Birgit and her team frequently travel to shoot in the Chicagoland area and Madison, WI and now offer travel sessions; making her services accessible to a wide range of clients. With Birgit’s expertise and her team’s attention to detail, DeVae Photography is the perfect choice for all of your photography needs, including events, weddings, and more.

What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?

Being a mom of two boys in all the sports means my schedule is different almost every. My family is my top priority and mom life is my go to. I am intentional in carving out time for DeVae Photography because when I am in creative mode, it takes so much focus and care. Whether it is shooting, editing, or session planning my soul is intertwined in all that I do so I don’t want to be or feel rushed.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Many of my clients for DeVae Photography are open to my ideas regarding location and styling and I love to work together as a team to bring their vision as well as my creativity to life! I also constantly have creative ideas and regularly do fun shoots just for me to make sure I am pushing my boundaries with creativity, learning new things, and keeping my mind engaged.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I now include a highlight video with every session with DeVae Photography. Diving into video has opened up a whole new world of storytelling for me. My main focus is in photography but some details just come to life in a whole new way through video! My goal is to tell stories, so being able to use multiple mediums means I can do that more completely.

What is one habit that helps you be productive?

I am always excited to create. Photography doesn’t feel like a job to me. I wake up every day and get so excited to make magic with DeVae Photography.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be true to yourself! Be confident in your own vision, skill, and art.

Tell us something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?

The perfect photo to me is in the absence of perfection. Whether that be with hair blowing all around, through an embrace comforting a child after a tearful moment, or in those moments of chaos that is the reality of life… that is what is real and where the true moments of magic lie!

What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?

Shoot personal work just for you! It can be easy to get stuck in a rut and feel like you are losing your creative ideas. Find new ideas, come up with crazy new concepts and shoot them! Whether or not they work or turn out how you thought doesn’t matter. Giving yourself the ability to, without pressure, just create can open so many avenues you would never have encountered before.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

When I am feeling overwhelmed, which happens more than I like to admit, I just take things one step at a time. I keep a very open dialogue with my clients and am sure to communicate if galleries will be a few days late, etc. as soon as possible. I do not want to rush through my editing or process because it means the end result will be lacking.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?

I try to be true to myself and focus on how my work feeds my soul. It is so easy in this industry to feel imposter syndrome or get defeated when your work doesn’t get the attention you feel it should. I try not to worry about that… I post what makes calls to my heart, what makes me feel, and I think people can see that difference. DeVae Photography is not about a quick snap for a Christmas card, it is about capturing the essence and beautiful chaos that is real life. It is about documenting all those little details that down the road you will want to remember, and making them last forever.

What is one failure in your career,  how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?

When I first started photography I was simply trying to replicate work from people I looked up to. It wasn’t until I started trusting my own vision and art that I really fell in love with what I do.

What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Find and focus on your niche area, but don’t be afraid of exploring other areas. I used to shoot any kind of session, event, etc. DeVae Photography now focuses on families, couples, and weddings but I also allow myself to take on other work sometimes to keep engaged and fresh.

What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I love using the app SCRL to make carousel posts for instagram. It allows me to be artful in my image presentation and adds a fun element to creating and viewing posts!

Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?

I love the How I Built This podcast. They interview different founders about how they began and created their companies. I love learning about what drives people and how they were able to turn their passion and yearning into something big!

What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?

I am a sucker for action movies and just watched every Fast and Furious movie and can’t wait for the new one! 😉

Key learnings

  • Stay true to your art, your vision
  • Allow yourself to be creative make time for personal projects that will feed your soul and mind
  • Keep the excitement! If what you are doing becomes something you dread instead of look forward to doing, change it!