Aspiring photographer takes leap of faith


“I don’t care what people think,” said Aubrie Coley, third-year Chico State student. “I know I’ll be happy.”

What began as a mere hobby has blossomed into a life long relationship with photography. Coley has always enjoyed taking pictures of friends, nature and essentially anything she found aesthetically pleasing.

“I always had a certain eye for aesthetics and I liked taking pictures, but I never thought of seriously pursuing photography as a career,” Coley said.

Upon entering college, Coley was swayed to study something that would guarantee her a stable and promising job. For the past two years, she has been studying and training to become a teacher, but one day something clicked.

“I took Draper’s introduction to photography class and learned a bit about him as a photographer. I thought to myself, why can’t I make this my career too?” Coley gushed.


Coley then changed her major to “media, arts, design and technology” and declared a photography minor.

“At first I was scared I wouldn’t be good enough,” she said. “But I loved photography and this class so much. I didn’t know I was passionate about it until I focused all my energy on it.”

Coley occasionally shoots weddings and local people, but what sets her apart from the rest is her cozy, nostalgic style and her innate ability to allow her subjects to feel comfortable and most like themselves.

“Aubrie has this way of bringing to peace to other people,” said Paul Cooper, friend of Coley.

This trait is evident in the way her subjects appear at ease in their photos. What is so indicative of her photography as well, is her simplistic use of warm color palettes and soft light which brings this sense of comfort and earthiness


“I am constantly thinking about special moments. I want to capture them and make someone feel how I felt in that moment. I am inspired by my passion for people and I want to make them feel good about themselves,” Coley said.

While Coley is driven by her desire to make others feel good, photography also serves as a form of therapy for her. The act of shooting helps her practice presence by forcing her to observe the beauty in front of her. Like anyone, she is drawn to what she believes is beautiful. But what makes her different is her talent to capture beauty as well as her emotion behind it.

“I’m inspired by the kind of person Jesus was and because of Him, I am kind and patient with others, and this has also made me a more observant person,” Coley said. “I encourage everyone to find something that moves you and put your whole heart into it.”

Aubrie’s perceptions of the world can be seen through her work. Her kindness and patience is palpable. She brings human connections to the forefront of a disconnected world.

You can see more of Coley’s work on Instagram and her website.

Anisha Brady can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.