Once a camera-touting tourist. Now a card-carrying professional photographer. Armed with a degree in art, architecture and interior design and my brand new Canon EOS Rebel 2000, I set out to study some of Europe’s finest buildings. Years later, I discovered my camera meant much more to me than a way to document a trip. Photography became my passion—and now, my profession.

One camera gave way to more. One lens begged for another. One photo spoke of multiple possibilities. A person was no longer simply a body, but an ensemble of personality, stories and character. An event was an opportunity to chronicle emotion.

I was enraptured with my newfound passion.

For me, each time I look through the lens of my camera, I experience something new. I see unique perspective, angle and composition. I sense tangible chemistry and style, emotion and spirit.

And as my list of satisfied clientele grew, so did my realization that it isn’t the camera I’m in love with after all. It’s people. People that welcome me into their lives, time and time again. My work calendar is full of new names, once unknown to me but now new friends, each sharing stories and memories, expectations and desires. Our time together is like an ongoing conversation between friends. And when I capture their spirit and deliver images that make them smile or cry or say, “Wow, that’s us. That’s really us,” I can’t think of a better way to say, “Thank you for being a part of my life.”

AudreyMichel Photography is a Wedding, Portrait and Event Photographer based out of Denver, Colorado, and is available worldwide.