This week we are featuring the stunning photography and sweet jewelry created by Ann Widner of Little Visions! Check out her story:
“My life has been entwined with the art of photography since childhood. My favorite aunt, Ann Becker, kindly and patiently taught me how to use her 35 mm camera while we traveled to Siegburg, Germany to visit my Grandma Becker’s homeland. We toured Europe for six weeks, my least favorite spot being Beethoven’s house, where I took a picture of the composer’s piano. A large, German security guard suddenly loomed over me, a skinny little American kid, and shouted “Achtung!” I think I cried the rest of the day.
For the next two years, I saved all of my babysitting earnings, and finally, the summer before eighth grade, I went with my aunt and mom and purchased my first 35 mm camera, a Minolta XG1, just like the one my aunt had. I shot rolls and rolls of film all summer long, and relatives quickly became annoyed, whispering, “Here comes Annie with her camera, again!” In high school, at Cor Jesu Academy, I met Sr. Jude.She quickly realized I had talent and drafted me to be the youngest yearbook photographer thus far. I spent many hours after school working in that small, fume-filled darkroom, developing film and printing pictures. I adored every minute of it! I attended Webster University and majored in Media Communications with an emphasis in photography. I kept learning and growing and honing my skills, meeting many nurturing people along the way, including my photojournalism teacher. He was another one who recognized that truly “seeing” is an integral part of who I am.
After graduating, I did a three-week stint at a local department store portrait studio. It was a disaster!
Finally, after many other adventures and lots of ups and downs, but always with the very best of friends and family surrounding me and encouraging me, I began Appel-Tree Photographics. (Appelbaum, meaning “apple tree”, being my maiden name.) I met so many wonderful and interesting people, and I learned and grew so much during the eight years I ran my photo business.
Fast forward to 2008…
My favorite cousin, Susan, showed me a bracelet that she had gotten from Mexico with images of the Virgin Mary on it. She suggested that I turn my photos into jewelry. I did some research and experimented with various mediums and techniques and failed and tried again and failed and tried again and failed and tried again. (I settled on using epoxy resin in my jewelry making, and perfecting that process really tried my patience.) But each time I failed, I reminded myself that I was one step closer to succeeding.
And so was born my business, Little Visions Photo & Jewelry Art. I love taking pictures, especially since my work seems to make people really happy, which is one of the most important things that art & craft can do!! I cherish beauty, especially found in the little things of life. Sharing these Little Visions is my mission and ministry.”