Photographer and activist
Anne Schmidt’s job is to capture and document the most important moments of peoples’ lives – and in the process, she gets to keep a lot of great memories for herself, too.
“As human beings, we live our lives through the telling of history and our memories,” said Schmidt, who runs an eponymous photography studio in Bangor specializing in wedding photography and family portraits. “Photographs are one of the ways that we remember all the things that happened through out our life. It is an incredibly huge responsibility and one that I take very seriously.”
Thorndike native Schmidt, who has a master’s degree in higher education, started her photography business after working for a number of years in higher education student affairs, including at Maine Maritime Academy and Husson University. Although she highly enjoyed that work, her entrepreneurial streak finally surfaced.
And as of July, photography has been her full-time job (in addition, of course, to being a mom to 18-month-old Olivia and wife to husband Joshua).
“I knew that I was meant to be my own boss someday,” she said. “Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, too, but I needed a creative outlet, and photography was it for me.”
The demands of motherhood and running a small business make for a busy schedule, she acknowledged – but, still, she’s found time to volunteer with both Fusion: Bangor and Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center, formerly serving on the latter’s board for several years.
“I am a staunch supporter of women’s reproductive rights and choices,” she said of her work with the women’s health center.
Initially, she was one of just two women under 30 involved. Since then, “the board has attracted many more young women who are fearless about their beliefs and want to be part of a great organization like this one.”
Meanwhile, Fusion is a networking organization for young professionals in the Bangor area, and Schmidt serves as a member of its steering committee. The group conducts volunteer efforts in downtown neighborhoods, holds social events and runs a monthly speaker series.
“Bangor, and especially downtown, is going through an amazing rebirth right now,” Schmidt said. “My community means a lot to me. This is where my daughter is going to grow up, and I want her to have an amazing, vibrant, safe community to learn and play in.”
Still, the self-professed “a little shy” photographer recognizes that there’s work yet to be done, ultimately holding a measured view of her accomplishments so far.
“I do think that as a whole, the organizations that I choose to be a part of are making a difference to the people of my community,” she says. “But it isn’t something you can measure overnight. You can only hope that the good you do now will pay off, and you’ll see the results down the road.”