About Axie

Business portrait Axie Breen photography

Audry Hepburn vintage ad



When I was a little kid hanging out at my aunt’s beauty salon, flipping through the fashion magazines, I was entranced by the gorgeous black and white portraits in a certain ad campaign– celebrities wrapped in black, photographed by Richard Avedon. Their faces– so luminous and dramatic!

I also recall studying photos of my grandparents as young people and and thinking how much more intriguing and timeless those vintage portraits seemed, compared to the snapshots of my own time. (See portrait of Rev. C. C. Breen, c. 1906, left.)

Much later, I decided I could learn to make my own sort of simple, timeless portraits. I started with those dramatic black and whites of my own family, and eventually started assembling a photography studio, taking classes at the New England School of Photography in Boston, seeking out mentors and making lots of portraits!



I have a BFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and have been a graphic designer for many years. That is, telling stories with words and pictures is my game. I’ve been immersed in good and bad photography for design projects, and that has made me discerning (picky!) about what’s fun, boring, entrancing, effective in a photo. My design background of visual experience plus client collaboration brings extra insight to my photography.



I’m a transplant from Illinois (I lived in Charleston, Shorewood, Champaign and Chicago), and now have made a home in Needham, Massachusetts. In my spare time, I teach tai chi at YMAABoston, I sing with Chorus pro Musica in Boston, and I dance at Moody Street Circus. I volunteer my skills at a few places including JFS of MetroWest. I’m married and the mom of two fine young men.

Rural portrait, Axie Breen
On a visit to my home town, Charleston, Illinois. Yes, Illinois is as flat as you've heard. iPad photo: Marilyn Cook