About Axie

Axie Breen

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 realized I could 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, seeking out mentors, and making lots of portraits!


I studied at the New England School of Photography in Boston/Waltham. I also have a BFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and have been a graphic designer for years. So telling stories with images and words is familiar territory. Plus, design work has  immersed me in good and bad photography for various projects, and that has made me opinionated about what’s fun, boring, entrancing, effective in a photo. This visual communication and client collaboration experience  brings extra insight to my photography. I really work with people to create the kinds of images they were hoping for.


I’m a transplant from Illinois and  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 with a few organizations including the Boston Athletic Association, Wellesley Chamber Players, and JFS of MetroWest. I’m married and the mom of two fine young men.

Axie Breen photographing subject with OCF in Dover MA.
A late fall portrait session in Dover, Massachusetts, taking advantage of the setting sun.