Roots student portfolio: Audra Bayette


When I think of Audra, I giggle without prompting. She's fun and goofy and lights up a room with her sing-songy happy spirit. She's also one of the most disciplined women I know, dedicated 100% to every slice of life: her house (where she has more garden square footage than she does living room), her family (she left Roots on Friday to scoot home to attend her niece's graduation from camp. How cute is that?), her health (she's dropped serious weight in a very little time, and while at Roots managed to run 3 mornings even with the 4 hours average sleep we all were getting!), photography (Audra recently bit the bullet and is opening a studio!), and her sweet boyfriend Matt.

So while we're on Matt, I've got to explain that he was the one who first approached me about Audra attending the Roots Workshop. An email from February read: "I'm trying to convince my girlfriend to take this workshop. She has been shooting weddings for a couple years and is slowly building a business. Can you please send me a registration form so I can try and twist her arm with it. Thank you." So I replied with some info, and he thanked me, noting: "All I ask is that you please please please don't contact her until she reaches out to you. If she finds out I went behind her back like this neither of us will be seeing her at all this July!!!" Ha. A few weeks later I received a go-ahead response that she had been convinced. What a guy!

Audra's assignment was to cover Four Seas, a Cape Cod institution and one of the country's oldest ice cream parlors. In true Audra style, she was thrilled to bits and couldn't wait to get started. With that classic positive spirit in tact, she endured long hours (and some serious willpower) seeking angles, moments, light and laughter (or not) to tell the story of Four Seas. And each night, she returned home with pints of ice cream to share with all of us. Yum!

In Audra's words:
"The experience changed my life. I look at images differently now. I don’t take pictures now – I make pictures. I look at my relationships with other photographers and people differently. I understand my role better. I know what it is like to be changed and influenced by great people and this was one of those times."

Click here to read more of Audra's moving account of the week on her blog. What she didn't share in her post is that she was also crowned the Roots Workshop '09 Chubby Bunny champ during our Thursday night party, but we'll refrain from sharing the evidence on the blogosphere and leave that imagery up to your imagination. Instead, I'll let you hear a glimpse of her silliness on this voicemail that she and fellow Roots student Christina left yesterday:

And so I present to you the finished product. Enjoy Audra's take on ice cream below! Special thanks to workshop sponsor Triple Scoop Music for providing all of the slideshow tunes!

Roots Workshop: Audra Bayette at Four Seas Ice Cream from emilie sommer on Vimeo.


  1. Awww Emilie! I haven't been this emotional since I left Roots! I can't take much more! I am just going to go back to the house and sit outside until next year!

    Thank you for such a sweet posting and for putting into words how important Matt was to the process:)

  2. Wow Audra - what a story you told - love how the slideshow flows from details to the larger picture to individual customers - really nice job.

  3. Audra,

    The boy with the folded hands, pleading with mom (I assume) is priceless. Really nice going.




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