An elective class in photography during her final semester of college at Southeastern ignited a love for the craft. Mandy Ducote was in the last few months of earning a degree in Marketing with a minor in graphic design when a photography class caught her eye and helped her to see life in a more refreshing way. She learned the old-school way, using film and developing those pictures herself. Already gifted with an eye for composition and design, Mandy’s early photography efforts were admired by family and friends.
She quickly found herself being asked to photograph weddings, parties, and family gatherings until the demand had snowballed into a business. During this time, she found employment using her graphic design and marketing skills. She also soon discovered that she liked and was proficient at writing. However, photography kept tugging away at her heart and it seemed to be her destiny to be a full-time photographer.
She and her husband, Dr. Colten Ducote, settled in Bossier after medical school and extended training brought him to the ArkLaTex Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery group. Being somewhat new to the area, Mandy found herself starting over building a client base as well as her reputation of being a gifted photographer. She understands that to be a good photographer can be as easy as pushing a button. It’s more than getting that “perfect” shot. To be a great photographer, you must find the connection with your subject.
Mandy’s company is Galerie D Photography and she photographs families, graduating seniors, children, and weddings.
“One of the things that I love about photography is the storytelling aspect of it. So many times, when I’ve shot weddings and I’m shooting a father-daughter dance, I’m literally crying behind my camera because I connect with these people so much, ” says Mandy.
She remembers fondly a photography experience she had with the family of a dear friend. It was a multigenerational event – children, parents, grandparents. She recalls taking a shot of the daughter with her 85-year-old father and thinking “this is a legacy moment.” We never know when our loved ones are going to leave us, so capturing those special moments in a photograph becomes extremely important. A single photo can tell a story without speaking one word.
“With digital photography, we’re able to take so many pictures I feel that the value has diminished. People tend to keep them digital instead of printing them out,” she says. Because of this, Mandy has put her graphic design degree to good use and has started designing traditional family albums for clients so that these memories can be more tangible.
Whether telling a story with a snap of the lens or sharing a memory in an album, Mandy believes that a picture not only paints a thousand words, but it also brings people together.