Following her dream behind the lens

Herald/DAVID MORRIS - Birgitta Riley, of Killeen, will be the featured artist of the month during the May First Friday, Art after Dark, at Frames and Things in Copperas Cove.

By Iuliana Petre

Killeen Daily Herald

Birgitta Riley's passion for photography is an undying one.

A successful photographer of seven years, photography was a hobby Riley was curious about all her life.

Riley signed up for a beginner's photography course at Central Texas College. Three semesters and three classes later, she was hooked.

"With photography you always get something new. If you were to set up a camera on a tripod in one spot and shoot a photo every day for 365 days, you'd get a different image every day," Riley said.

Although she now works as a photographer for AWC Photographs in Killeen, Riley has also owned and operated her own studio for three years – "All About Images" where she specializes in wedding photography – she has never stopped shooting photographs for fun.

Many of Riley's artistic photographs are infrared images or black-and-white landscapes.

"She's an absolute nature lover," said Monica Weidinger, a co-owner of Frames and Things in Copperas Cove, about Riley's photographs. "She captures beauty and lighting in a forest so well. And although she shoots color photographs, most everything I've seen is black and white or infrared and that gives her images a mystical look."

This year alone Riley entered several of her pieces into two art competitions and placed within the top three each time. Riley took first and third place this month in the Killeen Civic Art Guild's Spring Art Competition. Riley took first and second place last month in the Barclay Visual Arts Competition & Protege Exhibition at the Azalee Marshall Cultural Activities Center in Temple. Riley's photographs were also displayed in the gallery of the Mayborn Planetarium and Space Theater.

But, winning and making money aren't everything to Riley, who said that being a photographer is a dream come true.

"I love to go out and take pictures at 2 a.m. of the perfect sunrise or in the evening of the perfect sunset. It makes me truly happy," Riley said. "Everyone should have a hobby like this. It's not about money but keeping myself busy and having fun. I'm just recording a part of our history."

Inspired by other artists and photographers, Riley uses her inspiration as fuel for the next time she shoots photographs.

"I think for people who appreciate nature and contemporary art, Riley's are not just your normal pretty pictures, hers have a contemporary flair to them," Weidinger said. "Her photographs remind me of Ansel Adams because of their mystical quality; they draw you in and you can't stop staring into them. She has absolutely fabulous perspective."

Contact Iuliana Petre at or (254) 501-7469.

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