Julianne Branca is a freshman at the University of Minnesota, majoring in industrial systems engineering, but last year, when she entered the Picture Plymouth contest, she lived at home with her mom Emilie, dad Denny and sister Elena (older sister Ellie is also a student at the U). Also residing in Plymouth: the subject of her award-winning image, Cooper, and the family cat, Leo. The Brancas have called the city home since 2001.
What is your favorite part about Plymouth?
I find the city especially great because there are lakes to explore. I spend time at Medicine Lake and the trails around it all seasons of the year. I like to swim in the summer and walk on the ice in the winter.
How long have you been taking photos?
Actually, I’m not a photographer by any means; photography, however, always has intrigued me. I really enjoy looking at photography, and I love taking pictures of things just for the fun of it. So I guess one could say I’ve been doing amateur photography my entire life.
Why did you happen to have your camera with you on this day?
I took the photo because I saw my dog napping on the kitchen floor and thought I might get a nice photo from it.
What inspired the image?
My dog, of course; it was such a rarity that he cooperated so well. It felt like the first time I was able to successfully capture a picture of my dog.
What inspires much of your photography?
If I find something beautiful, it’s hard to keep me from wanting to capture it. My favorite pictures are those that are simple: the day-to-day pictures. Often I think the best pictures are taken when least expected.
Where is your local “secret spot” for photography?
It wouldn’t be a secret if I shared!
"Cooper Relaxing" earned first place in the Pets category of 2013’s Picture Plymouth. Check out this page next month for a selection from the winners of the 2014 photo contest.