RaNae Ellett

RaNae Ellett


My name is RaNae Ellett. I am now a 64-year-old DMACC Photography student at the Ankeny campus. After high school, I got married and raised my family. After my two children attended Buena Vista University and graduated, I decided it was now my turn to go to college. So, at 63 years of age, I applied to and was accepted into the DMACC Basic Certificate Photography program, and I began college on January 9, 2023.

This is one of the best things I have ever done for myself! I was encouraged by so many people, and I am extremely happy with this decision. I have learned so much from my instructors, Jake Sternquist, Richard Alvarenga-Lopez, and David K. Purdy to date. I have one more class to finish for this certificate, and I have decided to continue on for the Advanced Certificate.

I love shooting sunrise/sunset photos, landscapes, and nature. However, I had occasion to do a family photo shoot and truly enjoyed working with them. It felt very natural. I also did a photo shoot with each of my three grandchildren, and I enjoyed the give and take and giving them direction with their poses. Young people are very easy to work with, so I have added family photos and senior photos/young people to my repertoire.

And the family photos I took? Those folks are now engaged and getting married, and they have asked me to do their wedding shoot. I’m hoping I’ll enjoy shooting weddings and can add that to the list of what I can do.

My photos have improved drastically from January 2023 to the present, and I am extremely pleased and proud of my portfolio and all the pieces that were required for our final and Portfolio Day. I’m proud to be a part of this special day.