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Addie Draper

Facebook: @addiejphotography


I was born and raised in a small town in Utah, United States. The landscape  is part desert, and part alpine forest where the pine and quaking aspen trees grow and creeks run through the canyon from the mountaintops, which are covered by a thick layer of snow most of the year. As a young girl, I fell in love with the nature around me because of the beauty of the place. I lived just 10 miles out of town up towards the mountains where neighbors are few and far between. I spent most of my time outdoors, playing in creeks, climbing trees, horseback riding and, star gazing. This is how my love of photography started; I wanted to capture the place I lived in and the memories that came with it. I learned to study light and chase that golden hour as the sun sets over the beautiful open country. 

I grew up in a big family with four siblings and now have several nieces and nephews.  I married the love of my life when I was only 19 years old and we had a baby girl six years later. I soon fell in love with portrait photography. Because I am such a family-oriented person, I wanted to capture families, couples, kids, and brides-to-be to help them hold onto memories. I enjoy working with models from all around Utah to create stunning portraits that show them how truly beautiful they are. I am an all-natural light photographer and have a big love for light and beauty.

Interview

Have you always known you wanted to be a photographer? 

I know that it has always been in me. I have always been intrigued by photographs and studied the light before I knew I would someday live by the light and photographs.

Was there a particular moment when you knew this was what you wanted to do? 

Yes, I was in a sports team during my sophomore year of high school. Our school had a photographer come in to do some shoots. I instantly fell in love and knew it was something I wanted to study more on.

Did you study art/photography formally? 

After graduation I enrolled into a program called NYIP (New York Institute of Photography). It was all done over the mail with cassette tapes of my teacher giving me critiques and lessons. I learned on film for many years, then moved into the digital world. This particular program became outdated. I started leaning more towards online classes, a National Geographic course, webinars, networking with Facebook photography groups, along with hands-on experience.

How long have you been a photographer? 

I started my studies about 14 year ago. I first started out doing landscape for a few years and slowly worked my way into shooting portraits. I went full time into the business about six years ago. 

What do you remember as your first work of art? 

I remember when I first started taking photos, I followed around and took photos of my yellow cat and some roses that were in my apartment complex. I sent them off to my teacher for critiquing. I was pretty proud of those images; although I laugh at them today, it was a step towards my dream.  

How was it growing up, is your family from an artistic background? Did they always encourage you to pursue this passion? 

My dad is an amazing artist. He is always painting, drawing, crafting, and coming up with something creative. My older brother also took photography classes during his high school years so he helped me get started and taught me a few things. Yes they were and still are very encouraging to this day. 

How would you describe your art? 

I like to shoot a variety of things. I'm a big lover of nature, landscape, and waterfalls. I also enjoy capturing the love and connection between families, couples, and the joys of childhood. I have an amazing team of photographers. We get together about twice a year. We create artsy themed shoots and work with beautiful talented models from all around the state.

What themes are you exploring? What does your art say to the world? 

Most of my photos reflect love, connection and beauty. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from? What motivates you to do your art? Who are your influences?  

I follow several photographers from around the world on social media, magazines and documentaries. It keeps me inspired and excited to try new things. My friends that are photographers have also taught me so much and keep me inspired to grow as a photographer. Photography will always be a big part of my life. 

As an artist, is there an ultimate goal / dream you would like to achieve? 

My biggest dream is to share my photography with the world, always enjoy what I'm doing and never make it [feel like] work, and to someday showcase my nature photos in a big art gallery.  I will continue to grow, learn, and always love this journey of life through photography.