Student Entrepreneur Senior Alecia Lindsay Pursues Photography Passion

James Kennedy

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Photo by Felt

Most college-level photographers aspiring to make money off of professional portraits have been interested in a photography career for many years. Senior Alecia Lindsay, however, only needed a  spontaneous burst of passion.

Lindsay came to Whitman College aspiring to major in economics, but that dream quickly turned sour.

“I came to Whitman and thought I was going to be an economics major, so I took a few classes, and hated it more than anything ever,” said Lindsay. “My whole world fell apart.”

Panicking that there was nothing practical she could major in, Lindsay turned to the possibility of majoring in art or music. Just like economics, music failed to work out, but Lindsay saw a glimmer of hope in art.

“I waited as long as possible to declare, and I decided to go with art only because I felt like I was going to die in my other music classes,” said Lindsay.

Up until she declared her major, Lindsay had not only taken no photography classes, but she also had no real interest in photography to begin with. Against all odds, Lindsay became an art major.

“In that moment, I also had to decide what my area of interest would be, so without having taken any art classes, I had to decide that I was an art major and also that I was going to specialize in photography without having taken any photography classes,” said Lindsay.

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Photo by Alecia Lindsay

After taking Beginning Photography, Lindsay had to take her second semester of photography as an independent study. With this newfound independence in her photography, Lindsay began to find her passion.

“I started taking pictures of people, but I was like, ‘I don’t really know how to do this.’ I tried it out and I loved it, and I didn’t take pictures of anything else the entire semester,” she said.

During her independent study, people began to approach Lindsay to take portraits for them by commission. Seeing an opportunity, Lindsay jumped at the chance to make a career for herself.

“I saw my photos going in a fashion or commercial direction,” said Lindsay. “The moment that a door opened, I just got so excited about it.”

Lindsay offers photo sessions for family portraits, engagement photos, baby photos, individual portraits, pet portraits and beauty photos. Prices  are determined on a person-by-person basis, and Lindsay is open for other requests.

Photo by Felt

Since she began offering her portrait skills as a service, Lindsay has branched out in more artistic directions by using Photoshop to push the limits of reality.

“Portrait photography isn’t always accepted as an art,” said Lindsay. “I also do more artistic stuff, more along the lines of fairy tales and surreal pictures.”

While Lindsay knows several other students in the Whitman art community who enjoy taking portraits, she doesn’t know anyone else who offers photography services. With some professional experience under her belt, Lindsay plans to delve into the world of wedding photography starting this summer, taking inspiration from her own wedding during spring break of 2013.

“I’d like to get some more experience before I just dive into weddings, because if something goes wrong, there’s no fixing it,” said Lindsay.

Currently, Lindsay is holding a giveaway on her Facebook page to get her name out. The giveaway is particularly focused on the female body.

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Photo by Alecia Lindsay

“It’s particularly to promote positive female body image, because that’s something that’s really important to me …. Women don’t always see their bodies as beautiful,” she said.

For Whitman students trapped between majors without a goal in sight, Lindsay advises them to find a passion and maybe a career.

“I just had faith that the decision I made would work out,” said Lindsay. “Your major doesn’t decide your whole future, and that was something that was really hard for me to figure out, but it’s true.”

You can view Lindsay’s online portfolio at www.alecialindsay.com and more photos on her Facebook.

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