Woodinville High School senior Austin Glenn first picked up a camera as a freshman in high school.
The Woodinville resident used an old point-and-shoot camera to get started before upgrading to a digital one, he said. After some practice, he decided to build a portfolio and launch a photography business in the summer of 2019.
“I found myself wanting to use the camera more than being in front of the camera,” Glenn said.
Since then, Glenn has decided to pursue both business and photography at the University of Utah. The soon-to-be-graduate was recently awarded the Woodinville Chamber Business Scholarship as incentive to continue with the entrepreneurial spirit.
According to the Scholarship Foundation of Northshore, the award is provided by the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce as an “investment in the future business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators” of the community.
“Our chamber is so honored to provide this year’s Woodinville Chamber Business Scholarship to Austin Glenn,” Executive Director Kimberly Ellertson said. “He is an obvious rising star in our community. Each year we support a future leader and can tell that Austin fits that description perfectly.”
Glenn said he mainly focuses on portrait photography, especially for graduating seniors. He also takes pictures for families, groups and athletes at WHS sporting events. Several weeks ago, he photographed a wedding for the first time.
He enjoys landscape shots as well, he added, which is why the Rocky Mountains are his destination of choice for the next four years. Outside of photography, he is looking forward to snowboarding and other extracurricular activities. Glenn, who performs with the WHS Theatre Company, said he hopes to continue with acting and singing for fun if the opportunity arises in Utah.
Up until 2019, Glenn noted, he was “dead set” on studying architecture in college. The ambition stemmed from a childhood of playing Legos and Minecraft, he said.
“I wanted to build houses,” he said. “And then freshman year, I fell into the love of photography.”
The decision to switch his focus from architecture to business was also influenced by his experience with COVID-19. He began to recognize the financial risk of trying to operate a sustaining photography business, he said. This realization pushed Glenn toward the possibility of studying business and gave him the desire to leave college with the skillset to go “full-force” into photography.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Glenn noted, his dad pointed out the prospect of adding a lot more money to his savings account. As a result, he spent a majority of the summer taking senior portraits for his fellow classmates, followed by family shots in the winter. He has also done various graduation photo shoots in the last month, he added.
Glenn said his favorite thing about photography is staging the model. He appreciates when the subject can work in partnership with him to bounce ideas for poses back and forth. For the shyer models, he enjoys positioning and instructing them on what to do until they start to loosen up and have fun.
"One of my favorite things to say is, 'If it feels uncomfortable, it looks good,’” he said.