Young photographer’s future is in focus
December 21, 2018
At 17, Josie Whitley is clearly focused on her goals, figuratively and literally. The Niwot High senior is already an accomplished photographer, and has her sights set on one day working for the most well-known publication in our country’s history.
“Working for National Geographic,” said Whitley, “that’s my dream in life. It’s a big dream.”
Whitley, who grew up in Niwot and Gunbarrel, is displaying her work on the walls at Winot Coffee Company through the end of December, and it doesn’t take an art critic to see that she has a talent for working behind the camera.
“I became interested in photography in middle school,” said Whitley. “There was someone in my life whom I admired, and she’d let me use her camera. I promised myself that I would buy myself my own DSLR camera, and by the time I was in eighth grade, I did.”
Whitley had completely fallen in love with photography by high school, and took digital photography classes at Niwot High that solidified her career path in the arts. She has recently begun expanding her artistic reach by working with acrylics and alcohol inks, producing works that are fluid and vibrant. Along with her photography, her paintings are also on display at Winot.
Whitley worked to graduate early from Niwot High, and will be finished by the end of 2018. Since she won’t technically have her diploma until May 2019, she can only take one class at a time at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. In September, she’ll be enrolled there full-time, pursuing her degree in photography and graphic design.
The industrious shutterbug also puts in 30-hour workweeks at Rush Bowls in Gunbarrel. When asked what she’d be pursuing if she hadn’t found her calling behind the lens, Whitley replied without hesitation, ”A baker. I bake a lot, I always have, and my family has always told me that I should bake and sell my goods.”
Judging by her talents with her current pursuits, anyone with a weakness for baked treats and a desire to fit into their jeans should hope that she sticks with photography.