Maddie takes a moment and turns it into a memory. Able to capture the normal, and make it amazing. I first met Maddie almost two years ago, she started going to a Sunday night group that I was a part of. She's done a lot of photo shoots for the farm over that time, and is interning this Summer while looking to grow her business with photography and social media marketing. Read below to hear her story! (all PC goes to Maddie Noll)
Why did you choose photography, what about it intrigued you, and how did you start?
When I was little, one of my favorite things to do was record my adventures using Kodak's little yellow disposable cameras. Of course most of my pictures were horrible, but the purpose of photography instruction is not so much about learning how to use your camera as it is about learning how to see. Looking through a viewfinder and studying under an eccentric old school photographer transformed the eyes I turn towards the world. Most people glance in passing over common interactions of light and physical form, although they may perhaps pause to gaze at a particularly spectacular sunset. My instructor, however, empowered me to perceive a masterpiece in a moment, to access aesthetic treasures so well hidden by God in the everyday that they can only be discovered by those who intentionally seek them, and these people among others are usually writers, studio artists, photographers, and children. Through photography God restored to me a sense of wonder and gave me a microscope (or viewfinder) through which to explore the mysteries of His beauty and character on a minute level.
What do you like about it as an art form?
Photography has the capacity to reveal identity (or perpetuate deception), captivate the imagination, and transcend time. When I photograph my clients, I want to reveal their identity (as an individual or as a business) in Christ as loved, creative, unique, and powerful through my photographs, and it is my hope that as they gaze upon my work they will come to see themselves and their story the way God sees them-- beautiful! Photography has the unique ability to change the way we see ourselves, each other, and God. That's a weighty responsibility, and one that I've only just begun to understand. But I can only do it by coming to Him and asking for His perspective.
What do you like about Chattanooga? Do you have any favorite spots or places that you take pictures?
Until 2016 I lived in Orlando, FL, a highly commercialized tourist metropolis with a low sense of unique geographical identity. Moving to Chattanooga was like a breath of fresh air. I love the hilly terrain that continually shifts my perspective, the bustling and flavorful downtown, the sweet and spicy smell of hay that tickles my nose as I drive into the country, and the inventive, pioneering, and fiercely loyal people that populate this area. I find my fingers start itching for my camera when I'm driving by open fields, standing in an old house observing a rainstorm, worshiping with an acoustic guitar late into the warm night, witnessing a cloud descend to rest on Lookout Mountain, or brushing the sand out of my eyes to peer into a sunrise in the early morning.
Who do you like to shoot for, or what’s your favorite setting for taking pictures?
My very favorite is photographing people. I want to capture the light in their eyes, the smile that their momma's so familiar with, the laugh that makes me giggle behind the camera and makes the picture come out blurry, the tears that tell me what moves their heart. I looooove backlighting, high contrast shadows and colors, golden hour (of course), and those once-in-a-lifetime candid moments captured and preserved until the end of our days.
What draws you to the local/food/art scene?
I like eating-- my years as a college student have grown in me an uncontrollable attraction to fresh, flavorful food. I love hanging out with compulsively creative people-- they're always making pearls out of sand and beauty out of ashes; they can't help it. And better yet I looooove helping creative people eat. Life's tough as an entrepreneur. There are no formulas to follow, no pre-determined schedules, and few deadlines. Entrepreneurs are inventing. But they still have to feed themselves. That's where I come in, documenting your process, and artfully, authentically, beautifully expressing your unique story and identity as an artist, business, yoga enthusiast, helping you develop a brand that's as appealing as it is truthful. And then when we're all done, we can all eat together (may I suggest tacos?)
How does photography fit into other passions that you have?
I tend to photograph what I'm passionate about. Studio art was what drew me to photography in the first place... after learning to make the unseen see-able, I guess it was time to learn how to see the seen! Or something like that. I've shot for several local artists, including Abi Ogle. As a teenager, my closest friends were budding musicians. A few years ago I started learning acoustic guitar, and now making my own worship music is my obsession. Worship has become one of my favorite things to photograph (I recently shot for Drakeford), and I'm particularly inspired by the work of Rachel Soh. And in case you couldn't tell, I really like agriculture.
Maddie's contact info is below, hit her up for a quote for a wedding, party, social event, or just a nice family photo shoot!
Provision for the Vision photography