According to her, Brittney Bowers never thought she was the art school type. She can’t even draw. She applied to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia anyway, though, and received an acceptance letter just two days later. That was HUGE! Then, after taking a required 2D painting class at the University, pushing her completely out of her element, Brittney now paints as a leisure activity when her life gets hectic. Painting for serenity isn’t the only thing the University of the Arts has provided Brittney. She now is a junior photography major at the University and attributes her present success as a locally famous photographer to her attendance and the Uarts professors.
“They will break you”, Brittney says of her professors, “and that’s the greatest thing that could ever happen to me as a photographer”.
Bowers, whose father is a printer and grandfather was “always drawing” grew up around the ever-present element of art. As a printer, Brittney’s dad worked in the dark room.
“It was the coolest experience,” Brittney says of her 5-year-old experience in the dark room with her father.
Brittney’s passion is for film and she greatly enjoys working in the dark room, probably, she says, because of her early exposure to it.
Having received her first camera at the youthful age of three-years-old, Brittney has been photographing ever since. Though, according to Bowers, her earliest photographs weren’t the best, she showed obvious potential. In fact, the best picture Brittney has ever taken, as according to her parents, was on a camping trip at the age of five! That picture is still hanging in the families living room.
Prior to discovering her passion for photography, Brittney aspired to be a sports journalist. However, this aspiration changed after she started taking photography classes at William Tenant High School.
“I started being entered in galleries and winning awards in these galleries!” Brittney says of her early experience in photography.
Now Bowers can’t imagine doing anything else.
Bowers’ edgy approach to photography makes living in the city a perfect outlet for her art. Alleys, the narrow opening behind city buildings, are some of her favorite things to photograph. Why, you ask? Well, Brittney expresses that she uses her photography as the art of persuasion. That is she loves taking something viewed as ugly and showing her viewers the same beauty in it that she sees through her eyes.
“People are like ‘That’s ugly’”, Brittney describes as the typical response to alleys and graffiti, another favorite photography subject for Bowers.
But through her photography, Brittney wants to, and does, make these things beautiful to the average viewer.
Brittney is also very passionate and zealous about music. Music is her second passion and though she does not play any musical instruments, Bowers has successfully combined her two loves of photography and music. Music photography is actually Bowers’ dream. Inspired by famed music photographers Jim Marshall and Adam Elmakias, Brittney cites an instance at warped tour that solidified her ambition to become a music photographer.
Gage Young was photographing her favorite band, A Day to Remember. From that moment on, Brittney knew that her aim in life was to be Gage Young, to photograph bands on tour and at concerts, and that is exactly what Bowers is on track to do.
It seems that for Brittney, everything, even since her very youth, fell into place with regard to photography. However, since she has chosen to enter the field of music photography, Bowers is presented with barriers.
Getting photo passes for bands has proven to be especially difficult. Many times, says Brittney, if you don’t work for this well-known publication or that, passes are out of reach. Rejection after rejection gets very frustrating for her, but Bowers acknowledges those few “yes’s” as her reason for persevering.
Having earned rewards for the 2008 and 2009 Phillip Mill Annual Photographic Exhibition as well as having her work displayed in the Abington Art Center and the Sande Webster Gallery, having been featured in Temple’s own JUMP Magazine, among many other photographic accomplishments, Brittney is well on her way to a successful dream career as a music photographer. After all, she lives and breathes this stuff.
“My life is pretty much photography and music. It’s my soul. It’s what I do.”