BYU student spreads light through photography

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Hunter Fowler stands behind her camera. She breathes in the scenery of the world around her. She aims her camera at the sun streaming through the trees to capture the perfect moment in time.

Hunter Fowler on her wedding day. (Whitney Brailsford)

Fowler is part of a trend of social media influencers. The 20-year-old BYU student has built a large Instagram following through her photography and uplifting words.

People who spend time with her and her followers on Instagram find her to be strong and inspiring.

Provo native Fowler has always been interested in photography. The beauty of capturing a moment in a photo people can revisit fascinates her.

Fowler’s spunky personality and creative eye have given her a platform to build a large social media following. This following has allowed her to reach and influence more than 10,000 people through her words and photos.

A common place to find Hunter Fowler is behind the camera. (Jessie Alexis Photography)

Fowler started photographing when she was young and her father brought home small waterproof cameras for her to use.

“I was hooked,” she said. “I’d take the images for my family, which is why I was never in any of them. During my freshman year of college, I got my very first camera and took it with me everywhere. This is when my excitement began and the desire to learn and grow as a photographer ignited.”

But she didn’t begin her career in photography. Fowler expressed herself through a blog. She said she got into the Instagram and blogging worlds when she was in ninth grade because it was the “cool thing” to do.

“I would blog in my computer tech class, and at first I used Instagram to heavily post random pictures, but then got into posting more artsy images,” Fowler said.

She also often photographed her little brother, who died in an accident at their home when Fowler was 13. She now treasures the happy moments her photographs captured.

Fowler said this time was a defining moment in her life — it taught her to learn at a young age who she was and who she wanted to be.

A photo from Hunter Fowler’s photography gallery. (Hunter Fowler)

Fowler and her husband, Mitchell Fowler, met in their high school choir class. Mitchell was immediately drawn to her spunk and energy. He said he grew to love and adore her and her ability to make everyone around her happier.

Mitchell said Fowler’s most unique aspect of her social media presence is her ability to share her feelings and relate with her followers.

“Through Hunter’s social media influence she instills a lot of hope in people, especially people that have struggled with loss,” he said.

“Hunter has been through her fair share of heartbreak during her 20 years on earth and she allows people to see that bad stuff happens and there is still good to be appreciated in the world,” he said.

Nychea Lish became a follower of Fowler’s more than a year ago when she saw pictures Fowler had taken of a fellow Instagrammer.

“My sister used a different photographer for her wedding that over-edited the pictures, which I did not like, and that is what originally drew me to Hunter’s clean and natural photos,” Lish said.

Lish said Fowler is an inspirational, kind person who made the Lishes feel comfortable when taking their wedding photos.

“Since using her as my wedding photographer, we’ve become very close as friends because we connected on a different level,” Lish said.

Another dedicated follower emailed Fowler in 2014 an essay in which the follower commented on Fowler’s ability to relate to others.

“One can read her blog and find posts about enduring through trials, seeking for truth, break-ups, love, family and simple rainy day thoughts,” the essay said. “Her blog creates this relationship between two strangers that nothing else can compare to. She shares a message of love and hope, and although she may think her efforts are minimal, she has changed more lives than most.”

Another excerpt from Hunter Fowler’s photography gallery. (Hunter Fowler)

Fowler’s ability to inspire people through her social media platforms has become a major part of who she is and how she serves those around her.

“I want my followers to know that there is so much beauty in the world, even in the simple things, and I love to capture that,” she said. “I like to be raw and real and I like my followers to know me, rather than just someone behind the camera. I love to joke and be silly on social media, but I also like to be serious and share my testimony, life trials and daily memes.”

Both Fowler’s husband and her sister, Kennedy Kofford, said Fowler always looks out for others. Kofford said Fowler is her “number one role model.”

“She is always coming up with her own style and way of doing things and rarely copies others,” Kofford said. “My sister is so strong, loving and talented and will always drop anything to help me or anyone else.”

Fowler said she would like to specialize in a certain area of photography in the future. She currently photographs everything, but that can make editing not as fun.

“I love to shoot families and the realness within, so I hope to shoot more of those,” she said. “I want to gain a following that is loyal to me and brings clients back throughout the years … I hope so fiercely to be a mom to littles that will let me photograph them.”

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