St. George residents walking near Tabernacle St. on Feb. 8 might have seen a collection of folks from all across southern Utah dressed up in beautiful dresses or wearing ties in order to pose for photographers.
The group who arrived at Green Gate Village in St. George and St. George Town Square were all there for Southern Utah Curators’ February meet-up.
Organizer Addie LaDuke began Southern Utah Curators in order to connect photographers, models, and other creative people in southern Utah.
“I moved down here and there were so many people that reached out to me wanting to do collaborations… there were so many ideas that I wanted to do but I knew they were so much bigger than just myself.”
Every month, LaDuke sits down and connects with community businesses or finds public locations for people to meet. She typically picks a Saturday during the month and goes to locations throughout southern Utah.
The goal for LaDuke is to provide an outlet for photographers and models to work together in trying new techniques, expanding their portfolios, and networking with other creative minds.
Dixie State University Photography major Breanna Biorato explained that these meet-ups allow her to think outside the box and work on her photography for herself, without the pressure of clients.
“They’re very useful. You meet new people, you collab, you get followers, you do creative things, people are open to everything. You see how [other people] do photos, and you get new visions. I definitely will come again for more,” stated Biorato.
For others, it’s a good outlet to try something new. Many of the participants at LaDuke’s meet-ups are focused on modeling to create their own portfolio for future work or just for fun.
“It was kind of a confidence booster and was so fun. I like networking, we got to meet a lot of people,” stated Dixie State University student Alexis McClain.
For LaDuke, that is what these monthly meet-ups are all about. Along with providing a good, fun experience for creative minds, LaDuke stands by the idea that creative people are stronger when collaborating and learning from one another.
“There are so many photographers and models in Utah, it’s hard to even start or know where to begin. So… I wanted to work together,” said LaDuke. She continued by saying, “You get to work with a bunch of different people. You get to be in an uplifting environment. Usually people just help each other which is really nice.”
Many of the individuals who attended this meet-up spoke up about a desire for groups like these to find their way to other cities and areas. LaDuke herself was inspired after being a part of a similar group in northern Utah, and hopes to pay it forward and see more groups like these work together to create communities for creative people.
“I think everyone should have this… It’s so hard for photographers and models to find one another sometimes because everyone wants money. It’d be great to have this everywhere,” said Biorato.
LaDuke invites any creative individuals to future meet-ups.
“We’re always [happy] for anyone who comes – models, photographers, anyone who is creative, make-up artists are great too. We do monthly meet-ups…all around in southern Utah. If you are ever in the area…check it out.”
If you are interested in learning more about Southern Utah Curators, visit them at their Instagram page.
Story by Alex Greenwell
Photos Courtesy of Alex Greenwell