miwhittakerphotos.com: Artist's Statement

Portrait: Margaret  Whittaker RenikerPhotographs described herein are the last three in the Fauna Gallery at MIWhittakerPhotos.com

My name is Margaret Whittaker Reniker and I was born in St. Jerome, Quebec, Canada. The eldest of five, my family immigrated to Tempe, Arizona when I was 15. My Dad gave me a Brownie camera when I was 10. Last month, my husband of nearly six years, Will, gave me a Canon 5D Mark IV. The two best men in my life ¬– and not just for the cameras! The best of bookends to my life.

The world is a place of creative artistry beyond my imagination – so chock full of indescribable shapes, colors, creatures, and the intriguing mystery of how it all works together. Through photography, I immerse myself in the wonder, awe, and mystery of creation. It provides me the opportunity to capture a moment in the short expanse of my time in this world so that I can return to appreciate the joy I felt in that one moment and to just revel in it with pure enthusiasm and euphoric joy. My favorite photographs affect my mood, perspective, and attitude.

Family, friends, and coworkers have encouraged me. Regarding my photography, they have described me as creative, precise, and visionary. I diligently pursue ideal compositions to convey the feeling I am experiencing so that others may experience it, too. As a person, they have seen my dedicated patience when I have lovingly and kindly cared for those who have required end of life caregiving. They have labeled me intelligent, inquisitive, and amiable. When they have problems they need to talk out, they consult me as a wise, insightful, trustworthy, dependable, and ethically protective confidante. I listen without judging.

After spending 35 years as an administrative assistant, I awoke one morning to the same greeting in my mind that I had had for over a year. “It’s time to get up and get ready for work.” “No!” I replied, with the attitude of a spoiled two-year-old. “I don’t want to go to work ¬– I just want to spend this day as a photographer.”

The detail-oriented part of me enjoys the challenge of capturing the thoughts and feelings of creatures, through the expressions in their eyes. Jenny, my Russian Blue cat, was quite exasperated after spending half an hour posing for me. Her expression says it all: “Enough Already!” Her photo titled itself. The preying mantis kept its pose for about ten minutes. It watched me, tilting its head this way and that, eyes on me every second as I moved around to capture it from different angles. It was quite an experience to be watched so closely by a preying mantis. Humankind has historically deemed that creatures have no personality. The preying mantis’ actions and expressions showed me it was interested in, and quite amused with, me.

In 2007, “Hunter” won second place ($2,500) out of over 500 entries at the International Society of Photographers convention in Las Vegas. In 2009, I had an exhibit at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

A move to Flagstaff, Arizona in 2011 brought many wonderful changes to my life. My dream to attend Northern Arizona University and to be in a climate somewhat similar to Canada’s was eclipsed only by my finding the love of my life. I am now pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Photography at Northern Arizona University with a minor in Religious Studies. I anticipate graduating in 2020.

God's artistry is my inspiration. My challenge is to capture with the camera what God has created. Life is a wonder!