Abigail Whisler, Class of 2013
Magnolia Journal invited Abby in April to fly to New Mexico to photograph about 20 businesses and locations in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Taos. “I've only recently been dipping my toes into the editorial world, so I was surprised and honestly thought it was fake. I asked if we could jump on a phone call to make sure it was real.”
Just two weeks later Abby, who also got engaged the day Magnolia Journal called her, was on a flight from Vermont to New Mexico with a shot list provided by the story producer and art director. “It was a pretty independent trip that came with a good amount of freedom to decide which locations I chose to go to and when. I was responsible for scheduling with the local businesses…and getting signed photo releases.” In a whirlwind trip, Abby spent three intense days shooting 12 hours a day on location while spending her evenings at a lovely inn and enjoying the local food.
The fall issue came out in August. “When the publication was released, I felt like I was the last person to receive it but once seeing it was so proud with how beautiful it turned out! I had no idea Chip [Gaines] was going to be writing the story, which made opening it up for the first time and reading the story next to my photos that much more incredible.”
Abby says that Trinity helped her balance the Washington, D.C. area’s pressure for performance with the understanding that our purpose in life is to love and know more of God. “That perspective helped calm the intensity and provide peace in the truth that there needs to be a balance between excellence of the heart and mind. I was always reminded that if working so hard to get into the top college prevents you from pursuing excellence for your heart, body, and mind, it's purposeless; we're whole beings, one can't go without the other. That mindset prepared me to do what I'm doing now: building a business, using my art, and seeking to know more of who the Lord is and who he has made me to be as a whole person.”
Abby remembers many of her Trinity teachers and coaches as being important for her growth during high school and is especially thankful for art teacher Deb Dayhoff. “Mrs. Dayhoff was, and still is, someone I'm very thankful for and look up to, as she always encouraged me and challenged me to be my best both in my art and personal life.”
Abby graduated from Covenant College with a degree in art and community development and lives in Vermont, where she loves spending time with her church family and art community, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and eating Vermont cuisine. She is a full-time photographer with a growing wedding business and is now focused on building up the editorial side of her business, shooting for businesses, magazines, and artists. And, of course, she’s planning her wedding!