Gateway: Living

Longtime column subject discovers exciting future in photography at UW

Peninsula High graduate Molly Duttry at an away game at Stanford University.
Peninsula High graduate Molly Duttry at an away game at Stanford University. Courtesy

University of Washington junior Molly Duttry, a Peninsula High School graduate, two-year PHS swim team member and, in her senior year, photographer for the PHS yearbook, is now the lead photographer for the Huskies’ football and basketball teams for the campus’ student newspaper, The Daily.

Duttry, for whom I have long been a self-appointed grandfather, reminded me that, “I met you when I was in the eighth grade (at Key Peninsula Middle School). My family had gone to the (KP Civic Center annual) crab feed and I had just started playing around with a camera; my grandfather gave me his old Canon. My family told me I should introduce myself to you because you were a well-known photographer.

“A couple months later, my family went to Hawaii for two weeks where I took some wonderful photos,” Duttry said. “It proved to my family I needed a camera of my own. So, for my birthday my family got me my own camera, a Pentax K-r. I took that camera everywhere for about five years until it pooped out on me.”

Duttry also formed her own photo business and sold her photos at several community and school functions and scrupulously saved her profits and other money toward the purchase of upgraded equipment.

Her work as a middle schooler, then high schooler was meticulous. I was really impressed.

“A few months after our crab feed meeting,” said Duttry, “you asked me to take photographs of a magic show Two Waters Arts Alliance was putting on. I did, and you were amazed at the photos I took and wrote a Kids’ Corner on me. The rest is history and now we are best friends.”

Background: I was to be out of the area but wanted the TWAA show for Kids’ Corner. I thought, “this young lady has talent. I bet she can handle it.” WOW! Did she ever! She got a foul-light shot perfectly — one, frankly, I couldn’t handle. What Molly didn’t mention is that she also interviewed and provided comments from the young people at the show for that Kids’ Corner.

“I freelanced for the Gateway and Key Peninsula News all through high school, along with taking pictures for myself on the side,” Duttry said. “My photographs were shown in TWAA’s Spring Fling juried art shows three times; I won people’s choice twice and honorable mention once. I also did event photography for TWAA and had photos featured in Puget Sound Home and Garden magazine. I sold my photography all through high school at local craft fairs to fund my school trips and expensive hobby.”

When Duttry went to college, she didn’t think about going into photography. She’d really enjoyed it in the past, but I was looking into doing something more practical. She decided she wanted to major in math or economics, but when scheduling mishaps happened she ended up in several art classes.

“I decided then that art was really where my heart stood and that I could do economics on the side,” Duttry said. “I am now majoring in interdisciplinary visual arts and economics. After doing that for a year I found I really missed photography. I was still shooting landscapes, but missed the photojournalism tasks I’d been doing for years.”

Autumn quarter of her sophomore year, Duttry decided to join The Daily as a photographer. She worked for them for a quarter and they asked her if she’d like to shoot sports, which she happily accepted. About a quarter later, they asked her to shoot football practice, which turned into them asking Duttry to fly to New Jersey to shoot the opening game against Rutgers for the Huskies this season.

“I had never shot football before, and the one practice I shot beforehand was nothing like the actual game,” Duttry said. “Shooting football in New Jersey was a wonderful experience and opportunity, and surprisingly after never shooting football I produced some wonderful work. When I came home from New Jersey the paper asked me if I would shoot every game this season. I again happily said yes. I really enjoy the atmosphere and energy that comes from shooting football.”

Closer to home, Molly and her buddies came to our place on Halloween to trick-or-treat. We were flattered!

“I work with a great team of writers and videographers,” she said. “I shot a total of seven UW football games, three of those being away games. I am now into shooting basketball, which is more fun because there’s more action and change during play, and it makes for more dynamic shots.”

And you maybe thought there’d never be another Marguerite Bourke White, eh?

Questions can be directed to Molly Duttry at mollyduttry@gmail.com.

Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at hughmcm26@gmail.com.

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