Adrienne Maples Photography: The Art of Pretty Pictures

Adrienne Maples has loved “making pretty pictures” from the first day she picked up her mom’s camera.

  Photo by Adrienne Maples

Photo by Adrienne Maples

It seemed a better outlet for her creativity than her first foray into art: coloring on the walls. (“I blamed it on the cat,” Maples says with a laugh. “That was basically the end of my lying career.”) 

To encourage creativity, Maples’ mom gave her a camera on her 15th birthday.  

Turns out, Mom had a good hunch. Maples took as many photography classes as possible in high school, which, because it was “pre-digital era,” meant lots of film and darkroom work. After high school, she attended the Savannah College of Art & Design to develop and perfect her art. To this day, she shares ideas and critiques with artists she met there. 

Now 16 years into her career, Maples is more passionate about her work than ever. “I’ve always seen photography as a chance to paint the world as I see it,” Maples shares. “I see so much beauty, and I want to share that with people.”

Building a business
While in college, Maples designed her own website from “scratch” — before today’s ready-made templates were available. “I built my business brick by brick,” she says. “I didn’t want to take out a loan. I believed by sharing the work I was passionate about, I would attract the perfect clientele.”

Her hard work paid off quickly. Maples began attracting clients based on their appreciation for her artistry and photographic style. Her exceptional talent and ability to relate to and work with people keeps them coming back. She still loves creating “pretty pictures” in which her clients take pride, but she also looks to capture their essence — something that really resonates with them. 

“I aim to be honest in my work,” Maples explains. “I want to create beautiful works of art people love and want to hang on their walls, while still capturing and sharing who they are. It’s about integrity.” 

And, it’s very important to her that her clients enjoy the experience.

“Her approach is so natural and effective that you don’t even realize you’re being photographed,” says longtime client Sarah Temps. “I am truly amazed, year after year, with the moments and memories she captures in our family photos. They tell a story of the bonds we have.”

Connecting with community
Maples relocated to Kansas City in 2005. She fell in love with the city immediately.

“I was born and raised in the South, and my family’s still there,” she says. “But I love Kansas City — the people, especially. It’s definitely home.”

To Maples, it’s important to connect with local business owners, including other photographers, to create “community over competition.” Lately, she has focused this effort on social media, where she aims to draw positive attention to local businesses. Follow and use the hashtag #bethechangeinsocialmedia to join the movement.  

In fact, social media has become another of Maples’ great passions. As the mother of a young daughter, she’s inspired to ensure the online space is safe and positive for not just children, but everyone.

“Social media is essential for growing a business, but it can also be antiproductive,” she explains. “If I don’t get online with a specific purpose, it can be a colossal waste of time and energy. So let’s get online with intent — to support and encourage others.”

Creating prettier pictures
Everybody has a camera these days (thank you, cellphones), but Maples attributes her success behind the lens to her study of film photography. It took time to master the intricacies of a true camera; understanding exposure, using f-stops, shutter speed, and focal length.

It’s critical to think about what you’re shooting — compose it — and make it meaningful. “Perfection and speed don’t go together,” Maples says, “and I’m always going for the perfect shot. When I see something beautiful and don’t have my camera, I think, ‘Bummer, I can’t get that with my phone so why waste my time? I definitely won’t be posting on social media!’” 

Interested in booking time with Maples? Visit adriennemaplesphotography.com or call 913.549.3335.

Suzanne Steiner