Story by Alli Steinke / August 23, 2021

Drew Doggett has won over 110 international awards and accolades for his photography and filmography. A notable acquisition from the Smithsonian Institute, number four in the World’s Top Ten Black & White Photographers, a finalist in the Equus Film Festival, and more recognitions make up Drew’s extensive resume.

Drew’s work showcases the most unique people, places, and cultures. Why does Drew do what he does? That answer revolves around a series of events in his life that created the perfect storm.

By the time Drew got to high school, he recognized the impact holding a camera had on him; how energized it made him feel. This was the first time he was really exposed to travel as well. The combination of traveling and taking incredible photos while doing so gave him a sense of purpose. He felt a sense of independence he’d never experienced before; but didn’t realize photography was something he could pursue as a career.

In college Drew completed an internship that changed his career trajectory. He had such an incredible experience, he became laser focused on turning photography into a full-time career and did everything he could to make that happen. The first step? Move to New York.

Working for the Pros

Drew’s professional career began as an assistant for some of the biggest names in fashion; Mark Seliger, Steven Klein, Annie Leibovitz, and more. His task was finding creative solutions to problems that arose; his job was to bring the vision to life. Drew did this for six years. As exhilarating as it was working with celebrities such as Madonna, Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, and more, Drew wanted to find his own photographic vision for the future. This included creating work that was timeless, featured unpredictable iterations of beauty, highlighted form and composition, and had a depth and complexity of subject matter.

He used his camera to preserve parts of the world that were at risk, and he wanted to foster a connection with these places to reveal similar human interests. “ I felt that if I stuck to my core belief system, I could make something unique and with integrity,” Drew states. “Most of all, I wanted to tell stories.”

Finding His Place

Drew went on a trip to Nepal that was pivotal to his career. During his trip, weather threatened to put a halt to the rest of his journey. But, sherpas helped Drew throughout his journey and he was inspired by their bravery as they faced the difficult conditions of the territory everyday. From that moment on, Drew’s career focus was to tell the stories of people like the sherpas.

Andy Warhol once said, “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” It’s a quote Drew uses on his website before describing another transformative journey in his career; part three of describing his journey to where he is today. “My search for subjects has engulfed every part of my life, and has led to some unexpected places. Now, with two kids, this work has taken on new meaning as I am set on chronicling everything I can for their generation to hold on to,” Drew says.

And in every photograph he’s taken over the past ten years, he thinks about that Andy Warhol quote. The choice of whether or not to create a series comes from five questions; Will it stand the test of time? Does it represent a sense of shared humanity? Does it represent a form of beauty? Has it been done before? Would I live with it?

Coffee Table Books

Drew’s third, award-winning coffee table book takes readers to Sable Island in Nova Scotia; home to one of the last herds of wild horses. Drew has been working since 2012 to capture a comprehensive image gallery of the island; a task that included never-before-scene drone imagery.

In the book WILD: The Legendary Horses of Sable Island, you’ll see over 100 images telling the story of these incredible creatures; some of which are from Drew’s never-before-seen archive.

To celebrate the release, The Restoration Hotel will be hosting a book signing for Drew on Thursday, August 26th from 6:30pm-8:30pm. If you can’t make the reception, but are interested in a copy of the standard or limited edition version of the book (which comes with a framable print), you can buy it here.