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Juliane Richards - 2023 Sawyer J. Boyd Creatives Grant Recipient

Alpena, MI - September 2023

Last month, The Sunset Project was honored to award Juliane Richards of Alpena, Michigan, with a Sawyer J. Boyd Creatives Grant as part of the 2023 grant cycle!

This year's grant recipients each received $2,000 worth of funding to put towards resources that would help advance their personal creative endeavors and help them pursue their passions further.

We sat down with Juliane after the awards ceremony to discuss her unique story, why she applied, and what she is hoping to accomplish with her funding!


Hi Juliane - can you introduce yourself quickly for those who may not know you already?

Hi! My name is Juliane Richards and I am a Photographer from Alpena, Michigan.

How would you describe your creative pursuit to someone unfamiliar with it?

I'm a young photographer trying to open up my own photography studio, J&R Photography. I currently handle all sorts of different shoot styles, such as baby showers, senior portraits, weddings, private events, and more!

What or who inspired you to pursue a career in this space?

Myself mainly. I have always had a passion for photography ever since I was able to operate a cell phone!

Can you share a memorable experience or milestone from your creative journey?

One milestone I have overcome during my journey is having the amazing opportunity to be a selected grant recipient for the 2023 Sawyer J. Boyd Creatives Grant. Receiving this grant will allow me to purchase the professional camera that I have always dreamed about, and help me get one step closer to my goal of opening my own studio.

How have challenges or setbacks shaped your approach and vision?

Not having access to a professional camera was putting me at a disadvantage with potential clients. Having to use only my iPhone made it difficult for me to achieve the proper depth of field and color profile that I would like to have in my photos.

How do you envision your creative passion evolving over the next year?

Well, I’m hoping to bring more awareness to my work in the Alpena area and continue to become more experienced with my new camera. I’m hopeful that I might even be able to have J&R Photography open and operating!

How do you plan to utilize your grant funding to further your creative journey?

To purchase a new, professional camera! I also plan to invest in some new gear to go with it - SD Cards, batteries, lighting, and maybe even a new lens.

What advice or message would you share with someone looking to pursue their own creative dreams?

Never give up and always chase your dreams because one day, those dreams will come true and will no longer seem so far fetched.

Are there any social media profiles, websites, or other resources where our readers can follow your journey and/or support your work?

My instagram is @JandRPhotography444!

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