"PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE STORY I FAIL TO PUT INTO WORDS."

My name is Aidan Clayton Hicks! I was born on August 16th, 2001 in Colorado and it's a understatement to say that I've been through my share of trials and tribulation throughout the last 18 years. From growing up in a mixed-race family and being raised by a black family to being diagnosed with a serious case of Autism before my first birthday, I've learned that it's important to never be ashamed of who you are and your upbringing even if others don't see you eye to eye on everything. I've pushed to be more accepting of everything and open of other's questions about my life.

 

Although I pushed to be outgoing throughout elementary and middle school, things took time to come into place to find my place in the thing that I felt I could enjoy. My one thing I always pushed throughout my life was to do what I can to be kind to every person I met and worked with and to leave a impression that felt confident and outgoing. And I believe all of this came into play once I walked into Smoky Hill in 2015. 

I remember the first day of school as if it was yesterday. The sense of wonder filled my mind as I really wanted to be able to fit in well and to have what I felt was " the high school experience." Although it was very difficult in the beginning, I joined a class that would ultimately change my life for the better that was JV Yearbook with Carrie Faust. After a few months of working to impress and prove myself, she and  other staff members helped me move into Varsity Yearbook where I was given the duty to pick up a camera whenever I had the chance to and capture the spirit and energy of Smoky Hill. At first I felt that this was something that anybody else could and would do so I went out and tried my best in every big or small event I could get a chance to capture until the release of the 2015-2016 yearbook, "WE SAY TODAY," and have since then until 2019 became a member of the Summit Yearbook staff. It wasn't until the beginning of my sophomore year that I began being more open to not just people socially but began looking into my craft and pushing to take it my art and craft more seriously. This wasn't simply just a hobby anymore.

Going into my sophomore year, I built the mindset that I wanted to not just become good at what I did but greater than anyone expected. I learned that to do that, I would bring a camera wherever I went at Smoky. It didn't matter if it was just a simple presentation or the biggest basketball game of the season, I was gonna be there with a camera in my hand capturing it the best I could. As the year went by, more people started seeing what I was doing and wondering what I was capturing and when seeing it, we saw that this was the beginning of something bigger. I realized that to get the attention of more people and to get a name for myself, I would work to put together a website that people could freely check out

and can enjoy whatever I had the chance of putting up on it without having to pay since I saw this as a way to show that I was something more than a random guy running around at events with my camera. This would eventually become the start of Aidan Hicks Photography and the start of my website. Although it didn't catch the attention of many in the beginning, I saw it as a start and to quickly learn to become better and look after my own work and business. From taking lessons on starting a business to owning my craft on the 2016-2017 Summit Yearbook "FIND YOUR WHY" to endlessly editing, it lead up to placing 2nd place in the Colorado Student Media Association of Photographer of the Year and being offered to make a banner as the Class of 2017 senior gift that represented "ONE HERD." This work and recognition gave me the ultimate push to be determined to go all out with my work and make the best of everything I had going into my junior year.

It'd be a understatement to say that my junior year was one of the craziest and memorable times of my life as a photographer. From pushing to go to over 80 events in one school year to starting my business of taking senior photos for any future senior classes to the endless amounts of moments I was traveling to. One day I'd be walking alongside a student-organized protest of the removal of the DACA program to sitting out in the burning hot sun capturingthe cheers of the student section as the football team scored a touchdown at the Homecoming

football game, that was my new normal. This was the time the true quality of my

work came into full swing to a point where I could come out with a better and

better photo every week. All of this hard work lead up to earning the title of the

Colorado Student Media Associations Photographer of the Year and the release

of the 2017-2018 Summit Yearbook "YES. ALL THAT." But through all of this, I

knew that there was always something more that I could do and that all of this at

the end of the day was just the beginning for something even bigger. But I knew

that'd mean doing my best to make the most out for my senior year and needless

to say that's what I did.

Senior year was the kinda year for someone like me that you couldn't have had

it any other way even if you wanted it to be like that for some of the things. The

work had never been more exciting, there were plenty of good people around

always showing support, and the energy was electric. This left the ultimate

mark on my life that I am beyond thankful to leave it is since ending with my

final Summit Yearbook "IT'S THE BEST STORY WE'LL EVER TELL. YOU." and

graduating in May 2019 after being accepted too the Community College of

Denver where I'm studying to major in Business in Marketing to one day either

run my own photography business or work for a company. Although the ending has come for my high school life, the last four years was only just the beginning of the work that I'll be putting into many of the Colorado high schools with continuing to do portraits for anybody looking for quality photos and working for the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) as a photographer to finally sell my action photos to any looking for nothing but the best. The future is unwritten and it is my job to record and keep the memories of many within my photography and I'm beyond thankful that I get the chance to do that for everyone. I cannot imagine doing all of this without everyone at Smoky Hill, the Summit Yearbook staff, and the people who have continued to push me to do better work and to be a better person. I look forward to continuing my photography and to improving my skills during my senior year. In fact, I don't have a favorite photo because my favorite is the one I do tomorrow.

aidan hicks | PHOTOGRAPHER | GRAPHIC DESIGNER | DENVER, CO | CCD '23 |