For only being sixteen -almost seventeen, her birthday falls on the first day of the school year, what luck! Annalee Lael Rheedraw is an astonishingly accomplished human being. She recently opened her own photography business in her hometown of Laramie, Wyoming, where she loves taking colorful pictures of nature. In light of her favorite color being a subtle buttercup yellow, one of Annalee’s favorite pictures she ever captured was in a field of sunflowers, with the sunshine and the tree line beaming photogenically in the background because “it was just so elegant and quiet, you know? Sometimes I feel like we need that quiet to be reminded that God placed the world around us for our enjoyment.”
Apart from photography, Annalee also enjoys music, because it “opens something up inside of you; it gives us a means of expression that words cannot provide.” Annalee has been expressing herself via music for quite some time, having played piano since the age of seven and violin since the age of eleven. Recently, she has considered taking up (pause for dramatic effect) the guitar. Not just any guitar, however, specifically the electric guitar. WHOA! Plot twist! It seems Annalee’s calm and quiet demeanor does not follow through in her music taste, which she, of course, finds amusing: “I love dropping that bomb on people! I guess I seem like the quiet and nurturing type, so it astounds people to find out I have a crazy side.”
Annalee’s crazy side extends to her extraordinary abilities as a competitive hip-hop dancer. “I started in ballet and tap, like most little girls, but when they opened the hip-hop studio next to mine, I remember watching them dance and thinking, ‘That’s what I want to do.’” And do it she did. She has now been hipping and hopping for the past five years. Another shocking revelation about Annalee’s crazy side is her affinity for dares, especially those involving food. One of Annalee’s favorite childhood memories consists of playing truth or dare with her three little brothers, in which she was dared to eat a variety of odd foods mixed together (one particular combination involving a hot dog bun and goldfish crackers, which Annalee recalls as being “horribly disgusting”). Three cheers to Annalee for surviving that experience.
So, that’s Annalee Lael Rheedraw, photography columnist for clay this year, a young woman of many talents and surprising twists and turns (and an extraordinarily strong stomach). You can view her colorful work in her column this September, which is surely going to be deep and thoughtful, but not without a crazy side!