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THE ARTISTIC SIDE OF QUINN WICHERS

Sunday, April 3rd
THE ARTISTIC SIDE OF QUINN WICHERS

Quinn Wichers describes himself as an artist.

When you look at his work, it’s easy to understand why. When he’s not on the ice, manning the blue line for the Rapid City Rush, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound rookie defenseman can often be found with a camera in his hands, capturing the beauty of the surrounding area.

Wichers discovered photography during his sophomore season at Mercyhurst University, when he picked up the habit from one of his teammates. It wasn’t long before he purchased his own camera and started shooting.

“The biggest thing when I first started was just I loved showing people what I shot,” Wichers said. “And people seemed to be interested in what I was shooting and thought it was cool.”

From there, an interest grew into a passion, which has developed into a business for the 24-year-old. Wichers features his work on his own website, quinnwichersphotography.com, where he sells prints of the photos he captures. It features galleries of wildlife photography, landscapes, architecture, abstracts and more.

“I just started off shooting whatever I thought was interesting at the time,” Wichers said. “Eventually it developed into a little business for me. It’s been a nice little hobby for myself to have and something that I hope to continue expanding.”

Wichers said that shooting landscapes is his favorite, but his interests reach far beyond that. He noted everything from astrophotography to portraits as avenues of the art he has explored and enjoyed.

“That’s the cool thing about photography. There are so many different streams,” said Wichers. “You could shoot landscapes or weddings or do family shoots. I’ve done some maternity shoots, different things like that.”

He’s had enough success to continually upgrade his gear, investing the profits from the prints that he sells into new and upgraded equipment.

“I started off with just a smaller camera, a more basic camera and one lens. Then I ended up [taking] the money from what I’ve been able to sell from my prints, and I’ve been able to invest that back into my company,” Wichers said. “It’s kind of cool that I can use my hobby to help pay for itself. It’s kind of nice that people are able to buy my stuff and hang my prints in their house. It’s cool.”

Photography is not something Wichers would have expected to explore when he was younger. He grew up near Ottawa, playing hockey, and from an early age, chipping in with the family business. The Wichers family owns and operates Triangle Pump Service Limited, an oil and petroleum company founded by his great-grandfather in 1953. The company specializes in building gas stations, cleaning up oil contamination both residential and commercial, and installing fuel and oil tanks, among other things.

Wichers studied exercise science, with a minor in business, at Mercyhurst and does see joining the family business as a possibility for his post-hockey career. And while he spends summers working with his father, his photography business has continued to expand. He’s been hired for portrait work and taking family and couple pictures. For the first time this summer, he will be photographing a wedding.

While Wichers said that photography will always be one of his ventures, he doubts that he will ever be a full-time, professional photographer. But when he has spare time, it’s likely that he’ll have the camera bag in tow, searching for his next perfect shot.

“For me, photography has made me get out more. I never would have gone on hikes. I would have been like ‘why am I walking miles here?’ But now, just being able to have a purpose behind what you’re doing, it’s just forced me to get out and see the rest of the world,” Wichers said. “I’ve been able to go to so many beautiful locations. Especially here in South Dakota. I just see so many different things I never would have thought I’d see. That’s probably the best part about it.”

He said that Badlands National Park is his favorite place to shoot in the area and also named Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park as another place he enjoys visiting with his camera. So far this season, Wichers has been called up to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL five times, but unfortunately for fans of his work, hasn’t been able to bring his camera along to get shots of the desert.

When Wichers was weighing his options on which team he should sign with for his first professional season, the allure of the beauty of the area surrounding Rapid City and what he’d be able to capture with his lens were factors in his decision.

“Obviously, the most important thing is the hockey. And for me, I really liked when I was talking to Scott Burt I just thought he was a great guy,” said Wichers. “He seemed like someone who was interested in the development of the players and creating a winning culture here, and that was the first thing that really drew me in.

“But then secondarily when you start looking at where is Rapid City? And where is South Dakota? And what’s going on in the area? Just seeing all of the beautiful landscapes and what they’ve got going on. And learning now that it’s kind of got a very small-town feel to it, and everyone is so close and tight-knit. Being able to be in that atmosphere and go out and shoot beautiful locations like that, I think that was definitely a huge selling point for me when I was signing here.”

Below are 11 photos taken in the surrounding area that Wichers counts as his favorites. Each features a short blurb from the photographer, and prints of each are available via quinnwichersphotography.com.

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