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Exhibit a snapshot of career in photography

“Keith Sutter: The First 20 Years” on display at Arts Building
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Keith Sutter’s camera has taken him a lot of places. Photography has been Sutter’s passport to all sorts of adventures. In his first 20 years as a photographer, Sutter has traveled 780 miles across China’s Taklamakan desert, explored the volcanic hazards of the Baja Peninsula, and trekked more than 50 miles on foot through Alaskan wilderness, all with camera in hand. Get a feel for Sutter’s adventures in personal and professional photography by checking out “Keith Sutter:?The First 20 Years,”?on display at the Arts Building Gallery in Downtown Auburn now through the end of September. “My career is what it is today because of these 15 photos,” Sutter said. “These photos open doors.” Sutter, 43, has lived in the foothills for 20 years. He, wife Kara and their two sons currently live in Auburn. He transfered from UC?Berkeley to the Brooks Institute, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in photography. His love of the outdoors — “I did a lot of rock climbing, a lot of backcountry stuff” — and a desire to build his portfolio and to decompress landed Sutter in Alaska after college. Sutter was named “Mountain Photographer of the Year” in 1992 by Summit Magazine and Britain’s Scientific Exploration Society. While in London to accept the award, Sutter hit it off with explorer Charles Blackmore, who invited Sutter to be photographer for the aforementioned expedition across the Taklamakan desert. “I go to Alaska, that part leads to the award, meeting Charles, getting press exposure, more recognition,”?Sutter said. Sutter’s work has been published in National Geographic, Architectural Digest, Outside, Men’s Journal, Real Simple, Sunset, Summit, The New York Times and many other publications. Outdoor photography led to commercial and architectural shoots. Sutter’s clients include The North Face, UC Davis Medical Center and Costco. Shooting commercial work might not be the most creatively satisfying, but Sutter said it’s “a means to other adventures.” And, the locations can be pretty sweet at times. Sutter said he always enjoys travelling to Southern California to photograph Costco patio furniture in the yards of palatial homes. “If there’s ever an ocean in the background, that’s probably mine,” Sutter said. “We stop for lunch and we’re looking out over the world and we pinch ourselves.” Another one of Sutter’s clients is the Sacramento Ballet. He’s been photographing dancers pro bono since 2004, and is the Sacramento Ballet’s official photographer. “That ballet stuff has really struck a chord with the creative flow that kept me going when I first started out as a photographer,”?Sutter said. “It’s a great source of excitement in the craft. That stuff is 99 percent for myself.” Sutter has gone from snapping images of the dancers in the studio and during rehearsal to capturing the dancers in natural settings — atop Mt. Tamalpais, for example. Ron Cunningham, co-artistic director of the Sacramento Ballet, had plenty of praise for Sutter and his work. “Brilliant, genius, wonderful,” Cunningham said. “He’s fantastic.” Cunningham said Sutter has quite the knack for capturing the beauty and motion of dance. “He’s brilliant at it,” Cunningham said. “Iconic dance photography is very exciting. Very few can do it and he is one of the best.” It doesn’t matter Sutter’s subject — he’s still enjoying the journey, camera in hand. “You never know what you’re going to walk into, and that I love,”?he said. “I cherish the diversity of what I deal with each day.” __________ In the Know What:?“Keith Sutter:?The First 20 Years” Where: Arts Building Gallery, 808 Lincoln Way, Auburn Special event:?An artist talk with Keith Sutter takes place 7 p.m. Sept. 16 Information:?(530)?885-5670, placerarts.org