Artist Statement 

As a photographer growing up in the American Southwest I drew an immense amount of inspiration from the natural landscape around me. Drawing inspiration from different environments has followed me through the rolling hills of western Ireland, the mountains of Colorado, and even exploring the urban landscape of Philadelphia, where I currently call home. I gravitate towards exploring the relationship between these environments and people’s internal thoughts and experiences. I have been told that my work often evokes a sense of nostalgia from its viewers, and I credit this in part to the fact that I work mainly with alternative photographic processes and film. I prefer analog methods of photography because it allows me to step into its creation entirely and even leave a piece of myself within the work. With that said, I hope to invite the viewer into the artwork as well and create a parallel between my work and their own personal experience. There is often a lot of intention within each photograph I create. In addition to use of imagery, oftentimes I will utilize my chosen process, whether that is polaroid transfers, tin-types, cyanotypes, etc. to aid the themes I am trying to convey to the viewers.


In addition to my fine art I work commercially photographing boutique weddings and elopements as well as an array of other portraits. To view my portfolio and learn more click here.

Makenzie Hillegass

Phone: 520-499-9833




BFA (Studio Art with Concentration in Photography) Arcadia University (2023)

3.65 GPA


  • Arcadia University Summer Residency, Student-Artist-in-Residence – Glenside, PA

  • Burren College of Art,  Student-Artist-in-Residence – Ballyvaughan, Ireland 


  • First Annual Cremona Morrey Art Exhibition, Arcadia University – Glenside, PA 

  • Immersed, Burren College of Art – Ballyvaughan, Ireland 

  • Self Portrait Exhibition, Decode Gallery – Tucson, Arizona 

  • Creative Quarterly Issue 68, Creative Quarterly Journal – Online Exhibition

Recognition & Awards 

  • Runner-Up, First-Annual Cremona Morrey Exhibition – Glenisde, PA

  • Honorable Mention, Creative Quarterly Issue 68 – Online Exhibition 

Work Experience

  • Dark Room Lab Monitor, Arcadia University, (2020-2023)

  • Portrait Photographer, Freelance, (2019-Present) 

  • Lead Event Photographer, Bryn Mawr Racing Company, (2021-2023)

  • Instagram