This is the story of a girl...
McKayla Bower grew up in the foothills of Northern California, surrounded by beauty and nature. From a young age she was always drawn to the outdoors. She could be found playing in the mazanita forest, climbing the rocks in the front yard, 40ft up an oak tree, or building her own treehouse. This passion for the natural world and ingenuity as well as passion for creative problem solving has continued to drive her life.
During school she took every opportunity she could to escape to the outdoors and pursue these passions. Once she'd finished, the sky was the limit. She followed her dreams of working in theatre and took on many productions in the following years including sound design for show such as Hair! with ArtsWest Playhouse, and Picasso at the Lapin Agaile with The University of Washington's Graduate Program.
While theatre is still her primary workplace of choice, she did take a hiatus to pursue a career in baking. Working for many prestigious bakers in the Seattle area and owning her own bakery for a period of time. This more "normal" work allowed for better time to spend in the mountains.
In 2015, she took off to the California Desert and hiked back to the Pacific Northwest via the Pacific Crest Trail. The following year, she tackled the infamous Ptarmigan Traverse and currently has her eye's set on an unproven high mountaineering route known as the High East Traverse.
After 22 years of knowing she was trans, McKayla finally came out and began her transition at 25. Truly, this was the greatest decision of her life. The support, love and happiness she found in her new life has truly been life changing.
Photography has always been an interest of McKayla's, but when she decided to spend her tax return on a camera several years ago, she had no idea what new doors and opportunities it would present. Quickly after beginning to share her work she was hired for a mountain biking festival, followed by more climbing and outdoor shoots. Willing to go to any lengths to "get the shot" she even managed to get herself thrown out of pride one year. Yes, the cops through out the only trans photographer at pride. If you want someone who will bend over backwards to get you the perfect photo, feel free to reach out. Many discounts for the queer community exist.
2020 arrived and before the world showed any signs of lock down, McKayla found herself being offered a sailboat. This was a passion that had always been biting at the back of her mind, but never had she had the opportunity to take on a boat. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as the world shut down and went into lockdown, she sailed away.
Now, McKayla can still be found plotting new climbing and hiking routes from her 30ft floating home. Finding ways to express herself, as well as support and express her community through photography. And plotting a sail south toward warmer waters in the coming years.