Artist Spotlight: Alanna St. Laurent

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a drone! If you happen to see a drone camera around downtown Detroit, there’s a good chance it belongs to local photographer Alanna St. Laurent.


The Detroit artist is always trying out innovative and new ways to take photographs, and drone photography has recently captured her passion.


Up in the Air



Alanna’s GMRENCEN Instagram takeover will focus on her drone photography, highlighting different parts of the Detroit skyline – a medium she’s started exploring since it was invented. She’s looking for different vantage points to find new detail in her images as her camera hovers hundreds of feet above street level.


She learned the trade from friends, but that’s not to say it’s an easy skill to pick up. Like with anything, there’s a learning curve when it comes to drone photography.


“It’s a whole different playing field up there. You can take pictures straight down from where the drone is, an entire 90 percent angle, or you can focus the camera up 30 degrees for the shot you want. It’s taken a bit of time but I’m enjoying exploring the skyline with the drone. There are so many possibilities with it,” Alanna said.


She particularly loves flying the drones near the tops of tall skyscrapers – especially Detroit towers that were built in the 1920s. With her drone, she can zoom in on technical, architectural and artistic features at the crown of each building – a scene that would be nigh impossible without a drone.


Professional Career



Alanna started taking photography classes when she was an advisor at the College for Creative Studies in 2007 and fell in love with the medium. That passion has never left her, and she regularly explores Detroit, and the country, searching for new ways to “see” a scene, skyline or setting.


She now sells print copies of her photographs on her website and features her images at rotating art fairs in and around Metro Detroit.


Alanna thinks of abandoned buildings as “the Wild West” because no building is ever the same, and she never knows what she’s going to find. She now leads photography workshops in and around Detroit. The forward-thinking photographer’s sessions are designed for newly burgeoning photographers as they learn the trade and focus with architectural and cityscape photography. The workshops also bring local photographers together to capture some of Detroit’s most photographic events.


She’s grown her industry reputation over the years and now is a full-time photographer, and leads her own business, which was always a goal of hers.


Follow Alanna over the next two weeks on our Instagram as she shows us Detroit from the sky.


Alanna St. Laurent lives in Ferndale. Follow her on Instagram at @alannastlaurentphoto or visit her online portfolio at to see Detroit through her lens.