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Finding Passion, and Purpose in Photography

Community: Tyler Mode
By Olive Gallagher, Contributing Writer | Photos courtesy of Tyler Mode

Professional photographer and avid weather-forecasting enthusiast Tyler Mode knew what he wanted to do ever since he first looked through the lens of a camera. Raised in Vancouver as one of five kids, he took a high school course in photography and never looked back. “That first click was magical, and I couldn’t put it down.”

With the first camera he received from his beloved grandfather who loved to travel, Tyler discovered, along with his talent, the joy of giving unselfishly of his time and talent to others.

Named Battle Ground 2022 Citizen of the Year, he’s continued to divide his time since earning a BA in liberal arts at Washington State University sharing his creative gift with many others while also working in the grocery store business. He took his first job as a clerk at 18 and worked his way through college with jobs at a grocery store and a radio/TV station. After spending 16 years with Safeway working his way from clerk to assistant manager, he became store manager for the Grocery Outlet in St. John’s.

In 2010, he moved to Battle Ground and initially offered his services to photograph the high school football team. That led to photographing other groups and the subject of his first senior picture turned out to be Lori Lindberg’s son. That connection led to him providing services to Rocksolid, and as word got around about his talent and willingness to contribute, others began to hire him. To this day, he makes a contribution from his fees back to the group that hired him.

Since his teen years, Tyler has also had a fascination with the weather and collecting data, and in 2019, began forecasting on Facebook. Today, he lives alone with, as he puts it, “beaucoup equipment.” After suffering a brain stroke in March 2022 just as the world was shutting down with COVID, he credits his interest in forecasting with helping him during recovery, which he accomplished in record time. He added, “the stroke woke me up.” It made him realize he needed to make time to travel to a new country every year. This desire is now so important that he has established the Tyler Mode Media Travel Scholarship. He annually awards $1000 to assist a student to travel and raises the money for the gift through sales of his photography calendar featuring local landscapes.

It’s easy to understand why Tyler was chosen as Citizen of the Year. Along with the above-mentioned organizations, he’s also generously given his time and talent to restaurants like Mill Creek Pub and the South Pacific Cafe (now Playmakers), the Battle Ground Sweet Shoppe and the Boy Scouts of America. He’s grateful to friends like Lori Lindberg and Russell Brent for providing invaluable support and help in community building and relationships. As he simply summed it up, “We’re given two hands. One to help ourselves and one to help others.”