I did not start out to be a fine art photographer or a fine art anything.
I was a working Mom, raising three children, and I took pictures (I wasn’t making them at this point) to document my kids growing up and to preserve our precious family memories. I captured a lot of crazy childhood stunts, touching and sometimes tearful moments that narrated our family journey. I still take family pictures, but today’s images include my kids and their kids.
My near hyper-active interest in family photography caught the attention of close friends with photographic skills several pay grades past mine, and they invited me to a South County Photo Club meeting https://southcountyphotoclub.com/. I had no idea what to expect, but within 30 minutes, I was stunned at the member’s enthusiasm and the amazing pictures these club photographers shared. “How do they do that,” I asked myself, and I went home that night inspired and excited.
I wanted to do what they were doing. I needed to make, not take, better pictures, and I joined the next week.
An Art Photography Journey Begins
I attended more meetings and teaching sessions, and gradually, my pictures became more than casual snapshots. I was developing a sense of timing, finding visual narratives, and displaying a personal expression. Technical flaws melted away as I learned more and upgraded my gear. I was pleased with my learning journey, but then my journey took another turn.
Landscape photographer and friend Martha Hernandez convinced me to attend a National Park Photography Expedition (NPPE) Masterclass www.nppemasterclass.com. Through this experience and ten more of their workshops, I learned creative camera skills, advanced post-production techniques, and the world of landscape art photography.
NPPE also offered me a mentorship in art photography with an emphasis on interpretive landscape. The program is similar to a low residency MFA with hands-on instruction, and that helped me to see and create images that were a vision beyond documentation.
Wahoo! Somebody Buys My Art Photography Prints
I began to submit my work for publication, and I was a bit shocked and, of course, delighted that editors were selecting my western landscape images for their websites and magazines. Then through social media, people contacted me to buy my art photography prints. It was exhilarating and a confidence builder to make a first sale, which encouraged me to try other opportunities. Thus, I made an application to The Festival of the Arts https://bit.ly/3ix6zfq, a prestigious art festival in Laguna, California. After weeks of nervous waiting, I got the jury notice that my work would be in the 2022 summer festival.
It was a week before family and friends could peel me off the ceiling as I was rocked at being selected, and then I got busy. The workload of planning, printing, framing, and a million other promotional tasks came at me with hurricane force, but the Festival team, photography friends, and my mentor gurus jumped in to help this novice artist. I got ‘it’ done, and the Lynn Beeler Fine Art Photography Exhibit went live on opening night.
The Learning Space
For me, participation in a major fine art festival meant that other professionals and customers believed in my art photography, and I sold my art prints. But my exhibit area was also a learning space, a real-time classroom, and visitors to my booth would talk about how they felt about art and the personal impact new pieces would have on the walls of their homes, offices, and hospitality spaces. Through these informal talks, I learned that home art buyers consider two things: decoration and inspiration. More importantly, I realized that while I create and love the work I make, I am also making art prints not for everyone but for anyone with whom I share things in common.
The Journey Continues
Family picture-taking is still a big part of my life, but I constantly explore new themes, ideas, and techniques to create landscape art and still-life work in my north light studio. I make art for me, but I also hear the back-of-mind whisper that my art photography prints can positively impact those who find appreciation in the beauty that abounds in the world around us. To the extent that people wish to purchase my work, I hope they do so for the inspiration they find and the joy of owning art pieces that will celebrate how they feel about where they live and work.