Meet photographer, Heather McKay Bowes
(yep, that’s her playing in the snow). I asked Heather for an interview for my Become Your Dream
series. When I received her interview with her images, I was reminded how much I love her work. Her works tell a story, which I wanted to share with. A story of love, adolescence & family, a story I want to remember and hold onto. These pictures remind me of what it felt like to be a kid, so happy, full of imagination and wonder. And what it might feel like to be a parent. I had a hard time limited or editing Heather’s images because they are that amazing, so here they are in full glory.
1) Tell us about yourself and where you’re located.
Hello! What a wonderful treat to be interviewed here at Hazel Wonderland. When I first came across HW while looking for a logo designer I completely fell in love with the art and vision that it is.
I live in Epsom, NH in an 1850 farmhouse with my husband and our two children Jack and Maggie. We live surrounded by farms and forests and a great community of neighbors. We have been here less than a year, having moved from Park City, Utah.
2) What is your business and what sets you apart from others?
I am a photographer with the majority of my work being commissioned portraits of children and their families. I have also photographed intimate weddings, birthday celebrations, family reunions, and some commercial and editorial assignments. You may also find me backstage bumping elbows in the photo pits of some pretty incredible concerts. In the last year I have begun mentoring artists and photographers in helping them find their true vision, using nature to find their path. It has been so inspirational.
What sets me apart? Well, there are so many incredible portrait photographers out there and I suppose that I have set myself apart by following my heart. My love of nature is as strong as my love of photographing people, they seem to have become one. Some have described my work as more of a Naturalist photographer than a Portrait photographer. I use simple composition with a sense of serenity between my subjects and the natural world asking my clients to allow me to photograph them as they are, their everyday ordinary events. I also avoid much of the pomp and circumstance in the social media world of forums and such, try to stay off the grid as much as possible. Doing this while running a business is a tricky bit, but I feel it more important to do what I need to stay grounded.
3)What is your passion in life and/or business?
My passion in life is to raise my children to find inspiration, peace, and wonder in the simple beauty which surrounds them. To find joy not in the material things but rather in life experiences and the people they share them with. In business my passion is showing others through photographs, the beauty they each possess. To allow them to see that they have a truly magical and wonderful life no matter how simple, chaotic, or uncertain it may seem.
4) What brings you ultimate joy and inspiration?
Being outdoors with the people I love. Climbing mountains, a tent by a river, laying under the stars with my family on a warm summer night. I am always inspired by just how small we are and just how grand the world is, how perfect it is, a true masterpiece.
5) Who are your dream customers/clients?
My dream clients are the ones who trust me and push me. It is a give and take, my work is always a collaboration.
6)What has been one of your biggest lessons or challenges as an entrepreneur, and how did you learn from it?
Having the confidence to charge what I ought to. I give too much away, and then that is time away from my children, my family, which I can’t get back. Learning that time IS money and that I need to sometimes remove my heart from my art when it comes time to make a profit, to pay our bills. It has taken much discipline to keep my numbers visible and firm. Something often difficult for those of us who work in the creative field.
7) Where do you see yourself in three years from now?
This is usually an ongoing list which gets revised monthly and sits on the right side of my desk. Here is a bit of the less immediate list:
bigger vegetable garden and more canned storage space in the basement
4 beehives (I get my first package of bees this April!)
learning the art of encaustics and using it with my photography
filling more pages within our passports
more mountain tops reached and national parks explored
more nights under the stars
increased editorial work
more portrait clients across the country
a published book
8)30 seconds in an elevator with your role model, who would it be and what would you say?
John Muir. I would say “thank you”.
9) If money were no issue where would you be and what would you be doing?
Dream time! I like this question.
First I would purchase the 150 acres surrounding our home for the dairy cows down the road and to be sure it doesn’t get developed. A small cabin in Tollgate Canyon, Utah outside Park City so that we could visit our friends and be in the mountains often. Spend a month camping, hiking, photographing Big Sur with my family. I just drove the 17 mile Highway in CA last week in a hurry and promised to return to be under those trees. My husband would be home more, working less. Most certainly I would be exposing more film and gifting more prints to those who can’t afford to have portraits made. And teaching, teaching children, artists, and anyone who has lost their vision and could use the help of a few nights under the stars and among the trees.
10) Any words or wisdom you would like to share with others looking, striving to become their own dream?
My immediate words are simple. Go Outside
Don’t compare yourself to others, don’t compare your work, your process, your art or your dreams. Stay humble and stay curious. Do what you can with what you have. Remember, THIS is where it is beautiful. Right here, right now.
I am currently listening to: DeVotchka
Favorite Book: Gnomes by Poortvliet/Huygen
My Favorite Business Tool: other than my camera it is my Field Notes. (www.Fieldnotesbrand.com
) “an honest memo book worth fillin’ up with good information”
Favorite Quote: “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, I was really going in.” John Muir
Find more on Heather here at her portfolio
. And Heather, thank you – you have reminded me how grateful I am to be here.