We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Foreman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In the beginning of this journey, I pondered what goals I had for my photography endeavors. After purchasing my first DSLR camera and winning my first national photo competition the following year, I listed my goals and decided that I would be patient in achieving the goals that I set for my “Gypsy from Nowhere Photography.” I committed to turn my photography into more than a hobby. My hope was to make enough income to pay for better photography equipment and to support my traveling to interesting locations in America. I felt driven to share the beauty of nature with others, especially those who are unable to travel to the locations to see the landscape for themselves. I started off taking some time to find my own photography niche. I began by photographing all types of scenery and animals in nature, both domestic and wild. My husband started teasing me, saying things like, “Hurry up and start making money on this photography so I can retire to drive you around to capture the American landscape.” Oh, the pressure of that statement! I would just laugh but inside, but I really would love that.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When my children grew up and moved out, I went through an adjustment living through the “empty nest “. My friends suggested that I needed to find a hobby to immerse myself in. I spent hours watching photography videos and reading blogs to learn independently about the camera I had purchased. I even attended an adult enrichment beginner photography class at the local Community College. I took what I learned, headed into the woods found a subject whether it was a leaf on a tree, a wildflower, waterfall or a sunset and applied my new knowledge to capturing an image I was satisfied with. I found the most challenging aspect of digital photography for me was the technical side of photography. My spirit knows how I want the image to look so I start playing with my camera settings until I am satisfied with the shot. If asked what settings I used to get a particular shot, I would need a minute to think back on the steps I took in capturing it. I continue to learn every day, but always at the end of the day, I attempt to produce an image that is exposed correctly right out of the camera. I find that teaching myself to navigate the post processing has been quite the learning curve. Thankfully, there are a lot of great photographers who are generous enough to share their personal knowledge with new photographers. I have learned not to compare my work to others in a harsh way, because, everyone has their own style and technique and it’s all art in my opinion. It can be intimidating however, to enter the social media arena when posting in photography groups in the beginning. You need to have thick skin and not get your feelings hurt with criticism. Learning to take criticism and using it in a positive way can trigger growth. It is actually helpful if discouragement doesn’t set in. The mission of Gypsy from Nowhere Photography, is to capture moments in time in a way that will produce memorable pieces of fine art through photography and images that will pull the viewer into the image. I hope to give the viewer a feeling that they are a part of the image, like they were there. If people take a lingering look at one of my images and it moves them emotionally, intellectually or spiritually, I feel personally that I am successful at my craft.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite spots near my town would be the impressive Royal Gorge and the Arkansas River. There is so much to do in this region. Canon City has the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. There is the winery at the Holy Cross Abbey. White water rafting on the Arkansas River, I would recommend a drive up Phantom Canyon Road towards Cripple Creek. This dirt road is a section of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway and is very interesting and beautiful, great place for some photography. I would also recommend visiting the historical Museum of Colorado Prisons in Canon City and its colorful history. Many people assume Denver, Aspen, or even Colorado Springs might be the first choice for touring, but I enjoy taking my friends to the canyon country. For a great meal I would recommend to the White Water Bar& Grill, there you can catch a game of volleyball, throw some axes or chow down on tasty grub. Another favorite eating establishment is of the locals would be, Quincy’s Steakhouse in Florence where it is prime rib night or filet mignon night always. You can’t go wrong with some good ole Colorado beef.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I credit my love of photography to my mother, DK Medlin. She took me on vacation to the Rocky Mountain National Park when I was 5 years old and I never forgot that trip. She owned a 35 mm camera and spent time photographing the scenery in the park. I remember watching her photograph a bull elk in the cool of the morning. I remember noticing the elk’s breath with the sun rays shining down between the trees. I observed my mother take that picture with her camera, and I must have taken it with my mind’s eye. It made an impression. I needed one of those cameras, so she bought me a Kodak camera at some point which imprinted photography in my heart at an early age. Another mentor and supporter I would like to shout out to, is Greg Syverson. We met in Alaska at the Lake Clark National Park years ago. He is always inspiring me with his photography work and is always willing to gives me guidance sharing his years of photography expertise with me. His work is amazing and he is a great all around guy.