Minnie Gallman took her first photograph, with a brownie box camera, at the age of 4. “It was a picture of my newborn sister,” she remembers.” I’ve been taking pictures ever since.” Folks who come to the 2020 Chatham Studio Tour will see the results of Minnie’s life-long passion in the nature-inspired photographs that she has created.
Minnie grew up surrounded by 150-acres of nature in North Central Ohio “It was a magic place,” she says. “There were forests, lakes, and fields inhabited by all kinds of flowers, plants, birds, and animals. I experienced nature constantly changing with each day and season – all inspiration for my photography.” “My childhood was filled with sunshine,” she smiles.
Minnie received degrees in history and psychology and a Master’s in Library Science. Over the years, she worked in marketing and even some substitute teaching. She spent 22 years working for the Government as a librarian and Human Resource Officer.
“I became serious about photography, when I joined a camera club in the early 1990s called the North Virginia Photographic Society,” she explains. “Participating in the club introduced me to new ways to improve my photography. My photos encourage the viewer to see the extraordinary uniqueness of ordinary subjects. I attempt to do this whenever I capture a photo of any subject be it people, animals, architecture, or nature. My primary interest is nature photography which presents a constant challenge to create photographs of something that is familiar to all of us.”
Over the years her photography techniques have changed but the beauty of nature remains constant. In the year 2000, she switched to digital photography and now uses a Nikon 750, a Panasonic mirrorless camera and of course her iPhone. “I have accumulated over 90,000 photographs,” she quips. Sometimes Minnie uses a variety of camera techniques and software that allows her to explore creative ways to enhance her photos. “I basically paint with my camera — my studio is the natural world — my camera is my canvas — my lenses are my brushes.”
Minnie’s photographs are exhibited at the UNC Hillel House. One of her photos was chosen from almost 900 entries to be displayed at the Chatham County Agriculture Center. She has exhibited at “Through the Lens Gallery” in Raleigh, Fearrington Gathering Place, Campbell House and had a solo exhibit at Galloway Ridge. She participated in Artist Studios at Fearrington Village Studio Tour and several Art and Craft shows. She was awarded a ribbon for a photograph of a Lily taken at the last Chapel Hill Garden Tour. The North Carolina Botanical Garden sells her flower kaleidoscope note cards. Her work sells from $4 for cards to $200 for large framed photos
“When people visit my studio, I hope that they experience the vibrant color and beauty of nature,” she exclaims. “I try to make the ordinary extraordinary.”
All photos by Minnie