Photographer Darylann Leonard Has Two Nature-Based Workshops Planned for 2024
One is for beginners!
Under a Pink Sky
Darylann Leonard’s love for photography began as a child, watching and learning from her father, who was a teacher and self-taught photographer. Through the years, her love for hiking and exploring the outdoors has provided a natural classroom for learning the art of photography. Darylann has worked for over 25 years in Maine as a clinical social worker. Her experience in helping people through dark times in their lives, encouraging them to see their inner strength and beauty, has carried over into her vision as a photographer. Darylann believes that not only does photography challenge people as individuals, but it also provides an opportunity to show others the world through one’s own eyes. Her goal of bringing her own vision of the beauty of nature to others keeps her love for this art alive.
Darylann has been a contributing photographer for Down East magazine since 2014. Her photography has been featured on Maine Lake and Mountains Visitor Guide, Midcoast Maine Visitor Guide, and Western Maine Guidebook. Her work has also placed in international competitions, including the Greater Lynn and Glennie Memorial Nature Salon. She earned a second-place finish in the 2013 Maine Photography Show. Darylann has been an exhibiting artist at Gallery 302 in Bridgton, Maine, since 2012.
How long have you been photographing?
I started experimenting with photography during my teen years. After becoming a mom, I mostly photographed my family and places we visited. During my career as a clinical social worker specializing in trauma work, I started to face burnout. For self-care I started spending more time hiking and practicing photography. It became my personal coping strategy, and I became consumed with learning as much as I could about this art form. I would say I crossed over to doing photography professionally about 15 years ago. I started to show my work in local galleries, took jobs photographing sports teams and high school seniors and providing my landscape work to magazines and local travel guides. I started teaching workshops about four years ago, which I absolutely love.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest learning curve for photography?
I feel like the biggest learning curve can be finding your photographic voice. We all learn and practice the fundamentals of making a good image, which is always a fun pathway of learning. I think the true challenge that keeps me so excited about this art form is finding a way to express yourself through your interpretation of a scene. The art of becoming grounded in the composition and studying the light to show the viewer the emotions of what that moment meant to you can take time to develop in the field.
Where are your favorite places to take photos?
I love exploring the small coastal towns, anywhere in my backyard of western Maine with so many lake and mountain scenes. I also love to go to Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park. When I have the opportunity to travel to other states or countries, I always bring my camera along. My favorite condition to shoot in has become fog. Fog provides such a unique opportunity to create really artistic images.
What’s been your most memorable photo assignment?
I went out to shoot sea smoke to build up my winter portfolio. The light and conditions were amazing! I have never been so cold in my entire life. My eyelashes were covered in ice and, despite all the layers of clothing, it took hours to defrost! I love photographing the extremes that Mother Nature can provide.
What do you most look forward to when teaching a workshop?
I think my favorite part of teaching is being a part of the camaraderie that forms during these workshops. As a group, we have the opportunity to disconnect from everyday life and explore nature together while learning about the art of photography. It’s so rewarding! Seeing students’ excitement in learning something new or viewing a new location for the first time is so much fun.
Every year in June, Maine experiences a beautiful display of gorgeous lupine blooms, and Darylann has focused each spring on photographing these beautiful blooms all over the state. During this workshop, you’ll explore the towns of Whitefield, Bristol, Round Pond, Bremen, and Appleton to capture a variety of inland and coastal fields.
This workshop will focus on the beautiful western mountains and lakes of Maine. Darylann Leonard is lucky enough to call this area her backyard, and has intimate knowledge of photo locations, local weather, and great food stops. Possible locations for shooting will be Bridgton, Harrison, Waterford, Stow, Fryeburg, Evans Notch, and Norway.