About ten years ago, a photography workshop seemed the natural next step on my photography “voyage of discovery.” Arizona Highways Photo Workshops provided the opportunity at the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Arizona. That’s when I met Kathleen Reeder, who was the workshop assistant to the photographer back then. It did not take me long to realize Kathleen was the “go to gal” for questions and camera settings. After the workshop, I invited her to friend me on Facebook. She did and from that day forward, we became good friends.
On many occasions Kathleen and I visited Arizona’s photography hot spots for birds and wildlife. In particular there were two destinations that were especially enlightening. Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona was igniting a passion for big cats in Kathleen and the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona with its egrets, herons and shorebirds was inspiring my interest in birds.
I will share that back in that first photo workshop, a photo critique was offered as a wind-up to the event. I did not attend. I was certain, at that time, I had nothing worthy to share and even the thought of sharing was a bit overwhelming. So, I journeyed on my own, building confidence with an occasional Facebook post and eventually creating a website that became more of a storage unit. Thankfully, Kathleen recently helped me reorganize my website.
Overtime, my skills and confidence grew… Fueled by my passion for bird photography and knowing there are a lot of people around the world who share this interest, I created the Birding–Arizona and the Southwest Facebook Group, which has now grown to over 10,000 members. Beautiful photos of Arizona indigenous birds are shared everyday for all to enjoy on this site.
I have been blessed with some award winning photos featured in the Wildlife Views Magazine yearly calendar, as well as the Arizona Highways Wildlife Guide and Audubon.
One image in particular, “Shazaam the Green Heron Strikes Again!” has been competitively chalked on both Eastern and Western seaboards, painted, sketched, sculpted and even made into jewelry. Not many know that Shazaam nearly landed on the cutting room floor, because one wing had slight motion blur, which to me, seemed to be an intolerable imperfection. Thank goodness I didn’t press the delete button!
I love birds of all sizes, shapes and ages. The baby quails, that I affectionately refer to as walking walnuts, are too cute for words!
Capturing spontaneity and natural behaviors are always a delight. Something stirs in my heart when I am engaged with my subject.
Everyday is a voyage of discovery for me when it comes to photography. My final composition may reflect what the camera sees or it may be something creative or artsy. Recently I discovered a photo logo company that added a unique flair to my logo branding of photos. It was the visualization of something exciting and marketable that inspired me to launch Peggy Coleman Nature Impressions.
While I am exploring the ideas for the brand, I am using the photo “impressions” for marketing, greeting cards and gifts. The response has been positive and encouraging as they are viewed as a fun collectible and a nice gift to give to family, friends and customers.
Your voyage is your own. There truly is no limit with your own desire to share, inspire, market or simply admire the gift that wildlife photography brings to our lives. Thank you Kathleen for your continuous inspiration and Bon Voyage to you, my friends!
About Peggy Coleman
Peggy is a talented photographer and writer (I keep encouraging her to write a book to share her stories), and I am thankful that our paths crossed along our photography voyages. She is life-long friend.
Her photos are featured in numerous publications, including Arizona Highways Wildlife Guide, Arizona Highways Magazine, Arizona Key Magazine, AAA Highroads Magazine, Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Calendars 2014 -2016, Phoenix Living Magazine and commercial media on behalf of Bearizona Wildlife Park, in Williams, Arizona.
For now, Peggy Coleman Nature Impressions co-exists with her full-time career as a Licensed Mortgage Professional with Cherry Creek Mortgage Company in Scottsdale, Arizona. Keep an eye on this talented lady as her journey continues.