Once in a while, things just “click!” Our July interviewee, photographer Heather K. Purdy, shares with us her beautiful images – forged when a flash of inspiration lights up the studiously honed canvas of her craft. With agility, talent, and hard work Heather has built a business in fine art photography and client portraiture while traveling the globe.
MilspoFAN: Tell us a little about yourself, your journey as a military spouse, and where you are today.
Heather: My Naval Aviator husband and I have been married for nine years and have spent six of those living in Europe, one on two different continents, and our first year of marriage separated for ten months! I grew up at the base of the Cascades in Washington and had lived on two different continents outside the US before meeting and marrying my husband in Washington DC, where I moved after college, and he was on a special assignment.
MilspoFAN: How did you become a photographer?
Heather: I studied Narrative and Documentary Film/TV in college, and worked in TV for a short time, before realizing the industry culture wasn’t one I felt fulfilled in… So, I left to work in non-profits, until we moved to Spain, where as a NATO spouse, I couldn’t get a job in the economy. I had been missing being behind the camera, and came up with the idea to open my photography business then and there!
MilspoFAN: Describe for us your creative work and the aesthetic of your photography?
Heather: I always say: “Capture the way it felt, not the way it looked…” My client work is mostly lifestyle focused… I specialize in maternity and anniversary connection sessions, as well as intimate weddings… I draw inspiration from the organic and find myself drawn to natural light, dramatic backdrops, and earthy elements… My work is fine art, but modern and fresh and I emphasize capturing moments, and not just poses. I focus a lot on the client experience and make sure the sessions are all about them truly connecting… I ask questions to bring them closer together, guide them into moments that express visual intimacy which then translates beautifully into their images.
For my personal work, I shoot lots of travel, landscapes, and florals. I love to use prisms, broken glass, fabric, and other foraged items to play with. Creating these images is both a passion and a practical one, as I sell a lot of fine art prints on my site! It keeps me challenged, since I use different objects to convey the way I am feeling when shooting…
MilspoFAN: How do you cultivate your creativity?
Heather: I believe that when your job is also your passion annnnnd your hobby, it is really important to have personal projects that fuel your creative fires. I also believe in studying the world around you for constant inspiration… I have been inspired when visiting museums and seeing the way the old master painters used directional light in their paintings, and have figured out how to translate that to my camera work… I flip through magazines to dissect each image down to its bare elements to determine how the photo was shot and edited, and to find what I like/dislike about it, so I can take away a little spark of inspiration…
MilspoFAN: What is the most practical piece of advice that you would give to other artists?
Heather: Keep creating. Even when you aren’t feeling the urge… Keep creating. Keep pushing. Keep challenging yourself in your art and your work. Also… Put in the behind-the-scenes work. Study your craft, learn the ins-and-outs… With so many free tutorials out there, we should be honing our craft every chance we get! I’ve started a Facebook group for beginner photographers who are looking for a little guidance, as I know it is a vast world out there, with so many places to start, it gets overwhelming! Anyone is welcome to join: Heather K. Purdy, Fellow Photographer’s Party!
You can find Heather online at: