By Holly Hurd ,Venture Mom.com
While shooting photos during family hikes in New Hampshire, Lynne Byrne never thought her passion for photography would lead to a successful business venture. Byrne had worked in advertising on the marketing and client management side. But because she is creative, she also worked with the teams assigned to promote Jell-O® and Advil.
After 12 years, she left her job in advertising to have children.
Not a person to sit still, she kept busy volunteering, chairing multiple school and non-profit fundraising events. Documenting her kids’ lives through photos became a passion.
“I’ve created multiple books for each of our sons, cataloging every holiday, birthday, sporting event and milestone you can imagine,” said Lynne, adding that her family “spends our summers in the most beautiful natural environments.”
“Over the years, I began to turn the camera from the boys to the world around us,” she said. “But rather than photograph a tree, I take extreme close ups of the bark, so close up that the photo almost becomes graphic or abstract.”
Lynne created photo books of her nature shots for her family to enjoy. “My shots went no further than my own coffee table.”
During a vacation to Nantucket, Lynne spent time documenting her friend’s garden.
“The dew that coated everything was magical,” she recalled. “I took close ups of water droplets on blades of grass. You could actually see reflections of the garden in the droplets.” When she looked at the photos she shot, she got the courage to call her a local library where she had seen other artists displaying their work.
The library staff invited her to hang her photos in the gallery and asked her to send an artist’s statement and web site address. “I had neither, but I spent the next two days developing both,” she said. “I thought putting together a web site would be tough, but it was actually easy and fun using Weebly.com.”
Lynne gathered 40 to 50 pieces for the exhibit. She decided to frame her photos in Plexiglas® which is a big job. When the photographic shop she hired to frame the work saw the finished product, they said she should sell her work.
“With that validation, I marched myself into several local shops with my portfolio and a few stores took my pieces on consignment. It was really exciting. “ Lynne sold her first piece, titled “Black and White Water Droplets,” before the library exhibit opened.
She admits she never planned to turn her photography into a business, but “I felt I had ignored my creative side for too long and I wanted to go back and find my bliss. This venture has helped me do that.”
And the fact that people are willing to pay for her creativity has been incredibly validating. Her husband and kids are really proud too. “One of the best parts of all of this has been showing my kids that you can take risks, make things happen and just go for it. And I believe you can find something that feeds your soul.”
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