MOUNTAIN KIND PHOTOGRAPHY
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Mary Kiesau has explored and been passionate about photography since she was a kid. She inherited old cameras from her parents and learned dark room skills in high school. Born and raised in North Carolina, she started Mountain Kind Photography in 2007, two years after moving to the Methow Valley.
“I started making my own postcards to send to family and friends when I moved here. After a year, I thought, why not print and sell professionally-made postcards.” I was concerned about using virgin wood for paper and creating more ‘stuff’ so I decided to do it in the most sustainable way that I could. I always use 100% recycled paper that is processed chlorine free and with vegetable-based inks, and try to print only what I know will sell. Each year, I give 5% or more of my proceeds to the Methow Conservancy. My goal is to share the beauty and spirit of the Methow while supporting and encouraging the ongoing care and conservation of the Valley. I try to make my photography a symbol for conservation and a tangible way for me to give back to the valley and serve the land.”
Mary most enjoys documenting the natural world, but also does portraits, events and architecture. The business has grown beyond postcards to now include note cards, calendars, wall art and freelance work. Her work can be found at galleries and stores in Mazama, Winthrop, Twisp and Leavenworth.
A PHOTOGRAPHIC DIARY
“I love photography, because it’s accessible to everybody, and it’s a way for me to share the beauty of the world with people. You can look back through years of photos and see cultural, and social and environmental changes. Photography is a great way to document, and it helps me preserve my memories. I don’t feel I have a great memory, so I use my photos like a diary. I can remember how I felt and what the day was like when I look back.”
“I love photography, because it’s accessible to everybody, and, for me, it’s a way to both express myself and to share the beauty of the world with others. Photography is a great way to document things, and it helps me preserve my memories. I don’t feel I have a great memory, so I use my photos like a diary. I can remember how I felt, what I was doing and what the day was like when I look back.”
Mary is the Educational Programs Director for the Methow Conservancy and a TwispWorks board member.
“I really like being connected to the outdoors through gardening, animal tracking, birding or botanizing. I enjoy being interactive with and learning about all the millions of non-human things that make up our world, from lichen-covered rocks to iridescent long-horned beetles to a tiny alpine saxifrage. People may think it’s really dorky and geeky but I love it, and I use photography as a way to learn about, document and share the natural world.”