Inside this issue
Jim Becia – Portrait of a Photographer
Stubbornly capturing nature’s magic on an 8x10 camera
Matt Payne is a landscape photographer and mountain climber from Durango, Colorado. He’s the host of the weekly landscape photography podcast, “F-Stop Collaborate and Listen,” co-founder of the Nature First Photography Alliance, and co-founder of the Natural Landscape Photography Awards. He lives with his wife, Angela, his son Quinn, and his two cats, Juju and Chara.
In a recent conversation with a photographer on my podcast, I found myself defending the merits of my stubborn nature as it relates to approaches to business and social media. Often, I think society paints those who are stubborn in a negative light, and even the dictionary makes it seem like a bad personality trait by referring to stubbornness as “unreasonable persistence.” Personally, I’ve come to greatly admire fellow landscape photographers who I see as stubborn, and Jim Becia is a prime example of one such photographer.
Like so many nature photographers I’ve spoken with, Jim never saw himself as a creative person early on in life, and he gravitated to playing sports as a youngster in his blue-collar town in northeast Connecticut. He eventually matriculated to college in Iowa, where he was an American footballer. Jim never really put much thought into photography until one day, during his freshman year, a fellow dorm resident showed him some Kodachrome slides, which deeply resonated with him. That very summer, he decided to save up to buy his first camera, a Minolta SRT101 and spent the next three years of college working for the college newspaper and yearbook as a photographer. The rest, as they say, is history! Jim’s career took many twists and turns after college, with four years spent as a ski bum in Snowmass, Colorado (I can’t say I blame you there, Jim), and various odd jobs at both Yellowstone and Zion National Parks, where his love for the natural landscape was kindled. He decided to move to Wisconsin to pursue more serious work by opening a frame and gallery shop with his wife-to-be. While he wasn’t selling his own photography, he was learning what it takes to sell photography and make a modest living off it. After 14 years of being in business, he decided to close his shop and pursue the sales of his own work via art fairs.