Featuring: Brian Harrington from Legrand Wolf

Name: Brian Harrington

Company Name: Legrand Wolf

Style: Fine Art

Website: www.legrandwolf.com

 

Yes, you read it right. I am talking about the same Brian Harrington, photographer and owner of BHP Imaging. During the last six years his company has established itself as an approachable, professional wedding studio, capturing the spirit of many organic, western weddings. But Brian, the adventurous creature that he is, has recently started exploring another side of his creative self. Enter Legrand Wolf, a combination of his middle name and his wife’s last name, as the perfect name for his new fine art photography company.

Against the Grain

Against the Grain

After he started BHP Imaging, as he was figuring out his way into the wedding business, the Wyoming Technology Business Center (AKA The UW Business Incubator) offered him a spot as one of the entrepreneurs they coach and guide through becoming successful Laramie artists. Brian didn’t know if his vision of success would match theirs, but he did know that The Incubator could help his company move forward. They wanted him to produce fine art photographs, and as part of the deal they would help him learn all of those “side skills” that you need when you are running a successful business on your own: bookkeeping, taxes, marketing... Brian’s end of the deal was to develop a fine art business, and with that objective in mind he has been exploring and refining his fine art photography vision as his wedding company grows.

Laramie #1

Laramie #1

In the beginning it was an arduous journey. Brian was trying to photograph abstract art that would fit his BHP brand and fall within the boundaries of his established vision. But it wasn’t until he started to add his work to a fine-art-selling website, which prompted to think of categories and labels for the work, that he realized that Legrand Wolf wad to become a thing of its own. BHP Imaging is about people and moments. His fine art brand, on the other hand, is about inanimate objects, lines, colors, and textures. He gave himself permission to step outside the box, and then the magic happened.

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Legrand Wolf features older images that Brian shot during some of his trips and as a part of his everyday life, some of which nobody has seen, and also newer, more colorful work that is defining the direction he is going in. Inspired by classic abstract expressionists like Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn, he wants to follow his intuition and create images that he would like to have hanging on the walls of his own house. For now his fine art work is available on his website, which features five galleries: China, Western Landscape (my favorite!), Abstract, Water, and Snow. Curating and uploading the images helped him clear the mental road block that didn’t allow him to see himself as a fine art photographer, and encouraged him to shoot from that place. He envisions his work being slowly discovered by people in other parts of the country, reaching the walls of art lovers who share it with their friends and, as a long term goal, art collectors who will help bring in big sales. In the short term he is looking into printing the images in a large format that will allow the viewer to interact with the work from within, and he is considering finding a gallery space where to show it and sell it locally.

Falling

Falling

To appease all those freshly engaged couples out there who had their eye on BHP to shoot their wedding, let me assure you that Brian is not planning on abandoning the wedding business any time soon. He is a people’s person and enjoys connecting with clients and making them feel heard. Colorful doors and water ripples don’t do that. He gets a different kind of enjoyment in walking around scouting for buildings and lines to photograph, especially now that the shine and newness of people “allowing [him] to photograph their wedding” has worn out. I asked him what he would choose between photographing fine art or weddings, if money wasn’t an issue. He said: “Probably fine art. That way I’d get some more days off and I could have a life again”. And he smiled. He shot 15 weddings in 2016, and did a huge load of commercial work, which means he took just six days off in the entire year. I know what you are thinking: why start another company if he is already so busy with BHP? Because that’s who Brian is. He couldn’t have a desk job and work for somebody else, under somebody else’s rules. He has never done it and he is not interested in it. He has started a second business every year for the last five years, with various degrees of success, and he has learned something from every one of them. This year he is actually going for a new business that won’t require a lot of extra time and attention, since he can shoot while out fishing or exploring the world during his much needed time off, but that will encourage him to confront his own idea of the kind of images he can produce.

Brian and The UW Business Incubator have occasionally differed on what success means as an artist, but they both share a common appreciation for our city, our great community, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Laramie. As he grows as an artist and explores this new path, he knows there is something out there, in the mountains around Laramie, that once he photographs it will feel like his best work. He doesn’t know what it is yet, but he can feel it is there. And he is set out to find it, like he has found a treasure within every one of his yearly adventures.

Spring

Spring

Rise

Rise

Sea

Sea

Featuring: Nadia Kaliszewski from Big Hollow Designs

20160910_181022.jpg

Name: Nadia Kaliszewski

Company name: Big Hollow Designs

What they make: Clothing, jewelry, and accessories using recycled and upcycled materials.

Website: https://www.bighollowdesigns.com

Nadia is one of the creative forces behind Big Hollow Designs, a company selling recycled and repurposed jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Together with her fiancé, Josh, Nadia spends countless hours in her studio, designing creating, and wishing the day was longer so she could bring all the design ideas in her mind to reality. She has been an artist all her life, but only saw her creativity as a money-making endeavor when one night in Encampment, Wyoming, with the music of WhatFest playing in the background, one of her friends noticed that everybody around the bonfire was wearing a funky vest. WhatVest, a collection of party vests inspired by the music festival scene, was born that night and with it, so was Big Hollow Designs.

Some examples of the WhatVest Collection - The Parrot (top, center) is a retro-western style vest inspired by the creations of Manuel Cuevas the famous designer who made outfits for the likes of Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

Some examples of the WhatVest Collection - The Parrot (top, center) is a retro-western style vest inspired by the creations of Manuel Cuevas the famous designer who made outfits for the likes of Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

The Burton Double Windsor Hat

The Burton Double Windsor Hat

The first two years in business Nadia kept her full-time job in energy research at the University of Wyoming, but she would race to her studio as soon as she was home to sew and make jewelry until midnight. She took every class available, like apparel construction and graphic design, which could help her get the skills needed to run her own business. The WhatVest line expanded to hats, skirts, one-piece jumpsuits, tracksuits, cloaks, and other fun costumes. Big Hollow Design sells their products at music and mountain festivals around the region. Josh now travels with Nadia to help sell their collections, as well as his own lines of hats, the Burton Double Windsor Hat, which he creates using vintage ties. It was a win-win plan– they get to be in the scene they love, doing what they love, together. Nadia quit her job last august, and Josh has a seasonal job, which allows them to make products on the slow winter months and travel during the summer.

Jewelry - From the edgy to the rustic, Big Hollow's repurposed earrings are perfect for the true Wyoming mountain girl.

Jewelry - From the edgy to the rustic, Big Hollow's repurposed earrings are perfect for the true Wyoming mountain girl.

The success and response they have received has kept the company growing: they went from doing 5-7 shows in 2015 to a planned 25+ show schedule for the summer of 2017, both in the region and beyond, in places like California and Oregon. Nadia and Josh enjoy selling to people directly; she thrives in the person-to-person interaction with her customers. But the company also has a website where you can find product pages with photographs and descriptions for her one-of-a-kind inventory.

Nadia chose the name “Big Hollow” as a way to pay tribute to the unique area where she lives and works. The Big Hollow, located just west of the city of Laramie, is the largest wind eroded deflation basin in North America and the second largest in the world. Laramie has been Nadia’s home for the last seven years (before moving here for grad school she spent seven years skiing the Tetons), and its university and unique character influences the company’s design aesthetic.

Vintage polyester skirts - A limited edition line of skirts using some of Nadia's vintage patterned polyester fabric that she has collected over the years. She has added funky applique designs to give them a retro feel.

Vintage polyester skirts - A limited edition line of skirts using some of Nadia's vintage patterned polyester fabric that she has collected over the years. She has added funky applique designs to give them a retro feel.

Big Hollow has recently launched a number of outdoor inspired creations, which Nadia ventures into with a certain comfort, perhaps influenced by her days as a professional skier. She says about the future of Big Hollow: “I wish to do all of this while staying true to my values of using repurposed and recycled materials and making quality one-of-a-kind pieces”.

Featuring: Rachel LeBeau from Heart

Photo by Megan Lee Photo

Photo by Megan Lee Photo

Name: Rachel LeBeau

Company name: Heart

What they do: Empower women to love themselves (and their lives) more.

Website: https://www.aheartledlife.com/

 

You may know Rachel from Embellish, the wedding planning company in town which she used to co-own. She started Embellish with her best friend Emily in 2010, when they were both looking for creative fulfillment. In 2014, Rachel’s son was diagnosed with heart disease soon after his birth. The hardships of the initial period that followed the diagnosis opened her eyes to what she wanted for her life: less hiding, more loving, and living on purpose. And that’s when an idea that had been in the back of her mind for a long time took front stage: to start a magazine for women where things were real.

Photo by Heart

Photo by Heart

At the very end of 2015, Rachel and Emily sold Embellish to one of their employees, and that opened the door for Rachel to develop Heart, a compilation of stories by women with something to say. As she started to prepare Volume II, Rachel realized that the project was more than what one person could do, so she decided to find another, more tangible way to show up for women in the community. Heart is now focused on providing tools and coaching experiences to help women take action on the things that matter to them. The brand name is now “A Heart-led Life”, which symbolizes everything Rachel hopes to continue to do, now in a more concrete way: encourage women to live with their hearts in mind, do things that matter to them, love big, and allow themselves time for what they really, truly need.

Rachel and Jessica Romero connected last fall, when the company was in need of some help with marketing. Through their collaboration they realized that their dreams were very similar, so they jumped in and started getting their hands dirty. First, a Facebook women’s group was started, as a place where women can support each other. Fast forward to February 2017, and they have now launched a workbook and course called “Know Your Heart”, that will help women get to know themselves better. It is a 50-page guidebook (you can choose from digital or print) that helps women understand how to use what they already have, by digging deep into what’s stopping them from realizing their dreams and aspirations. There is also an accompanying course to really help them use that to move forward. This is what Rachel has to say about the project: “ We believe it's super important to unearth what really matters to you. From there, decisions are a lot easier. Doing what you want with your life is easier.”

Photo by Heart

Photo by Heart

Sounds like exactly what you need? You are still in time, the course starts March 1st! Head to their website to find the guides, their blog, and heartfelt notes from Rachel and Jessica. https://www.aheartledlife.com/

Featuring: Megan Johnson, from Megan Lee Photography

MeganLee from internet.jpg

Company Name: Megan Lee Photography

Photographer’s Name: Megan Lee Johnson

Specialty: Weddings

Style: Bright and airy

Website: www.meganleephoto.com

In the winter months, it can be hard to find inspiration when its stormy and bleak. After a skiing trip to Tie City off Happy Jack I just knew I had to shoot there!  Matt and Reilly asked for wintery mountain engagements - so I knew it was the perfect opportunity!   https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/reilly-matt-medicine-bow-wyoming-engagement-session

In the winter months, it can be hard to find inspiration when its stormy and bleak. After a skiing trip to Tie City off Happy Jack I just knew I had to shoot there!  Matt and Reilly asked for wintery mountain engagements - so I knew it was the perfect opportunity!  https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/reilly-matt-medicine-bow-wyoming-engagement-session

Sean and Annastasia were the absolute perfect models for this styled inspirational shoot last winter.... and were officially engaged soon after!  This was the same styled shoot listed above at the Vee Bar Ranch and featured in Rocky Mountain Bride.   https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/featured-rocky-mountain-bride-magazine

Sean and Annastasia were the absolute perfect models for this styled inspirational shoot last winter.... and were officially engaged soon after!  This was the same styled shoot listed above at the Vee Bar Ranch and featured in Rocky Mountain Bride.  https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/featured-rocky-mountain-bride-magazine

Megan moved to Laramie two years ago, and in that time she has built a photography business that continues to refine its vision. Committed to her clients 100%, she will drive in a blizzard to get to your wedding in Jackson, or get up before dawn to meet you and your fiancé in the woods and photograph your engagement session when the Wyoming light is the prettiest.

Amanda & Devin's summer garden wedding was nothing short of magical!  The Ivinson Mansion provided the perfect venue for their wedding, the girls were barefoot, the gents all in tans and cream colors... I could have sworn I was transported to the shire!  https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/amanda-devin-ivinson-mansion-wedding-in-laramie-wy

Amanda & Devin's summer garden wedding was nothing short of magical!  The Ivinson Mansion provided the perfect venue for their wedding, the girls were barefoot, the gents all in tans and cream colors... I could have sworn I was transported to the shire! https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/amanda-devin-ivinson-mansion-wedding-in-laramie-wy

Megan spent her childhood summers on the beaches and wilderness preserves of Southern California, and school years in the Rocky Mountains of Central Utah, hiking barefoot up creeks and tending horses and chickens on the family homestead. Traveling with her canon A-1 film camera through Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Zion National Parks, Megan developed a deep passion for exploring and photographing the west.  Together with her husband, the love of her life, she traveled, explored, and worked under the northern lights in Alaska. As a Laramie-based wedding photographer she gets to incorporate her experience in photographing the outdoors into her passion for documenting human connectedness.

Stories and images in National Geographic magazines and the landscapes of the west are Megan’s source of inspiration. The images she creates pulling from those sources tell a story and capture the beauty in natural spaces and real feelings.

There are many wedding photographers to choose from, who are working in Laramie and Southeastern Wyoming. Are you wondering how to decide which one is the right one to photograph your special day? If you are looking for a congenial, easy going gal that will have you wanting to be her best friend, Megan is that gal. She says of her reason for photographing weddings: “I feel so honored to be at every wedding I photograph. L O V E is the best dang thing in the world! To get to witness two people joining their lives together with love, sharing the laughs and tears as I document their day, means the world to me. I am being trusted to tell their story, and I get to create art as I do it. I was born to do this and I’m thankful every day I get to do what I love”.

I met Jemimah & Simon the day after their destination wedding in Jackson Hole and together we drove to the Teton National Forest for a romantic wintry session this last December.  More on the blog here:  https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/love-the-tetons-jemimah-simon-in-jackson  

I met Jemimah & Simon the day after their destination wedding in Jackson Hole and together we drove to the Teton National Forest for a romantic wintry session this last December.  More on the blog here: https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/love-the-tetons-jemimah-simon-in-jackson 

The most spectacular sunset was the perfect end to Charla and Dalton's wedding day in Lagrage, Wyoming last summer. Their entire wedding day was the picture of western romance see more here:  https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/charla-dalton-wyoming-ranch-wedding

The most spectacular sunset was the perfect end to Charla and Dalton's wedding day in Lagrage, Wyoming last summer. Their entire wedding day was the picture of western romance see more here: https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/charla-dalton-wyoming-ranch-wedding

The thing I love about fall is that I get to re-visit with clients and friends for their holiday photos. Jessica, John, and George met with me in The Snowies just after the first snowfall of the year for their holiday cards. I just love how happy they are in this shot - and always!  https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/lake-marie-snowy-range-mountains-couples-session

The thing I love about fall is that I get to re-visit with clients and friends for their holiday photos. Jessica, John, and George met with me in The Snowies just after the first snowfall of the year for their holiday cards. I just love how happy they are in this shot - and always! https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/lake-marie-snowy-range-mountains-couples-session

Booking season is right around the corner! Contact Megan for a consultation or let a freshly engaged friend know about her.

This beautiful cabin is located at the Vee Bar Guest ranch in Centennial.  I loved every minute of this styled winter inspirational shoot, and it was featured in Rocky Mountain Bride this summer.   https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/featured-rocky-mountain-bride-magazine

This beautiful cabin is located at the Vee Bar Guest ranch in Centennial.  I loved every minute of this styled winter inspirational shoot, and it was featured in Rocky Mountain Bride this summer.  https://www.wyomingweddingphotographer.com/megan-lee-photography/featured-rocky-mountain-bride-magazine