My name is Stefanie Bloomer and I'm the photographer for Gallery Of Hope.
Growing up in Nehalem OR, I had fields to run through, places to explore, and sometimes tall grass to play hide-in-seek. Nature was my playground, fun, and where I wanted to be but as I got older, it was the furthest thing from my thoughts.
Now many years later, nature is once again my fun. In addition it's also excitement, encouragement, joy, peace, and comfort.
My story and journey is a medical one, so here is the very short version of how Gallery Of Hope came to be. (See my first blog for a bigger description on how Gallery Of Hope started.)
Back in 2012 I had an episode with symptoms similar to a stroke but was considered a "complicated migraine" and it somehow did damage to my vestibular (balance) system. Thankfully I had a really good vestibular therapist who helped show me walking techniques to compensate for the constant motion sensitivity and visual dependency my brain was now left with.
Later that year I saw in a black Friday ad, a cheaply priced Nikon digital camera and immediately bought it as a family gift. It ended up that my kids were not interested in it, but nature photography instantly became my passion, coping mechanism, and gift from God.
In 2013 after taking many pictures and trying to figure out what to do with them, I knew helping people was my goal. It was a huge challenge to adjust from being a hardworking, independent person to one who can't even work or drive anymore. Ironically, if it wasn't for that migraine episode, nature photography may never have become a part of my life.Since I know what it's like to live with an "invisible" illness and how taking pictures helps me, Gallery Of Hope was formed to hopefully help others get through, or accept their challenges, and cope with life situations. When people look at my pictures, I want them to feel better and have hope, joy, encouragement, or laughter.
WHY OREGON SOUVENIRS
For years I worked at a local retail store, and many tourists would come in looking for Oregon souvenir and apparel items but get disappointed at the minimum selection. They would say other local stores were too expensive and end up leaving town without good souvenirs. Since there is a need for reasonably priced souvenirs and apparel items for tourists, Oregon and Oregon Coast designs are included with Gallery Of Hope to help tourists and fellow Oregonians enjoy the beauty of Oregon.
Taking pictures are like expressing art or fishing because you have to wait for the perfect catch. Many of my pictures are unique from other photographers. I don't let having an inexpensive camera get in the way of unusual shots. I'm amazed at some of the photos my camera has taken and how it can show beauty in animals, birds, and little creatures that usually are taken for granted or not really noticed. I don't have Photoshop, so all these images are real. The Paint Program on my computer is what I use to write text.
Taking nature photos has been educational for me. Even though I grew up here on the Oregon Coast, it was photography which taught me that bald eagles are not born with their white head, they get it at maturity. Learning about nature by experiencing it, has been interesting & rewarding.
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Life can be hard with many challenges - Stay strong, find your peace & strength, and enjoy nature as much as possible.
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All images are copyrighted, so please do not copy and/or distribute any images without my permission. Thank you and take care.