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Life & Work with Gloria Moeller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gloria Moeller.

Hi Gloria, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in my parents’ home-based portrait studio. I learned so much from them about proper lighting, composition, and editing final photographs. I watched their techniques of proper studio lighting and how they helped their subjects relax and reveal their personalities in front of the camera. Their photographs were all black and white film-based as digital was far in the future and even color film was not yet available. I spent time watching my father dodging and burning film images on his enlarger. Next would be the magic of watching the images appear on the photo paper in the chemical baths. And later, I would watch my mother do some light tinting on people’s eyes, lips, and cheeks and retouching blemishes. They also taught me the necessary business skills to run a profitable business. I got my first camera of my own, a Kodak Brownie, when I was eight years old. And right away, I left the studio and wandered in nature, snapping images of the natural world around me.

As the years passed, I entered the teaching profession, which I did with a passion for many, many years. I taught mostly at the elementary school level, but also middle school and at the college level at Grossmont College and for the University of Phoenix. I also worked for a history/social studies publishing company which provided me the opportunity to travel around the country to lead teacher workshops and to take nature photographs in a variety of locations.

Once I retired from full-time teaching, I began selling my photographs through micro-stock agencies. Then I ventured out into doing in-person Farmer’s Market sales of my photographs and was juried in as member of the Del Mar Art Center Gallery. I applied and was accepted into the La Jolla Art Association and displayed my work at the La Jolla Community Center, and was a featured in an exhibit there titled “Alive by the Sea.” That adventure led me on to applying and being accepted into the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park where I have shown my work in a studio as well as on the patio as a patio artist. In addition, I am a member of the San Diego County Art Mart Association, where I display my work for sale on the second and fourth weekend monthly. And finally, I am a member of the Coronado Art Association, where I display my work at Spreckles Park in Coronado on the first and third Sunday, monthly. I truly love meeting my customers in person and hearing their direct reactions to my photos. My photos have been shown in the International Art Show at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar. My work is also available for purchase on my online gallery at www.lifeimagesbygloria.com.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of the struggles along the way have been to try to put aside the grumbles I hear that “everyone is a photographer, and “no one buys art anymore” and focus on the reasons I do my business. My number one goal is to wander in nature and capture the emotions of life.

My second goal is to share those images with as many people as possible.

My third goal is to earn a reasonable amount of money so that I can continue my business.

A very recent struggle is that my husband and partner of 53 years passed away suddenly. He was out jogging, took a misstep, and fell, suffering a fatal brain injury that took him away too soon from all of us who loved him. At first, I wanted to never pick up my camera again. But soon, I knew I had to. Not just because it is what he would want, but because doing my photographic work is an integral part of my being that cannot be suppressed. I am driven to continue to capture the emotions of life and share those images with others.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
My photographs touch a place in peoples’ hearts. Perhaps it is a special memory of a place that is similar to a place they have visited or hope to visit. It might be a cute baby animal that tugs at their heartstrings. Or that feeling of freedom they experience when they see my flying pelican photos. The peace and serenity of an ocean or mountain scene that they want to add to their home decor and enjoy every day. And even the pounding energy they feel when looking at my ocean waves scenes. What sets me apart from others is my ability to capture a moment in time that creates a profound response in the buyers of my work.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was a questioner, which at times, was disconcerting to adults. I needed to know the why’s behind peoples’ beliefs and often questioned what I felt were unreasonable ones. And I constantly needed to be outdoors exploring nature, playing in the mud, touching flowers, feeling the grass, building snow forts or ice skating in the winter. I chafed at the fact that the only pre-Title IX girls’ sports allowed at my school were synchronized swimming and golf or tennis. I wanted to run track, or play basketball, but there were no girls’ teams. So, I roller skated at the local indoor rink, rode my bike constantly, and ice-skated in the winter at the local pond. Movement and being in nature were and still are essential requirements for my happiness.

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Image Credits

Gloria Moeller
David Moeller

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