Photographer Matalyn Gardner cut her creative teeth in the world of public relations.
Gardner is February’s featured member at the cooperative Artists of the Rim Gallery, 408 W. Main, Payson.
Her PR work was with the water utilities of Dallas, Texas. She also worked with the department’s personnel, long-range planning and more.
She celebrated the 10th anniversary of her relocation to the Rim Country Saturday, Jan. 31.
Gardner was not a stranger in a strange land when she landed here. She’d married an Arizona native while in Texas and they made regular visits back to the Grand Canyon State. These visits included frequent camping trips to the Rim Country.
Gardner’s serious involvement with photography preceded her arrival in the area by about five years. She said she started learning about it in preparation for a second career to which she aspired — becoming a journalist.
“I knew there wouldn’t always be a photographer around for me,” she said.
Her studies were first with 35mm cameras and old-fashioned darkroom work.
Now she does digital work and processes her photos with her computer.
Gardner’s photos at the gallery will be accompanied by notecards which feature reproductions of her work.
Her passion is photographing landscapes, wildlife and especially colorful events. Gardner also continued to do commercial work, creating brochures and other publicity material. She is now in charge of the publicity for Artists of the Rim Gallery and counts a number of her fellow artists among her clients.
The subjects guests will see in her featured work at the gallery include a balloon festival in Reno, Nev., bald eagles, Rim wildlife and one of her favorites — the Hashknife Pony Express riders.
Gardner has a number of things she still wants to shoot.
“I haven’t been able to get the elk. They come through behind my house in the middle of the night,” she said.
She hopes to be able to shoot Native American ceremonials and their traditional foot and horse races.
“I want to photograph the slot canyons up around Page,” she said.
But her ultimate goal — for right now:
“What I really want to find is an opportunity to spend time photographing cowboys at work on a ranch,” Gardner said.
A reception for Gardner will be held at Artists of the Rim Gallery as part of the First Friday festivities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6.
To learn more about Gardner’s work, she can be contacted at Trails End Photography, HC 3, Box 510-G, Payson, AZ 85541, (928) 474-3883, by cell at (928) 266-7750, or by e-mail at matgard1@yahoo.