Heather Spaleny: Beauty from Chaos


To briefly explain this title, in science the chaos theory, or more specifically the butterfly effect, hold that a minor change may result in consequences that seem unrelated. A butterfly flaps its wings, and weeks later, a hurricane is influenced…. a feather lands on a tree branch, which later falls and causes a rockslide… and in this case… a single drop of rain gave birth to Traverse City, MI Heather Spaleny’s photographic career.

“I was 16 years old when it all started,” Heather explained. “I was walking outside one day and noticed the tiniest drop of rain on the petal of a tulip. It was in that moment that I ran to find my wind-up throw away camera so I could snap a photo of it.”

Inspired by the way the rain bubbled on the tulip, Heather said the picture opened her eyes to the infinite possibilities of photography.

Heather Spaleny: Beauty from Chaos
A Perfect Balance: Photographer Heather Spaleny displays control of photographic elements including lighting, framing, and composition, as she captures an artistic image of Model Britney Simerson. Heather captures a strikingly candid photo of Model Alicia Igo.

“It was a sort of magical feeling the way I felt, how something so simple could bring me a great happiness,” she explained. “From that moment on, I wanted to take pictures of everything!”

With subjects that ranged from friends and family, to toddlers, to dongs in funny hats fruits in bowl, and even clouds, Heather said nothing escaped her photographic eye.

“I more recently have broadened into shooting with local models and it has given me a great opportunity to meet new people and discover what concepts and styles I enjoy most,” she added. “I am a natural light photographer and love vintage, inspired looks.

Launching her career with a distinct, professional style, Heather said her most memorable model shoot focused on Britney Simerson.

“It was my first every photo shoot with someone other than friends and family,” Heather nervous and worried that I was going to give horrible direction. I was so wrong! The photo shoot was a blast!”

As they shot together and worked through different poses, the more relaxed and comfortable the shoot became, Heather said.

“When preparing for a photoshoot, the only advice I would give is to just be yourself 100%.” – Heather spaleny

“The photos turned out exactly how I wanted and I had a fun time photographing her,” Heather explained. “What I learned form that first experience is that sometimes you need to jump headfirst into something, regardless of what you think is holding you back, get out there and explore! It just might point you in the direction of something you will forever enjoy doing.”

As she continues to grow as a photographer, Heather urged models who are preparing to work with her to define themselves as well.

“When preparing for a photo shoot the only advice I would give is to just be yourself 100% Let me know your questions and concers. I need to know if you are uncomfortable in a pose and what ideas you might have as well. Remember, we are creating art together and your ideas matter just as much as mine! Every photo shoot is a chance to learn and grow and even though I have a long ways from where I want to be with my photography; I am taking every opportunity that comes along because I know it will help me to get there.”


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