Captions: The Stories Behind the Photos
Created to Create
Presented by Snapped
When Melody Gleichman moved to Alaska, photography was a well-loved hobby.
Drawn to the natural beauty around her, she focused her point-and-shoot on the sweeping landscapes, the teeming wildlife and the tiny details of Alaska life often overlooked by the naked eye. It was something she had always enjoyed.
But when congestive heart failure forced her to leave her job just a few months after arriving, photography took on another form. It became a therapy.
She honed her talents during two years of recovery, and realized life was too short to do anything but follow her dreams so she returned to school at 52 to study digital art at Kenai Peninsula College. There, she learned to combine her photographs with her newfound digital skills to create a different kind of work. Gleichman said she calls herself a photo artist rather than a photographer: While her pictures are her canvases, she sees her computer as her brush.
Three years after her studies, she’d turned her photography into a flourishing small business.
Her images are republished as prints and calendars and note cards and sold around the world, but Gleichman said her most important goal was encouraging others to develop their own innate creativity. An online marketing workshop hosted by the University of Alaska introduced her to artists from all corners of the state, and she said she was struck by the creativity abundant across the Great Land.
Now, she dreams of traveling throughout Alaska’s rural communities, sharing the love of photography that sent her on her own creative journey nearly eight years ago.
“I believe we were created to create,” she said.