Inspired by the Creator
Hi, my name is Steffani GreenLeaf. I'm happy that you have found my website and hope you find inspiration and something useful in these pages.
As I see the beauty of God's creation all around me, I am compelled to capture glimpses of it in my photography so others can delight in what I have been privileged to witness.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1
Why I Love the Great Outdoors and Photography
I grew up in Michigan frequenting the Great Lakes with relatives who enjoyed camping and hanging out at the beach in the summer and sledding, snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter.
One of my grandfathers had a rugged hunting camp in the backwoods of the Upper Peninsula where we constructed makeshift hideouts and hunted for blueberries while keeping an eye out for bears. My other grandfather loved painting the serene northern landscapes such as birch lined waterfalls.
Decades later, whenever I walk through a pine forest baking beneath a hot sun, the aroma carries me back to those early days of exploration. And when I spot a seagull and hear waves crashing against the shore my heart is drawn to happy memories of wading with delight, then gasping as I dove into clear, chilling water. The great outdoors never ceases to call me to lay down the cares of this life and take on yet another adventure.
I've always been interested in drawing and painting as a child and went to The University of Michigan's art school. But shortly after I left college I started picking up my camera more than my brushes since I could finally afford to have photos developed. The speed at which I could capture a flower or scene with a camera became more rewarding than hours of painstakingly attempting to render an interesting painting or drawing - though I have not left my drawing completely behind. I experimented with composition as I traveled solo to a few parks around the U.S.
Years later I got more creative when my husband, Greg, bought me an SLR camera. On our vacations we sought to make the most of each day by packing in as many destinations as possible. Thankfully, Greg is willing to help me carry equipment on hikes and waits patiently for me to take numerous photos. Many of the pictures you see on this web site would not have been possible without his help.
Married life gave me time to garden and I was surprised at how fascinated I became with the rare beauty of flowers. In my garden in the Detroit area I sought to add more types of plants, learned about their care and soon had an enjoyable backyard garden studio with the occasional butterfly. It was hard to say good-bye when I came time to leave it.
Recent Move to Colorado
Along the Front Range in Colorado the skies seemed to roar God's glory as clouds tumble over the mountain peaks, parting at intervals to permit bright rays of gold to warm the rolling earth below. I have marveled at how the forested hills and jagged rocks surrounding Pikes Peak seem to be ever changing with the light. I am so thankful that my husband's recent job loss in Detroit's automotive industry led us to this rugged country where I can "partner" with my heavenly Father on photographic adventures. Exploring the mountains throughout Colorado is a continuous pleasure as I drive with my husband and hike one new trail after another. I hope we never run out of trails to explore or the energy to climb them.
We moved into our current house in August of 2008 with plans to turn the one fifth of an acre lot into a garden and bird studio. After a few renovations on the house, we began installing feeders and a birdbath with quick results. Many birds have been coming to get replenished and to have their pictures taken from the window shown in the photo. In the spring of 2009 we will almost have to start from scratch in creating the backyard garden and plan on adding a small waterfall. It will be fun planning the layout to attract butterflies and birds.
If you want to know how I was given hope for my future when I wanted to quit college and give up on life in general, read my brief account of
how I became a Christian
and experienced the genuine love of God.