Thursday, February 10, 2011

Holly Heyser: Wildlife Photographer, Hunting Art Prints

Holly Heyser's Wildlife Photography
The Incredible Art of Nature Prints

Holly Heyser, SmugMug, Gadwall duck feather

As you know, I am always on the lookout for any venture that my blogging friends are involved with, and I make it a point to support them and spread the word. Those of you that have monetized your blogs can rest assured that I always click on your sponsors and view their offers. It's an easy and painless way to support my fellow bloggers! Folks that have small business ventures will find that I am always amenable to putting up their banners.

 Recently, Holly Heyser of NorCalCazadora started a new artistic venture that is sure to catch the eye of any discerning outdoorsman. I first found out about it through her post, Introducing the coolest duck feather ever - and my new feather photo website

I'll let Holly tell the story in her own words:

My boyfriend Hank (Hunter Angler Gardener Cook) and I hunt ducks, and we pride ourselves in using as much of the duck as possible. Not only do we pluck them whole, but we use the gizzards, livers, hearts and even feet (those enrich duck broth). But one thing we’ve been throwing away for years is the feathers. Until this year.

I teach at Sacramento State, and one of my students came to school one day wearing beautiful feather earrings. I asked where she got them, and she said her mother made them. Bingo! This was someone who’d appreciate the piles of beauty on my plucking-room floor (a.k.a. the garage). To save feathers for her, I had to examine them more closely, and as I did, I became fascinated with their beauty and decided to write about it Serendipity, Hunting Art and Happiness, and to do that, I needed to take photos of them.

Holly Heyser, SmugMug, Pintail duck feathers

 This part was easy: One of the things I do besides blog about hunting is shooting food photos for Hank, who blogs about wild game cookery (, so I have a lot of photo and studio equipment for photographing small items. Using a macro lens, I was able to get incredibly detailed shots of the photos. When my mom read the blog post with those photos in it, she immediately emailed me asking for prints so she could hang them in her house. That’s what made me realize these photos might be a great form of art that hunters would appreciate, and that they could hang anywhere without offending people who are squeamish about hunting.

Holly Heyser, SmugMug, Greenwing Teal

A couple months later, I’ve now shot probably 2,000 photos, and the very best of those are on my new website, Holly Heyser's SmugMug!, where people can buy prints directly. I still have more to shoot, but I think my very favorite will be the shot of one of my happiest discoveries ever: Drake gadwalls have feathers on their breasts that look like smiley faces! Every drake gaddie I’ve shot this year has them, and they vary as much as human smiles. (See photo at top!)

I think that may be the photo hunters appreciate the most. Non-hunters often think I’ve faked this photo because it’s so unbelievable, but hunters can verify it for themselves.

I’m really excited about my new venture. Most photography I do is for Hank’s blog and other writing (magazine, book), and this is the first project I’ve done for myself. I’m hoping hunters will spread the word, and I hope they’ll see these photos as art they’d like to hang in their own homes or offices.

And let me add that it's important to note that I went with SmugMug because I had purchased a photo through that company by dynamite waterfowl photographer Fred Greenslade of Delta Waterfowl. I was really impressed with the quality of printing and the incredibly sturdy packaging that ensured photos would not be damaged in transit.

Holly Heyser

Well my faithful and stylish readers, I hope that you will consider adorning that special area of your home with some of Holly's art work. Not only will you be supporting your fellow outdoorsman, but you will be adding a splash of duck feather panache to your home!

Prices are very reasonable, and sizes range in the following dimensions:
$14.00 for a 4 x 6 Print
$24.00 for an 8 x 10 Print
$24.00 for an 8 x 12 Print
$32.00 for a 12 x 18 Print
$42.00 for a 16 x 24 Print
$48.00 for a 20 x 30 Print

Please click on the Holly Heyser's SmugMug page and take a quick look at the variety and beauty of the feathers she has documented!
Holly Heyser, SmugMug, Mallard duck feathers


Bumbling Bushman said...

Holly's photos are great. The stuff her mom is doing with European skull mounts looks pretty damn special too.

Anonymous said...

I really love those feather pics, very nice job and I wish you all the luck on your venture.
I just might have to buy one for my den.

Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

Albert A Rasch said...

They would be agreat addition to any decor! Who would have thought it?


Anonymous said...

Greetings Albert!

I just wanted to let everyone over here know that I have purchased one of Holly's photos and the company, SmugMug, was super easy to deal with, very fast, and my photo was packaged with the utmost care.

I would also like to add that my photo was most excellent in every way and these little computer pics just don't do the real thing justice.

Anyways, there's my two cents.
Take care friend and stay safe.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Thank you, Albert, for this post, and thank everyone else for the kind comments! It's been really fun taking such a close look at the feathers - when you blow them up to 50 or 100 times life size, you see how truly amazing they are.

Albert A Rasch said...

Always at your service!

Best regards,
Albert A Rasch
More Turkey Hunting Tips!

Wildlife Photography said...

Hi all,

Holly A. Heyser is an avid huntress who teaches journalism at her alma mater, California State University, Sacramento. Holly's photos are so great. Keep it up always!