Mountain Kind Photography features the work of Mary Kiesau (and occasionally Merle Kirkley). The photos are taken in the Methow Valley and the North Cascades unless otherwise noted. I love taking photos and sharing my passion for the natural world and its conservation with others. I have taken photos since childhood and love the art, science and practice of capturing the spirit, beauty and stories in life - whether it be landscapes or creatures, light and shadows, historic buildings or equipment, or simply moments in time that will fuel memories.
Through photography I have learned to truly see and feel and be one with the world. Even when I do not have a camera, I take photos in my mind when I see something that I want to capture, memorialize and hold onto. For the most part, the images that grab me tend to be ones of natural beauty, and beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, shades and seasons. Everyday beauty surrounds us - there is always something worthy of a photograph - but what really motivates me to take a photo is not necessarily what I see but what I feel. When I feel inspiration, light, energy, magic, wonder, gratitude... I want to savor it, and it’s through photography that I attempt to do that, and then share it with others.
My life’s work and personal passions are based in trying to find a way to live in harmony and balance with the earth and its finite resources - to live locally and seasonally - and to care for and conserve that which sustains us. I want my photographs to do the same thing. And so, while I will do a variety of freelance work, the bulk of my photographs are an expression of my love for the area I call home - the Methow Valley. My goal is to share the beauty and spirit of the Methow with other people who have a special place in their heart for this sweet little valley, and to support and encourage the ongoing conservation of the Methow and all the things that make it extraordinary.
Along with photography, I am a naturalist, educator and organic farmer “wannabe.” I am the
Methow Conservancy’sEducational Programs Director, where I've been working for 9+ years. In the fall of 2014, I started a Masters of Education in Environmental Education graduate program at Western Washington University's Huxley College for the Environment. In my "spare" time (ha!), I grow and put away food, and enjoy some of the Methow’s many recreational (and meditative) opportunities - hiking, road and trail biking, nordic and backcountry skiing, climbing and just wandering around. I live with Merle and our four furry friends, Ceilidh, Ella, Nootka, Sora and Nattie Cat, near Mazama where we strive to live consciously, sustainably and happily.