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Rising Stars: Meet Neshama Roash

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neshama Roash.

Hi Neshama, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I fell in love with the outdoors at a very young age during countless family hiking, camping, and canoeing adventures in Texas and Missouri where I grew up, and I continue to immerse myself in nature through camping, backpacking, and kayaking adventures with my husband and three children as often as possible. I earned a degree in photography from the Art Institute of Colorado in 2003 and have been running my portrait and event photography business, Firefly Universe, for eighteen years, but always dreamed of inspiring others through nature and landscape photography. A family road trip in 2017 sparked an undeniable urge to spend more time creating consciously driven works of art that might remind us of our connection with Nature. After losing my little brother to pancreatic cancer in 2018, I realized that I could not wait any longer to follow my dreams. I started traveling more to capture new images and began exhibiting in juried art shows in September of 2019.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My path to becoming an artist has been fairly smooth but has definitely had some challenges. I always wanted to be a fine art nature photographer (which I wanted to come second to my job as a mom). Although I never thought that taking portraits of people would provide me with the artistic freedom for which I yearned, when our first child was born, shortly after I graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado, naturally, I took her newborn portraits.  A close friend told me that I had found my niche and that I should focus on babies, and not so much on “flowers” anymore.  I realized that, as a portrait photographer, I could still be an artist, and I began to market myself through word of mouth.

In a relatively short amount of time, my portrait business took off like crazy! After over two years of working more than 50 hours per week with three children at home full time, I realized how much I missed my kiddos. I was constantly stressed out at the amount of work I had. Over the course of a year and a half, I read an inspirational book called “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle, and finally began to deeply enjoy almost every moment of almost every day.  It took nearly four years, but I finally figured out how to balance everything and truly feel gratitude for my children and my thriving business.

Years went by, and I felt immense joy for the happy moments I was capturing for so many families, but my heart still dreamed of creating art with nature. I finally decided to take the risk and adjust my focus to landscape and nature photography. After investing a huge amount of time and money into transitioning my business from portrait photography to fine art photography and exhibition at the end of 2019, COVID came along and threw my future into a foggy unknown during the entire year of 2020. However, I have been able to exhibit in seven art shows in 2021 and I have seven more confirmed invitations. I am incredibly excited to be showing and selling my work in these fine art fairs and spending more time traveling to beautiful national and state parks to capture moving images to share with others. However, with three busy teenagers at home, I am now back in the midst of attempting to find a work-life balance. Because of my prior success, though, I am hopeful that I will, once again, overcome this challenge.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a fine art nature and landscape photographer. I am especially drawn to trees, water, and the Milky Way, which makes sense since I grew up camping beneath wise, old trees, canoeing and rafting on many winding rivers, and staring at the vast, dark, open sky in Texas.

I personally print all of my images in my home studio using archival metallic photographic paper and Chroma optimized ink, producing striking color and clarity. The prints are then mounted between 1/8″ acrylic and 1/8″ Sintra (polyvinyl chloride) backing. Finally, I adhere high-quality inset custom wooden frames and wire hangers to the backs of the prints, giving them a clean, modern look as they appear to “float” off the wall. The subtle effect of metallic paper behind a layer of acrylic glass produces a deeper dimensionality, allowing viewers to feel almost as if they were standing right there in the spot where I captured the image.

I am most proud of the feeling that is shared with those who come to see my artwork.

I respect the unique qualities of all artists but hope to stand out as a creator of, not just beautiful photographs, but images that evoke shared emotion and connection.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I took a huge risk when I decided to transition away from my dependable portrait and event photography business into an unknown future of attempting to sell fine art photographs in juried art shows and, hopefully, art galleries. I have only just begun this new passion project, but am greatly encouraged by the success I have had in such a short amount of time. I feel strongly that anyone can succeed and reach their dreams if they believe in themselves and take action to make their dreams reality. My first two dreams of being an actress or an astronaut were, sadly, dashed and ruined by well-meaning adults in my life. I want to prove to my children and to others that anything can be accomplished with love, determination, effort, and belief.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Neshama Roash

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