I am so excited to introduce the 2017 Dig the Dunes calendar photographers!! Above is just a preview of the photos chosen for the calendar! I have had so much fun promoting the contest, talking with photographers and seeing different views of the area. The dunes are so lucky to have such talented individuals to capture its beauty for what it really is. We hope these calendars bring joy to those who have moved away and inspire curiosity for those who have yet to visit! Enjoy learning about the 12 chosen photographers and explore their portfolios and instagram accounts – Dig on!
January – Laura A. Niemiec
Laura was born and raised in a city on the outskirts of dune country, bordered to the north by her favorite great lake, Lake Michigan, and her equally beautiful namesake, the state of Michigan. She is an Air Force veteran, a college grad, an indie author and a pet mom with a major case of wanderlust. She has always loved photography and has a passion to capture the beauty she sees in the world and share it with others. When she isn’t at her day job you will most often find her out diggin’ the dunes or taking weekend adventures to explore the Mitten State. You can keep up with her adventures on Instagram.
February – Sharlene Livesay
Sharlene moved to dune country with her spouse 17 years ago after vacationing here most summers visiting in-laws for a decade. She grew up in flat Missouri farm country with green soybean and flooded rice fields, so she has been in awe of our powerful Lake Michigan which looks like an ocean and it’s gorgeous dunescapes which resemble short mountains. Since she works in the stressful financial services industry, she took up photography as a form of ultimate relaxation. She now calls this area home with her spouse of 27 years and their two fur babies that love hiking in the dunes as much as they do. Follow her local and travel photos on Instagram.
March – Jenny Soffin
Living on the Indiana coast, Jenny Soffin enjoys everything outdoorsy. Hiking the Dunes with her dog Sally and boating Lake Michigan with her family are where she’s happiest. This wife and mom of two, is also the Chief Visionary behind The IN Coast, Northwest Indiana’s hip, new apparel company in the works. Stay tuned for more and keep Digging the Dunes! Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!
April – Kevin Tempelman
Kevin is an architect, designer and an amateur photographer from Munster. His love of the Dunes comes from hiking and camping at the Dunes with his family growing up. He enjoys photographing architecture and nature, which are seemingly very opposite but he likes to find commonalities in the way that he photographs them. He also enjoys traveling both domestic and abroad and uses photography and sketching as a way to process the world around him. Some of his favorite places to experience are the National Parks, and he considers the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to be his home park. Follow him on Instagram!
May – Ken Bair
As a lifelong resident of NW Indiana, his passion with photography began 40 years while in elementary school, with the purchase of a used Pentax SLR, shooting anything that caught his eye. While the equipment has changed over the years, he still enjoy going out to discover the people and places around us and capturing the world how he sees it. He prefers to shoot portraiture and landscapes, but loves to explore different subjects and photographic techniques.
June – Chad Ulam
Chad is currently living in Phoenix, Arizona as a Google photographer. He lived in Michigan City Indiana until 2011 when he decided to sell everything and drive across the country to find his next place to live. He lived out of his car for 4 months in search of the perfect environment. Although an avid lover of the dunes, he decided to set up camp in Arizona. Chad has worked with many different companies throughout the country. He shoots marketing pictures for apartment communities, weddings, parties and events. Follow his adventures on Instagram
July – Sergei Ganz
Sergei is 15 years old and a freshman at Marquette High School. He’s lived in Michigan City his entire life, and has traveled to many different countries such as Italy, Germany, Romania, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, and Namibia. These experiences have inspired him to capture moments. He loves the beach, and capturing experiences wherever he is. Skateboarding is a passion, and a great hobby! #skateordie. Follow him on Instagram!
August – Greg Marsh
Greg likes to maintain a wide variety of interests. Along with hiking and photography, he also embraces family and friends, music, boating, cooking, brewing, as well as being a teacher at Hobart Middle School. He can often be found with his camera taking pictures of just about anything he finds captivating. He recently started posting nature and wildlife photos on a Facebook page called Marsh Shots. He asks that you feel free to check it out and leave some comments!
September – Brian O’Neil
Brian lives on a dune in Beverly Shores from where he and his family watch Great egrets fly across the marsh. He is an avid birder and has been keeping a list of species identified since they bought their house in 2004, taking photos whenever an opportunity presented itself. His photo was taken at Lakeshore County Road in the summer of 2016 where up to 100 egrets would gather each evening and people would sip cocktails in golf carts to watch. Luckily, he also brought a tripod that night.
October – Lynne Dohner
Lynne is from Michigan City. She is a Wife, Mother, and a Nonnie. She is a hobbies photographer who loves natural light, sunsets, and walking among the beaches of Lake Michigan. Check out some more of her work on Instagram and Flicker.
November – Jamie Hogan
Jamie makes her living in real estate and her life as a writer. Known along the Lake Michigan Riviera as an observant chronicler of beach community life and history, she has been a feature writer and reporter for daily and weekly newspapers in some unlikely small towns in the Midwest. Passionate about animal welfare, she shares her home with two rescue dogs, and always makes room for more. She is enthusiastic about live local music, captivated by sunsets and charmed by old leaning barns everywhere. She keeps her inner country girl close by listening to old episodes of “A Prairie Home Companion” on the regular commute between suburban Chicago and the Indiana Dunes, where she has made a second home for 32 years. Jamie regularly posts photos to her Facebook feed and is trying to learn Instagram. Check her out on Facebook and Instagram.
December – Susan Kirt
Susan is a Valparaiso-based nature photographer who uses her ecology background to facilitate educational outreach with Shirley Heinze Land Trust. You can see her work at: www.susankirtphotography.com
How can you purchase a calendar? There are two ways! You can go to our shop (pre-order price of $15 til Friday/$22 after that), or you can join us at our Calendar Release Party at 100 Washington. We hope to have all the photographers there, as well as entertainment with Eve Senderhauf and Fragile Soul, some appetizers and photos and apparel for sale!