Back in 2009 Camden County resident and mail carrier Donna Rose had decided it was time to do something about her weight. Rose opted for lap band surgery, but that would also require that she exercise.
Rose says she had to walk daily. She also knew that to be successful, she would need a walking partner.
She bought a Canon Power Shot camera.
“The camera became my partner to keep me moving,” says the 48-year old amateur photographer.
So Rose and her camera began taking long walks together. And since Camden County is about as rural as it gets around here, her photographs instantly began capturing the natural world.
While driving her rural Camden mail route, Rose says she would spy places and things that would be worth photographing. She says that, and her walks, began giving her ideas about what she could shoot.
“I would just sit there (in her car) and realize I really see a lot of neat stuff,” she said.
Neat stuff like humming birds, eagles, beautiful sunrises and bears. Yes, bears. Rose loves shooting photographs of all of those black bears.
“I love their beauty,” she says. “I love watching them. They are really wonderful animals.”
Rose says she is careful about photographing the bears, especially when there are cubs around. She says she has hidden in places, camouflaged by foliage so she can shoot these wild residents of Camden County.
She is also adept at capturing the flitting wings of delicate humming birds. And she loves shooting photographs of sunrises and sunsets around the area.
“I love this area and I love showing it to people,” she says.
And a lot of people love seeing her photographs.
Rose shoots these photographs first and foremost because she loves taking pictures. And while she isn’t a trained photographer, she has a natural eye for composition and seems to understand light well.
All of this results in beautifully composed photographs of the flora and fauna and landscapes of the area. And all of those photographs go on her Facebook page where she currently has 1,200 dedicated followers of her work.
“You wouldn’t believe the inboxes (messages) I get if I don’t post,” she says.
Some of her followers, she says, come online just to see her photographs.
A few years back Rose was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Since that time she has been undergoing treatment, and now she is what she would describe as nearly cancer free.
And while cancer is a frightening prospect, it would seem that her love of photographing the natural world has kept her world into perspective and she is pretty upbeat about the future.
Rose says while she has heard from friends who say she should publish her work, or perhaps submit photographs to galleries, she is satisfied with her current arrangement: shoot pictures and post them on Facebook.
Maybe, she says, one day she’ll take it a step further. But for now, she’s happy just taking photos.
“I really just like to take pictures.”