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Life & Style Photo at left and on page 9 are from Stacy Niedzwiecki’s book, “Healing Images.” The two photos below are from her portfolio.

Now a member of the North American Nature Photographers Association and the Glen Arbor Art Association, Niedzwiecki works to improve her photography through seminars and workshops. She has participated in various regional photo competitions—including an ArtPrize exhibit last fall at San Chez Bistro and multiple entries at the annual Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts. Her photography has garnered several awards and has been featured in Michigan publications such as “Pure Michigan: Spring.”

Two years ago, the newly completed Spectrum Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion was searching for serene artwork to hang in the facility. “People go for treatment and checkups, and it is a scary time,” said Marilyn Quigley, who served on the Patient, Family and Community Advisory Committee. “We were looking for scenes that relax them and take them on a journey.” Quigley spotted some photographs hanging at Robinette’s Winery and thought they’d be a perfect fit. Rockford resident Stacy Niedzwiecki had captured West Michigan scenes from Holland to Torch Lake. “They ended up picking 64 of my pic-

tures — I couldn’t believe it,” said Niedzwiecki, a graphic designer. The photos now are available in a book, “Healing Images,” which Spectrum Health co-published with Niedzwiecki. “What I didn’t realize is that it impacts people in a way I never foresaw,” said the 42-year-old woman, who receives letters from cancer patients telling her how much her photography has meant to them. “I am very in tune now when I am out doing photography, thinking, ‘What is the most beautiful, intriguing thing I can find?’ It … changes the way I photograph.” The graduate of Kendall College of Art & Design said she never envisioned a career as a photographer. Niedzwiecki picked up a digital camera about eight years ago to explore a new creative outlet. Though running her graphic design business kept her busy, she found time to get outside with her camera and first son — then just a baby —in tote. “We would drive around the back roads and parks of Michigan,” she said. “He’d fall asleep and I’d pull over and take pictures out the car window.”

“There are times when I can take hundreds of pictures a day,” said Niedzwiecki, who still runs her business alongside her photography career. Sometimes, if the weather is right, she may photograph “from sun up to sun down” for a solid weekend. When the weather is bad, she spends time doing post-production work. “It’s a lot of work,” she noted, “but for me it’s been a journey, going from back roads to having this kind of impact.” To see more of Niedzwiecki’s work, visit — Cristina Stavro

Photography by Jim Gebben (bottom left); Stacy Niedzwiecki (pages 9 and 10)

Images with impact

10 Grand Rapids June 2010

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4/30/10 10:21:28 AM

June 2010 - GRM  

From downtown shopping to man caves to urban beer boutiques to USA table tennis. Find out why no one stands still at a Lazy Genius show.

June 2010 - GRM  

From downtown shopping to man caves to urban beer boutiques to USA table tennis. Find out why no one stands still at a Lazy Genius show.