Photography is more than just snapping a pretty picture to Karla Jo Grimmett, owner of South 500 Photography.

Grimmett’s photography serves as a chance for her to connect with nature and share the connection with others.

She says she has always been a “shutterbug,” first finding her love of photography in the film days. But with the death of her mother in 2014, Grimmett inherited one of her cameras and her love of photography was reignited.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet but neat story,” Grimmett said. “My mother passed away in 2014 and she gifted me one of her Kodak cameras at that time. Over the course of a few months it was like another dimension opened up and I saw things in such a different light.”

Since that time Grimmett has been practicing, over an hour a day, most days. She has some friends who have offered her tips and advice along the way.

“They have neat perspectives and have taught me to look down, look up, crawl on the ground, whatever is needed to get some of those shots.”

Grimmett’s main passion is nature photography. Beautiful images of the changing seasons and wildlife flood her website. She has followed several eagles over time, capturing them interacting with one another, hunting for food and just perching gracefully in their nests. The eagles have become one of her favorite things to photograph because of their unique characteristics.

Connecting with nature is important to Grimmett. She and a group of friends, dubbed the Twister Sisters, will be storm chasing this spring. Grimmett will of course have her camera in tow.

“I love nature and the beauty of nature,” Grimmett said. “But it’s also about respecting its power, honoring that.”

Photography has taken on a sort of spiritual dimension for Grimmett. Oftentimes the photographs mean one thing to Grimmett but she finds as others look at the images they find their own meanings.

“It’s like church for me,” Grimmett said. “It’s helped me reconnect and appreciate the beauty in each season. I really look forward to the change of seasons now because I know there will be something new to photograph.”

Grimmett’s images are for sale and can be viewed at her website, www.south500photography.com. She says any images on social media can also be purchased in a variety of print options.

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