A new artist is on display at the Fluvanna Free Library.
Suzette Paduano, local photographer and Jamestown Audubon Nature Photography Club president, has selected a number of her photographs to display at the library through the month of March.
Paduano grew up in Lakewood and attended Southwestern High School. It wasn't until she purchased a Canon DSLR camera eight or nine years ago that her love for photography came to light.
Suzette Paduano, local photographer and Jamestown Audubon Nature Photography Club president, stands with her camera in front of her photographs on display at the Fluvanna Free Library.
P-J photos by Daniel Swanson
"I started by taking 500 pictures every day ... which was roughly three hours a day," Paduano said.
Currently, Paduano uses a Canon 7D camera and a 100/400 lens with image stabilization - her third camera after wearing the first two out.
According to Jerry Paduano, Suzette's husband and mixed media artist who was featured at the library last month, Suzette is a natural.
"She's always had a good eye for composition," he said.
The couple live in Panama where they raised their three children: Jennifer, Nicholas and Kristen. Now their family also includes five grandchildren - soon to be six.
According to Paduano, she has taken "billions" of photos - legitimately four terabytes worth - stored on multiple hard drives.
Her first photo of a bird was taken when her husband almost hit a cedar waxwing in the couple's driveway with his Jeep. Once Suzette picked up the bird and placed it on a branch, the father of the bird came roughly 20 minutes later to feed the young bird a blueberry from the Paduanos' garden. This photograph began Suzette's love of photographing birds.
"Birds are the hardest to take pictures of because they are always moving," she said.
Now, Suzette spends a large quantity of time in front of her home's kitchen window, which overlooks various bird feeders in the couple's yard, taking pictures whenever possible.
Paduano's photographs generally focus on her children, grandchildren, birds, nature, other families and her dogs, who she calls her "fur kids" - a Chihuahua, a yorkie, a yorkiepoo, a golden retriever and a beagle.
"With dogs, they have very, very good expressions, especially in snow," she said.
Paduano often gets calls by local residents who know of her passion for animals, nature and photography. This winter, she captured multiple snowy owls and other breeds of owls that were sighted locally by residents who called her.
Occasionally, she photographs weddings and takes senior pictures.
Paduano's studio is aptly nicknamed "The Photo Shed," where she edits her photographs and occasionally has studio sessions for individuals and high school seniors.
When not taking photographs, Suzette and her husband are learning the art of beekeeping, with two hives on their property currently, and taking care of their roughly 100 birds that they are breeding.
The Jamestown Audubon Nature Photography Club focuses on camera and photography tutorials, workshops and bringing in guest speakers. Annual dues for membership are $25. The club welcomes guests to attend a monthly meeting for a charge of $5, which may be applied toward a membership if the guest chooses to join the club by the next meeting.
The club meets the second Thursday of each month, usually at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road. Members review peer work from 6:30-7 p.m. and the business meeting and program is from 7-9 p.m.
For more information visit www.jasphotoclub.wordpress.com.
To contact Suzette Paduano, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fluvanna Free Library is located at 3532 Fluvanna Ave. Extension in Jamestown.
For more information about the library, contact library director Christine Anderson at 487-1773. Visit www.cclslib.org/fluvanna for links to the library's online catalog and lists of new books and videos.