Our Story

Photography has become our labor of love and we’re delighted you have come to our site to share in our photos. Our hope is people find joy through their experience with our images.

Most of the images in our portfolio are taken in the Papillion, Nebraska area where we have made our home.

Photography keeps us busy, but we also enjoy spending time with our three children and their families, especially the time we get with our four grandchildren. We have grown to love Lauritzen Gardens and can often be found taking classes there or enjoying the grounds, usually with camera in tow.

In August 2022, we celebrated 50 years of marriage!

Randy, the photographer’s story…

My uncle Frank Smith had a camera and, as a boy, that camera fascinated me.  One time, I asked him to see it, and he took the time to show me the camera and explain things, which I did not understand at the time. I bought my first camera  while I was in the service. Another soldier, whom I did not know, asked me if I would buy his camera because he needed the money. I purchased a Yashika for $25 and I took a great deal of photos with that camera. It was easy to use, which was good because I did not know anything about how to use that camera.

My photography started with pictures of my time in Fort Eustis, Virginia while at Advanced Individual Training (AIT). From there it was a year in Vietnam, which provided lots of opportunities for pictures, especially when I was on R & R (Rest & Relaxtion, as the Army called it) in Australia.  I was then stationed in Germany for a year and a half. In Germany alone, there were so many opportunities to photograph places of historical significance. Because Germany was centrally located in what was then noted as “free” Europe, I was able to travel to France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and the Netherlands and record those places and the things I saw with my $25 camera. 

I would give almost anything to go back to those places with my current camera and lenses, along with the knowledge I have learned from my friend Will Fields.

Then, my wife gave me a new camera and I continued to enjoy seeing life through the lens. Eventually, I adapted to the new world of digital photography and different lenses, including the macro lens. In the past few years, I’ve been able to take classes with Will Fields at Lauritzen Gardens and have learned a lot of techniques and settings which have improved my photography skills.

I’ve enjoyed being the “picture guy” at my grandchildren’s activities and love to share those images with the parents of their teammates. Someday, I would like to photograph babies and little kids – they make the funniest and cutest subjects!

Mary, the editor’s story…

I’m a retired educator and have taught pre-school through adult students. I began my  career teaching  Spanish, but soon found a calling to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) and devoted the remainder of my years in education in that pursuit. I am a passionate, life-long learner and earned a Doctorate in Education in 2010. Acquiring new knowledge and skills is something I very much enjoy and seek to do especially in retirement. 

Randy has always liked photography and when he began taking classes, I sometimes accompanied him. I now suspect this arrangement worked well for him because I took lots of notes! However, we both learned there was more to photography than simply pointing and clicking. Digital editing is an aspect to modern photography that is a challenge.  I looked forward to gaining these new skills and set about  learning by taking classes and accessing new knowledge on my own. Editing a photo allows me to take my love for art, color, and beauty and combine it with learning new technology. 

This combination – Randy capturing the images on the camera and me editing those images when needed – has worked for us. This website allows us to share with you what we are still learning.

Thank you for sharing some time with us. We hope you enjoy our gallery.

Randy & Mary Smith