Mark Picard knew he was on to something ten years ago when a calendar featuring the pictures of moose he had photographed in Maine sold 10,000 copies — in Japan. And then Abercrombie and Fitch called, asking to use Picard’s iconic wildlife images in its clothing line.
Picard and his partner, Anita Mueller, were soon convinced they could turn an avocation into a career and have the best of both worlds – a niche business of their own and a chance to photograph full time in what Mueller calls “a really big back yard” – Maine’s North Woods.
Five years ago the couple left their comfortable jobs and moved from Massachusetts to northern Maine. They renovated a turn of the century tenement in the old mill town of Millinocket, creating a stunning gallery space on the first floor to showcase their spectacular photographs. They have grown the business’s footprint by offering their photographs to the wholesale trade for resale. Their work is now sold at more than twenty locations throughout Maine.
Today, Mark Picard is an internationally published wildlife photographer. He was named the 2012 Maine Sportsman Artist of the year. The U.S. Postal Service uses one of his images on a Maine postal stamp. His work is treasured by collectors all over the world.
Anita Mueller manages the gallery and helps organize and run the couple’s popular North Maine Woods Photography Workshop series, which includes a workshop exclusively for women.
The workshops, which capitalize on the growing number of amateur photographers worldwide, are a four-day craft intensive experience photographing in some of the Katahdin Region’s most picturesque and productive wildlife habitats. Anita Mueller says it’s an opportunity for guests to combine a relaxing Maine vacation with a creative learning experience.
Mark Picard and Anita Mueller took a big risk in setting out to create a new life in the woods of northern Maine. With hard work, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an intense love of the outdoors and Maine’s abundant wildlife, they have found a way to successfully make their passion their business. But for this couple the bottom line is—and always will be–their craft.
“I don’t take a picture with my career in mind.” Mark Picard said. “I take a picture trying to show that moose or bear or butterfly in the best possible situation. So that the viewer is seeing that image and not thinking about the guy behind the camera.”
Maine wildlife photographer Mark Picard is noted for his photographic creativity in the field; not only in composition and lighting, but also in his use of equipment, blinds, and knowledge of animal behavior. During peak viewing season he sponsors personalized outdoor photography workshops in the Katahdin Region of Maine, now in their 12th year. Mark also presents educational programs and digital slide presentations to many schools, camera clubs, and nature organizations. Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts in Millinocket, Maine serves as studio and home base.
Mark’s images have appeared in over thirty national and international publications, books, and calendars, including Audubon, Sierra Club, Animals, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Maine Scene, Nature Conservancy, Birder’s World, Bangor Daily News, Defenders of Wildlife, Wild Bird, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Scholastic, Northern Woodlands, Northeast Kingdom, National Wildlife Federation, Maine Sportsman, Ontario Out of Doors, Chase and Peche, Wildlife Conservation, Tide- Mark Press, Ranger Rick, Vermont Magazine, North Country, Yankee and others. Commercial clients Mark has had the recent pleasure of working with include Abercrombie and Fitch, United States Postal Service, Maine Turnpike Authority, Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism, Elliotsville Plantation, Huckleberry Foods, and James Sewall Corporation.
As a member of the Fuji Pro Talent Team, Mark is well versed in both film and digital photography formats, including post production digital work flow and Adobe Photoshop. He has led the Nikon sponsored L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School Big Moose Photography Getaway Weekends each June in upstate Maine as well as photography workshop/tours for the Great American Photography Workshops in the Fall. He was named Maine Sportsman Artisit of the Year and has served as an instructor for Baxter State Park’s Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program. Mark uses Nikon D300 and D3s series digital cameras and various lenses ranging from 14mm – 600mm, combined with Gitzo tripods, Really Right Stuff and Wimberley heads.
The rest of the Maine Wildlife Photographer’s team …
Anita Mueller is an avid kayaker and Bird photographer. Her images are available for sale at Moose Prints Galley as well as numerous resellers throughout the Katahdin Region. She leads photography workshops in the Katahdin Region of Maine with partner Mark Picard and offers Maine photography workshops exclusively for women. Anita enjoys helping others learn new photography skills and enjoys helping emerging professionals with business related support. With a background in both interior design and retail management she manages the day-to-day activities, merchandising and marketing for the Mark Picard Wildlife Photography and Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts brands from Millinocket, Maine.
Beth Sulander won’t sit still long enough for a picture however she is often the first friendly face you see when you visit Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts. She greets each visitor with a smile and is always happy to help select just the right image or gift. When she is not chatting with gallery visitors Beth is updating and organizing gallery inventory ensuring that there is always a wide selection of images and gift items to choose from. As an added bonus, Beth knows the North Woods well and is always happy to suggest driving routes, hiking trails and scenic vistas to first time visitors to the Katahdin Region.