Millinocket, Maine (April, 2014) 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.”
Moose Prints Gallery is located at 58 Central Street in Millinocket, Maine. For more information go to www.markpicard.com