Fallon County’s Bohle Images award winning photography
By Sherry Vogel, Reporter
Bohle Images Photography Studio is physically located, in a newly constructed studio, at 108 Main Street in Plevna, Montana, but the true location of the art studio is in the mind of a well-trained artist, Certified Professional Photographer Leslie Bohle.
“My mother was a professional photographer and she let me shadow her from the time I was a little girl. She had a home studio, in Billings, and I accompanied her out on wedding shoots where I helped as her assistant. I positioned lights and was her go-for.”
As basic as these early experiences seem, some valuable lessons were being passed down from mother to daughter. One priceless piece of training was helping little Leslie to hone her artistic eye. As an adult photographer this fine art is now second nature to her.
At six years of age, the young photographer began experimenting with her photographic creativity. She began shooting with her grandfather’s 110 Instamatic camera.
In 1992, while Bohle was yet in college, she traveled to Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her mother, wanting Leslie to document her monumental trip, gifted her with her first low-end professional camera a Nikon N5005 film camera.
The first truly fantastic image that Bohle remembers capturing was one taken from the St. Charles Bridge from which a startled flock of birds took flight. The spellbinding photo made her mother proud, as she realized her daughter was well on her way to becoming a world-class master photographer. The image is displayed in Leslie’s family home even today.
In spite of the fact that Bohle now uses an arsenal of pro grade photography equipment a Nikon D700 is still a tried and true friend. Bohle shared, “It has captured over 150,000 images and is still ticking today. I call it the “ticking time bomb” because I never know when it might die.”
Although her professional tools of the trade are digitally equipped, Leslie stated, “I pride myself in shooting straight out of the camera with minimal manipulation.”
Indeed, Bohle has shot an impressive collection of fine art. “It is all about knowing light,” she disclosed, “Knowing how to manipulate for the effect you want.” She pays careful attention to lighting so the finished photo matches her creative intent.
Bohle has become a virtuoso at interweaving light and shadow, a technique that only a handful of photographers achieve. She continues to experiment with new techniques to achieve the optimum lighting to enhance the quality of dissimilar materials. For example, the contrast between delicate fabrics versus hard, cold metal, striving to intensify texture and transparency.
Leslie admitted. “It has become a family joke of how preoccupied I am with light patterns on faces. My daughter chides me quite often when watching a movie, saying, “Mom quit watching the light, you don’t even know what’s going on in the movie.”
Leslie lightens up quite often and literally plays with light. She learned a technique of “light painting” from a colleague. It involves a camera, a still life and a barrage of flashlights. The object of the game is to cast shadows and light to capture the desired effect.
The prize-winning photographer admits it’s not only light that obsesses her but she is equally intrigued with creating unique images and aspires to continually challenge herself to work toward that goal.
Ever learning, always driven, Bohle strives to keep up with the latest in professional photography and technique.
Bohle has sat under the tutelage of world renowned, Los Angles based, photographer Roberto Valenzuela and 10 other talented professional photographers.
In her quest to challenge herself professionally, Bohle has developed a mentoring relationship with a photographer she heard lecture at a Professional Photographers Association Conference. Her mentor, Tim Walden, from Lexington, Kentucky is accomplished in the art of relationship portraits. Under his direction Bohle has developed technique to capture honest emotions between subjects, which in turn, then tells an intimate and more meaningful story of an individual family.
Ever evolving, Bohle Images now offers a variety of different styles of photography to the customer. In addition to portraiture, photojournalism and traditional/posed imagery, Leslie has expanded to offering an astonishing array of dramatic and fine art imagery.
All of Bohle’s hard work and determination has paid off. Leslie has won numerous photography awards and honors.
In 2012, Bohle was nominated as one of Montana’s top ten Photographers of the Year. She continues to hold this distinguished honor.
She also holds top honors as being one of only 2000 photographers in the nation to be titled a Certified Professional Photographer.
As of late, Bohle is striving toward earning a Master Photographer degree through the Professional Photographers Association of America. The credits are earned through service, education and merits in the national print competition. Depending when she meets requirements, she will either be traveling to Nashville, Tenn. in 2018 or Atlanta, Ga. in 2019.
After obtaining this prestigious honor she will hold the title of Master Photographer.
Bohle is currently serving on the Executive Board of the Montana Professional Photographers Association (MPPA). She is instrumental in planning the Montana based conferences and will sit as President in 2018. She enjoys serving with MPPA and giving back, by helping, other photographers around the state.
Bohle Images has proven to be an asset to all of Fallon County as Leslie has successfully provided professional photography opportunities to the community She goes the extra mile to attend local sporting events, recording moments in school history, as she documents the archives of the Baker Spartan Sports Teams. She also provides free of charge to the parents of Baker Spartans, photos of their Spartan heroes in action.
Leslie Bohle is successfully bestowing her exceptional expertise and talent upon her neighbors and friends right here at home, in the southeastern corner of Montana. She provides the opportunity for big city photography in rural Fallon County.