(persistence, perseverance, perspective, passion)
Dennis Goodman developed his love and appreciation for nature while growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1985, he moved to Naples, Florida and was introduced to another world that reached out to him in a visceral way/ he connected to in a visceral way. Southwest Florida, specifically the Everglades, was a whole new experience for him. He saw things he had never seen and he quickly developed a great passion for exploring his new home.
“As with so many things in life, your environment greatly influences your perspective.” DG
Even as a young man, Goodman was interested in photography and using his own perspective to tell a story. He liked capturing moments in time and then having that image to relive the experience. Initially, he used photography as an adventure and as an escape. He would trek out to isolated places to see what he could see. He went in search of secret places and uncommon perspectives. Sometimes, he would snap photographs in his every day life – family, friends, sporting events or a sunset. Each time, he found great satisfaction in sharing these images with others.
“The unique beauty here spoke to me in a way I had never before experienced.” DG
For many years, Goodman followed the typical American dream. He met his wife right after high school. They got married, began careers and started a family. He continued taking photographs and exploring Southwest Florida whenever he had the time. He shared the photographs with friends and family, always receiving praise for the beauty of the images and comments about how his perspective drew people into the image. He quietly developed his own style and was often asked to photograph occasions and events for others. His life was good. He was happy. He had a beautiful family, a successful business and a rewarding hobby (pastime/avocation). Then life took an unexpected turn. Without warning, his successful business was suddenly gone, leaving Goodman struggling to find a way to get back on track.
“There is no better reward than searching for – and sometimes finding – that perfect moment and capturing it in a photograph.” DG
The abrupt change to his life forced him to reexamine who he was and who he wanted to be. During that time, Goodman turned to photography as an escape. He had to figure out how he was going to support his family but he needed a way to cope with the pressure and anxiety. Expressing himself through photography became his outlet and his inspiration.
With his contacts and experience, he reestablished his career but something had changed. Goodman was different. He may have lost his business but he found his focus. He had a renewed passion for photography and he was ready to do something with it.
While maintaining his 9 to 5 weekday job, Goodman began exhibiting his work at local galleries, exhibits and art shows. He was contracted to display his work at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the Naples Botanical Gardens Café and the Naples Airport Authority. He was featured in magazines and newspapers. His work was frequently used alongside feature articles about nature, conservation and the unique beauty of Southwest Florida, oftentimes showing up on the cover. His images were reaching more people than ever and he found great satisfaction in sharing these stories and making connections with others who had the same enthusiasm and love for nature.
“I hope that my photography helps people realize how important it is to observe and protect the natural world around us.” DG
As before, everything was good and he was happy but the challenge was how was he going to keep everything going and still be present in his family life. If he worked all week and went to shows every weekend, there just wasn’t enough time to spend with his family or to go out and search for the perfect shot. Again, he reevaluated what was truly important to him and realized that he could have all the things he wanted and still fuel his love of photography. He scaled back his “career” and opened Dennis Goodman Photography and Printing. From there he can share his images any time. He can spend the weekends with his family, finding the perfect shot to hang in the gallery. He can also have that one-on-one interaction with people - helping them select the perfect images from his collection or working with them to fine tune their own images and then providing high quality printing services to produce their photographs.
Goodman can still be found at his favorite art shows each year but his focus is now his gallery. You can find him there most days, talking to other photography or nature enthusiasts, sharing his love of the images and stories they tell. Whether he is talking about his images or yours, Goodman is now doing what he loves and sharing stories, images and a passion for nature and the wonders of God’s creation.
Dennis Goodman’s photographs have been published in Gulfshore Life Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, Life in Naples, Naples Scene, Marco Scene, Island Scene, Kiplinger Magazine, Connection Magazine and Views Magazine. This includes feature articles as well as over 22 covers of magazines. His accolades include Nature’s Best Photography Awards, National Audubon Photography Awards, Epson Pano Awards and various art show awards.