Jamie Heiden

Contributor Interview: Jamie Heiden

What’s your connection to the Midwest?

Born and raised and now living in the beautiful Driftless Area in western Wisconsin. I’ve lived in the Arizona north, the East coast of Wisconsin and the Colorado foothills but nothing compares to where I am now.

Favorite places or features of the region?

The hills and valleys of western Wisconsin and the drive up the Mississippi River top my list. The Amish communities, the river towns, the county and state parks, the big horizons on top of the coulees, the bird migrations…so much beauty here!

What is your favorite season of the year?

Of course fall but that’s only because it lets me know winter is on the way. The snowier the better! Although March gets a little long.

Has the Midwest been an influence or inspiration for your work, and if so, how?

No doubt! The beautiful coulees around my home, the old houses and barns that have so much to say in their strong stance against the years, and the bare winter trees. When I find myself in a creative rut I just hop in my car and drive. I turn corners when I see something off in the distance and at the end of the day I GPS home. Sometimes, I find that I’ve made my way into Minnesota or Iowa even.

Pencil, pen, typewriter, computer?

Camera first, then computer. My pictures are my stories.

What’s the best job you’ve ever had?

I’m doing it now. Photographer.

What’s the worst job you ever had?

Just did that too…stripping the goat stall on a hot humid Wisconsin summer afternoon. But man, were those goats appreciative. That’s all the payment I need.

What do you do in your free time?

I love to go to the theatre. Live, movie, music, it doesn’t matter. With my husband or kids, even better. Pizza included and it must be my birthday! Besides the above, I love to ride horses, hike any of the wonderful trails in the area, drive around taking pictures, baking cookies and making salsa!

Favorite food or beverage?

Pizza. Oh, and watermelon. Currently.

Do you have a pet?

We have 2 horses, 3 goats, 11 chickens, 5 cats, a few country mice, a couple opossums we’re trying to convince to move out and memories of many others who have been with us over the years. Thank goodness for photographs!

What’s on your radar now? Current projects?

I just returned from a shooting trip to France. I imagine a series of some sort with the wonderful houses we found! I also have a book on the horizon working with my writer brother, TD Storm. It will be fantastic when it’s done! I’ll be sure to keep you posted.