An Artist, An Influence

“West Harbor in Springtime” by Heather Harle Frykman.

Growing up, I was always interested in the arts, but nature photography was just a creative outlet for me; I had never seen it as a career path. There were great nature photographers like Tom Mangelsen, Jim Brandenburg, and Larry Ulrich who inspired me to take photographs, but when I think about who was the most influential to me becoming an artist, I think of my parents-in-law David and Carole Frykman.

When my husband Luke and I first met, David had a summer project for us painting his Santa woodcarvings. This was so thrilling for me, especially when I realized this was how they made a living! Almost six years ago, they asked Luke and I if we wanted to open a gallery together in Door County.

I remember my friend’s parents asking us “You’re going to open an art gallery? Have you thought this through? How will you eat?” They were not familiar with the artist community in Door County.

When we opened the Frykman Gallery in 2005, Luke and I planned on painting the carvings and showing just a few of our photographs. Now six years later, we are full-time nature photographers, running the gallery with his parents.

Now that I’ve covered who started me in my artistic career and who inspired me for many years, let me not forget to mention who keeps me thinking creatively day to day, my husband and photography partner Luke.

Luke and Heather on a photography shoot at Potawatomi State Park.

Heather Harle Frykman and Luke Frykman’s nature photography can be seen at the Frykman Studio Gallery located at 2566 S. Bay Shore Drive or by visiting

The Peninsula Pulse has partnered with the Hardy Gallery to present the series, “An Artist, an Influence.” For more information about the Hardy, please call 920.854.2210, email [email protected], or visit