Lynda Euchner never knows what her camera lens will capture, but the Gastonia photographer always enjoys the search.
Downsized from her job with Hanes Industries in May, Euchner (pronounced “Ike-ner”) looked at the loss as an opportunity to explore a hobby set aside long ago. In June, she opened Lynda Euchner Photography within Piccolo on downtown Belmont's Main Street.
“I didn't do much with my photography when my kids were little and I was working a lot, but as they've gotten older, I've found more time to get back to it,” she says. “When I lost my job, I thought this was a chance to be creative again.”
Euchner, 47, grew up in Charlotte and began studying photography at Myers Park High School under Byron Baldwin, a founder of The Light Factory. Workshops over the years helped her hone her craft.
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But the best way to become a better photographer, she says, is to keep taking pictures.
“When we travel, I take a day to walk around by myself,” she says. “I like shooting in the early morning or the late evening when the light is best. I drive down country roads and little side streets off the beaten path. When I see something that catches my eye, I park the car and walk around for a closer look. I especially like old downtown areas.”
Euchner's booth at Piccolo features several shots of downtown Belmont, as well as downtown Gastonia, McAdenville and Dallas.
“What really caught my eye in Belmont was the town clock,” she says. “I shot it at different times of the day, but the one I like best was taken from the perspective of laying down and looking up. City Hall with the American flag is across the street, and there's a light pole with a really nice lantern. I was able to get all that, along with clouds in the sky. That's really my signature picture for Belmont.”
Euchner also was drawn to the shapes and light of umbrellas at the empty Belmont Farmers' Market and to a shot of the town clock reflected in the windows of the Stowe Mills office building on Main Street.
Her favorite color photograph of downtown Belmont shows Main Street's green and white banners hanging near hanging baskets of beautiful magenta flowers.
Euchner also photographs landscape and nature shots at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.
At Piccolo, Euchner's booth is No. 87 near the back stairs. She carries framed originals, matted limited-edition prints, note cards and calendars featuring her work.
“When I first lost my job, it was a real shock,” she says. “But now I'm so relieved I'm not driving to Charlotte and working at a big corporation anymore. All of this came together really fast. It has worked out to be the perfect opportunity for me.”