Local photographers team up for Gallery on Savannah in Lewes – CapeGazette.com

The story of Gallery on Savannah is all about friendship.
Local photographer Susan McLean was going through a tough time in her life and was on the verge of packing up her camera for good. But Kevin Lynam and Kim Johnson wouldn’t let that happen. They noticed she wasn’t herself; she’s a positive person who often posts poems to complement her uplifting photographs.
“When we started to see a little dip in that, we started pulling at the thread and invited her to shoot with us,” Lynam said.
Sometimes McLean would take them up on it, sometimes she wouldn’t, but the gesture made a real impact.
“It may have been nothing to [them] in that moment, but it was everything to me,” she said.
McLean had closed a photography studio earlier this year with no intention of doing it again, but when a few people asked about her work during an event at Lewes Historical Society, she began to rethink the idea. And who better to work with than the great friends who were there in her time of need?
“We met two-and-a-half weeks before we opened and they said yes,” she said. “Now we are officially a collaborative team.”
The timing worked out perfectly for Johnson. Nov. 1 was her retirement day from UPS, and now she can focus on the new gallery and her photography. She started shooting about eight years ago after she couldn’t find photographs of Delmarva in local galleries and shops.
“There were beach pictures, but they weren’t from here,” she said. “I had a camera, so I thought, why don’t I go out and just start taking my own?”
Admittedly, she said, her photos eight years ago weren’t that great, but she followed a simple mind-set to improve.
“Just keep shooting,” she said. “Anytime I wanted to learn how to shoot something a little different, I would Google it. I would watch a video. I would start there, then mess around with the camera until I got it. I still do that.”
Lynam has only been shooting for about two years. He’s still working, balancing family, photography and a travel schedule that takes him to trade shows in the brand management industry.
“I love the adventure of all this,” he said. “If you want to see cool stuff, you’ve got to see the underbelly of the beast. You’ve got to get out there and explore our trails, explore the parks, get the mosquito bites and deal with the greenheads. No pain, no gain.”
He said he feels blessed to be able to open a gallery with McLean and Johnson, two photographers he admired when he started shooting.
“I’ve learned a lot from both of them,” he said. “I think the three of us working together in this gallery is going to be to the community’s benefit, because we all have different composition styles.”
McLean, who previously owned a social media/marketing company, says the emotion all three of them put into their photographs is what elevates them above just another picture on Facebook.
“I can tell people what my mood was for just about every picture,” she said.
For all three, walking on the beach or hiking the state parks trails are also opportunities to pick up trash and leave areas cleaner than they found them. They’ve also seen how environmental changes are affecting nearby natural areas. One example, McLean said, is Prime Hook, where increasing salinity is creating ghost forests.
As someone who frequents these places, Johnson said she can see the changes occurring in photographs she’s taken over the last eight years.
All three hope their photographs can inspire others to take measures to ensure Delmarva stays beautiful. Small things like carry on, carry off can go a long way, they said.
“If we’re not mindful of our carbon footprint and the impact we have on the planet, it’s not just going to be things like the Dolle’s sign that will be going away,” Lynam said. “We live in a majestic place. It’s all of our responsibilities to be good humans and leave a small footprint.”
The Gallery on Savanah, located at 404 E. Savannah Road near Harvest Tide Steakhouse, is open Thursday through Sunday. To learn more, go to facebook.com/thegalleryonsavannah or email [email protected].
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.