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Local Artist John Kamerer’s flower photos at Monumental Gallery

John Kamerer, a local Gettysburg photographer, has been photographing flowers for over 20 years and displays his photographs at his gallery, Monumental Photography Gallery.

“I worked in advertising at J. Walter Thompson for over 40 years,” said Kamerer. “There, I made television commercials for well-known brands and then moved to Gettysburg in 2003.”

After retiring from advertising and moving to Gettysburg, Kamerer began taking photographs of flowers he grew in his garden. He began exhibiting his work in art festivals and participated in photography and art shows until September 2019.

“In December 2019, I bought Monumental Photography Gallery,” said Kamerer. “Then, the pandemic hit in March 2020, and I had to shut down until July 4, 2021.”

After being closed for over a year, Kamerer reopened the gallery Fridays through Sundays in the afternoons and began showing at art shows again. The first was at the Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville. There, he had the opportunity to interact with people again and show his work.

Kamerer is interested in photographing colorful flowers. “I am known for my photographs of sunflowers,” he said. He grows lots of them in his own garden and takes photographs of them. Kamerer said he wants to continue photographing sunflowers as that is what he is known for, and it separates him from other photographers.

“I have built up a fan base by focusing on sunflowers,” Kamerer said. “And people keep coming back to see what is new.”

In addition to photographing sunflowers and other flowers in his garden, he has started painting the frames his photographs are in. “Painting the frames of the photographs gets me noticed, as people haven’t seen it before,” he said.

People who visit his gallery are excited to see new things and painting the frames has reinvented his photography by expanding the flowers outside of the frame.

“The hardest part of being a photographer is having to motivate yourself when you are alone,” said Kamerer. “In order to get a good photograph, you have to take advantage of what is in nature and what appears even when you don’t want to.”

Kamerer said that the photographic process is very nuanced and keeps you on your toes as you have to stop and take a photograph of what is out there when the light is good. “Because of the spontaneity of nature, I have to carry my camera with me and be ready to take a photograph,” Kamerer said.” This results in every photograph that he takes having a story.

Kamerer intends to keep taking photographs of flowers and nature, but the building the gallery is located is being sold by the end of the year. Beginning in the new year, he will focus more online and sell his art out of his home at 317 Buford Avenue. This new location will be open by appointment.

Monumental Photography Gallery is located at 18 North Washington Street. Stop by Friday-Sunday afternoons or call 717-253-5004 to visit the gallery by appointment.

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Sarah Paul is a senior at Gettysburg College, majoring in Art History and Italian Studies. She is from Chevy Chase, Maryland. In addition to being an intern with Gettysburg Connection, she also works at Schmucker Art Gallery, is the treasurer of the Italian Club, and a member of a sorority. After graduation, Sarah hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Art History and Museum Studies.

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