Cochrane’s, Laura Heagy is January’s photographer of the month after capturing a prairie windmill covered in hoar frost.

As a long time resident of Cochrane, Heagy is certainly not new to the world of photography as her journey started back in the days of film processing. “It is so nice now that it is digital because back then you took a picture and it was hit and miss. You couldn’t see if it was nice or if should take another one because it’s blurry. I am sure I spent lots of money on film.”

Self-taught and passionate about shooting beautiful landscape imagery, Heagy, says with being recently retired she would like to expand into bird photography as well. “There are tons of birds in this area, especially in spring, I didn’t know there were so many different kinds of ducks. You can find lots around here like just past the bridge by the walking trail, if headed west toward West Valley, there are lots of ponds and in the spring there are lots of different birds there.”

While some of the other photographers I interviewed felt top-notch equipment wasn’t necessarily needed, Heagy states depending on what you are trying to capture you may want to make the investment. “I don’t care what anybody says, you need the right equipment. You can’t do wildlife photography without a big lens. All of the camera equipment I have bought in the last five years is all used; the last camera I bought was an $800 camera and I got it for $300 and it’s in perfect condition. There are so many people out that that say I am going to get into photography and then buy all this equipment and never use it.”

Heagy prints some of her favourite images for albums and creates calendars for friends but is not overly interested in selling her prints. “I am just in it because I like it and it gets me outside, a lot of people have said I should try and sell my photos but there is just so much competition out there.”

Always looking to advance her skillset, Heagy says she would like to spend some time learning how to create certain special effects using a slow shutter speed as well as other tricks.“Practice makes perfect and now I am able to take the opportunity to do that. It’s fun to get out there and it’s an interesting hobby which gets you outside.”

If she could offer some advice to a new budding photographer, she suggests investing in some decent equipment, practice lots and be open to learning from others and researching how to achieve the results you want to see. is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.