Kirk Hoover’s work is on display through August 21 in the Sisters Library.
wphoto Helen Schmidling
Kirk Hoover’s work is on display through August 21 in the Sisters Library. wphoto Helen Schmidling
Landscape photographs by former Sisters resident Kirk Arton Hoover are on display in the Computer Room of Sisters Library until Aug. 21.

Hoover picked up his first film camera around 1975, but he’s been taking photography a little more seriously for the past 15 years.

“I think it was when digital cameras started to get better. This was what was in my heart – I captured exactly what I saw, and as cameras got better, the images got better,” he said.

He currently shoots with a Nikon d7200, for both landscapes and portraits.

“Landscape has been my passion, but when I shifted my focus to doing portraiture and events, I found that people would actually pay me for what I do,” he said. “Family weddings, events, concerts … give you a chance to interact with more people.

“Starting with family pictures, graduations, weddings, and reunions – you may be with a family for 15 years through all kinds of events,” Hoover said. “It’s affirming.”

Depending on his clients’ needs, he may shoot with studio lighting, or take outdoor photos – back to landscape photography, but with human subjects.

“I love preserving family memories, and I love it when people want to take a piece of Central Oregon home with them to share with family and friends,” he said.

Hoover also works with Cascade Theatrical Company, shooting portraits for their programs, ads, and lobby promotions.

Hoover grew up in Southern California, around Los Angeles, and moved to Orange County. He still remembers his first job, as a golf course dishwasher in Santa Cruz. He moved on to jobs as a busboy, worked in several fast-food places, earned a real estate license, managed a pizza parlor, a cookie emporium, and worked in several print and copy shops.

It was while working at the Greyhound bus station in Laguna Beach that he met Marla Hemington.

“Marla is visually impaired, and she would take public transportation all around Orange County,” Kirk said. “I helped her find the right bus, we became friends, and almost 40 years later, here we are.”

They have two daughters, Erin, 33; and Kelsey, 26. Kelsey lives in Bend, and Erin just recently moved from Los Angeles to Chicago. After Kelsey graduated from high school, the Hoovers moved from California to Oregon, hoping for a better lifestyle. They landed in Sisters, but two years ago, moved to Bend, so Kirk could be a little closer to his day job as a medical records transcriptionist.

Hoover’s photographic display at the Sisters Library includes both color and black-and-white images.

“Peaceful Morning” depicts light fog rising from a lake that’s surrounded by trees. Images of waterfalls (Three Creek and Proxy Falls) are refreshing on a hot August afternoon. Some images are printed on metal, some on canvas, and some traditionally printed on fine art paper and framed. In fact, his image of Smith Rock (“Loves Me Like A Rock”) is shown printed on both canvas and metal.

He chose to shoot a photo of Black Butte over the lava fields and through the burned remnants of the Milli Fire, a shot he calls “Lava Sunrise.” There is a wide-angle shot of the Painted Hills, and one of familiar South Sister, peeking over the tree line, in an image he calls “And the Livin’ is Easy.”

“My wife and I have been in Central Oregon for eight years, and it still astounds me that you can get in a car, drive for five minutes, and be in the middle of some of the most breathtaking scenery in America,” Hoover said.

More photographs by Kirk Hoover are posted on his website, www.artonphotography.com, and @artonphotog on Facebook. Hoover’s photographs at Sisters Library are for sale, and part of the proceeds go to the Friends of Sisters Library, which sponsors the rotating exhibits of work by local artists. Also check out the art creations by local kids in the summer reading program. These are on display in the Community Room of the library. Library hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.