Lake Minnetonka May Photo of the Month

These dragonflies became Deb Zeller’s unintended subject of the day.

Deb Zeller was not always a photographer. What started as a desire to provide reference material for her paintings turned into a hobby. Now Zeller takes her camera with her everywhere. “If I don’t, I almost always regret it,” says the artist, whose primary medium is bronze sculpture. “There are so many things to see if you just look closely.”

Carrying her camera everywhere is a lesson Zeller learned from her mother, whom she credits for instilling her love of photography. Only now, instead of using the Polaroid she had as a child, Zeller has upgraded to a Nikon D7000.

Zeller snapped Dragonflies this past summer while on an outing to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory with her niece and her niece’s 4-year-old daughter, who usually loves to have her picture taken. “That day, she just didn’t want anything to do with the camera,” Zeller says. “If she saw that I was even close to pointing her way, she would just look like the grumpiest little thing. That’s that only time she’s ever done that.”

Looking for a replacement focus, Zeller spotted the dragonflies—one of her favorite subjects to photograph. It took a dozen or so shots before capturing the perfect image of the insects.

According to Zeller, nature and people are her two favorite subjects to photograph. “I just get excited to sit down at my computer and download the pictures that I’ve taken and separate out the good from the bad,” she says. “It makes me happy.”