Educator discovers a passion for photography

Michele Page

Patty Smith is enjoying her state of semi-retirement.

A former remedial reading teacher at Eliza Miller High School for 15 years, Smith has found a passion in photography.

She did not know that with just one year under her belt, she would be a featured artist at the Tunica Museum in Tunica County, Miss. The first public showing of her work is scheduled for January and February at the museum. 

Her work captures the nature of the Delta and most are snapped at Storm Creek, Bear Creek and local farms in Phillips County and across the river in Mississippi. 

While working part-time as assistant director for the Great Rivers Educational Cooperative is a joy for Smith, nothing excites the photographer more than spending her days traipsing through the bountiful land of the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta.

“It’s just so much fun and everything is just so pretty,” she said.

The photographer is also somewhat surprised at her popularity.

“Everything is happening so fast,” she said. “I’m nervous. I’m very excited.”

In the year she has taken to the woods and cotton fields, she has shot over 8,000 digital photos. She says that many she throws away and others are keepers. She says she spends three to four days a week photographing the varied and unique flora and wildlife in the area.

When she went into semi-retirement, she had to find something to occupy her time. Photography was her choice and she made an investment in a digital Nikon D-80.

“I bought myself a retirement present,” she said, laughing.

The Daily World