Gretchen HaienSeptember 16, 2016 (Jackson, MIss.) - Gretchen Haien, professor of art at Belhaven University, chronicled a seven-year journey through photography. Her first book, Incidentals: Seven Years of Photography, is being used to change perceptions on photography.

“Cell phone camera's have ruined the art of photography and have dumbed us down,” said Haien. “We need to appreciate photography for what it's for, as a creative art form, and not information storage.”

Incidentals is her response, record and interpretation of her life and was conceived as a way of nurturing art and its practice. Her hope is to educate and teach others about the beauty of photography and how it is a creative, expressive medium.

Haien is gifting 400 copies of her book to universities and institutions of learning in Mississippi to educate. She will follow the book's release with lectures and solo exhibitions at Fischer Galleries, Lemuria, Jackson State University and other locations to bring the conversation about photography back into focus.

“In the pages of my book, a series of straight, unmanipulated digital photographs offer contemplative insights found within scenes snatched from everyday life. It is an educational tool intended to help young art students as well as curious art appreciators find new and profound ways of seeing and understanding art and the art making process.”

The majority of the images in the book were shot right out her front door. In her book Haien shows through a series of beautifully striking images that beautiful photography is only a few steps away. “It's not about traveling to remote, exotic islands for the perfect photograph,” suggests Haien. “Young artist don't realize that the creative source is at the tip of your nose; ten giant steps out your front door.”

Incidentals was released August 21, 2016, and Haien is already working on her next book.