- Keely Damara
- Jeffrey Murray captures the beauty of Central Oregon and beyond, showcased at his gallery in downtown Bend.
Murray, who studied photojournalism at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz., says he's been determined to make photography a viable career since junior high.
"Photography has always been a job for me since the day I started — it's always been a job," says Murray. "For me, everything was on the way to making a living at this."
Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. Murray has far surpassed that benchmark, spending seven years on the road in an RV with his wife and dog before moving to Bend. He traveled coast to coast, capturing awe-inspiring photos, from the red rocks of Sedona to the skylines of Chicago and New York City.
It may surprise some that the quiet moments he captures in nature are often set up before he even steps outside. "When I go out shooting, I never go out blind," says Murray.
"I always know exactly the picture I'm coming home with before I even leave my house."
Though nature photography is predominantly featured in his gallery, Murray also finds inspiration in the old and new architecture around Bend, and the graffiti emblazoned on the sides of train cars. There's something special about seeing a piece of street art painted in New York City rolling through a small town in Oregon, he says.
"It's almost like a modern art gallery that goes through town and changes every day," says Murray.
As for what he enjoys most about the outdoors in Central Oregon, Murray responds without hesitation: skiing.
"I first started skiing when I was 2. My parents met on a chair lift. I went to school in Flagstaff because it was the only photography school that had a ski resort next to it — so skiing has always been a very high priority for me," he says with a smile.