Photographs by Leah Berner
Finn Hill resident Leah Berner is the FHNA volunteer photographer and many of her images grace the pages of this website. The gallery below highlights some of Leah’s work as well as locations and events from Finn Hill.
Leah Yarwood Berner is a local artist and photographer who is excited to share her passion for photography with other locals via the new O.O. Denny Trail Map guide and the FHNA website. Living in the Kirkland area for over 12 years with her husband, Louis, an active FHNA member, and their four children. Leah keeps very busy as a full-time mom and volunteer at their schools as an art docent and sometime teacher’s aide. She also volunteers when possible with her husband for frequent neighborhood projects going on around Finn Hill. She loves adventuring outdoors taking photos, often with her daughters in tow, and is able to stick close to home where she easily finds much beauty throughout the many nearby parks, forests and waterways in the neighborhood.
Leah’s talents being recognized and appreciated by her local neighborhood and beyond is an adventure she is very grateful for as it allows her to contribute locally while developing her portfolio for future projects. She is truly happy to share her love of the natural world with pristine examples from her home here on the hill. It is her sincere hope that the diverse beauty she finds and captures with her camera of local surroundings will foster the growing appreciation of the amazingly beautiful environment enjoyed by many throughout Finn Hill.
Since childhood, Leah was encouraged to develop her artistic abilities by family, friends and teachers. With photography being a constant source of enthusiasm and interest to her, she was named the family historian by her mother as she developed a love for taking and preserving family photos to share with others. Growing up in Irvine, California, Leah attended University High School where she was a photographer on the yearbook staff and got to experience cropping, editing, and writing photo captions for yearbook pages. Also while there, her creative writing became recognized as an area of strength as teachers were impressed with her natural ability to express herself through short stories and poetry.
Leah moved to the PNW (early 90’s) during her college years, where she worked at a publishing house which featured two of her photos in a calendar. She attended Gonzaga University in Spokane and then spent a year living in the heart of Florence, Italy taking classes at their Florentine campus. While there, much of her time was spent traveling Europe, photo-journaling and studying Italian as well as art studies in painting, color & design, drawing, sculpture and art history.
After transferring to the U of Montana, where she obtained her degree in Fine Art, Leah thoroughly enjoyed her time developing black and white photos in the darkroom, further illuminating her love for photographic artistry. Leah’s college professors and peers strongly encouraged her to continue in the arts, helping to validate her talent and bolster her confidence in becoming an artist like she had always dreamed of. In recent years and with the advent of digital photography, Leah has enjoyed learning how to fine-tune her photographic talents by capturing unlimited photos of people, places and things and then digitally edit them.
Through many hours of time spent experimenting with various photo-editing techniques, Leah’s ability to expand her artistic expression using this technology has helped to further evolve her style, bringing out rich tones and beautiful colors from her often nature-themed compositions.
The O.O. Denny Park Trail Map guide currently displays one of her landscape photos on the cover which was taken from the park and incorporates trees, water and a background view of Mt. Rainier. The recent photo publishing and the opportunity to be an FHNA website photographer are exciting prospects for Leah as she continues developing her artistic, photographic and literary pursuits.