As an award-winning landscape and nature photographer, Kenneth Keifer is accustomed to having his work displayed.
But learning that two of his waterfall photographs will soon be featured on 2023 U.S. postage stamps was special.
“I was ecstatic to say the least,” said Keifer, who is an artist/co-owner of CCA Gallery in the Carmel Arts and Design District. “This was a real humbling, pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming mind-blower for me. And, it was especially thrilling for me personally because I was an ardent stamp collector as a child. To think that two of my photos would be seen in stamp collectors’ catalogs long after I am gone was an amazing, humbling thought that I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around all these months later.”
The waterfall series is scheduled to be released June 12 with an issuance ceremony at Yellowstone National Park, which is primarily in Wyoming but stretches into Montana and Idaho.
In July 2021, Keifer, 59, was contacted by Mike Owens, a representative from an agency working with the United States Postal Service, about a USPS series of waterfall stamps in 2023. Owens said officials were interested in one of Keifer’s photographs they had discovered online. The waterfall was Harrison Wright Falls, one of 22 named waterfalls in northeast Pennsylvania’s Ricketts Glen State Park.
A few days later, Owens called the Mooresville resident to see if USPS could send a contract for him to sign since it had chosen his image for inclusion in the series.
“I could barely control my excitement for the remainder of the conversation,” Keifer said. “Mike then asked, ‘By the way, do you have photos of any waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park?’”
After Keifer confirmed he did, Owens asked him to send him some photos.
A few days later, Owens called to say USPS had chosen another of Keifer’s photographs, this one an image of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River graced by a misty morning rainbow, shot from the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Keifer said he received a small stipend for use of the two photos.
“One of the hardest parts for me, since I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, was not telling anyone, other than my wife, for 15 months,” Keifer said. “When permitted to spill the beans, the first people I contacted were my then 84-year-old mother and father. My mom, of course, asked when the stamps would be available. At that time, I did not know yet. The very next morning she was at the Paden City Post Office, in the small West Virginia town where I grew up, questioning the local postmaster as to when the stamps would come out.”
Keifer has been twice named one of Indiana’s Top Ten Professional Photographers by the Indianapolis Professional Photographers Guild.
Keifer said CCA, which stands for Center for the Creative Arts, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in a few years and is believed to be Indiana’s oldest cooperative gallery.
“CCA is a wonderful place to find the superb work of some seriously talented individuals,” Keifer said. “Our gallery is truly an exemplary collection of fine artists. Honestly, I’m just glad they let me hang out with them.”
Keifer has been an artist/owner at CCA since 2015. He has been a worship leader at River Valley Christian Church in Martinsville since 2010.
For more, visit kennethkeifer.com.