So now that you have arrived to The Heartland USA you probably want to know more about who I am and what this site represents. My name is Tim Harper and I started blogging about my travels and those of others a number of years ago after catching the travel bug while I was in college. As a photography enthusiast, I started taking pictures of the many amazing sights and people that I saw along the way and set up this website as a way to document my adventures and share them with others, mostly my friends who always seemed keen to find out more about what I had been up to.
To my surprise, I found that a lot of people wanted to hear about where I go and what I do there, so my little blog has grown enormously over the last few years. I make my living from this website and through selling my photographs to companies like iStock and Shutterstock. This has been my journey so far.
My First Trip
While I was in college I realized that I had learned so much about many of the great landmarks that dot the American landscape, but I hadn’t seen practically any of them in person. I didn’t have the opportunity to travel much when I was a boy and I decided to make up for lost time as soon as I left college and had enough money to go and explore.
I had always been fascinated by the skill and ingenuity that went into the building and creation of Mount Rushmore, so I picked it out as my first destination of choice. I found that the thrill of traveling extended as much to the journey and the people you meet along the way as it does to the amazing things you see and do. I returned with some amazing photos and shared them with my friends, who seemed really enthusiastic about my adventures and photos. This ignited the spark that has driven me to travel ever since.
My Favorite Places
My website is called The Heartland USA because I love to explore the country of my birth and find out more about the people living in it and the vast cultural differences you can experience just by crossing a few state borders. Over the last few years I have hit all of the major landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Rockies, but my absolute favorite experience is still traveling to Washington D.C. and seeing all of the famous monuments to America’s liberty that are erected there.
That’s not to say I haven’t gone further afield. I’ve recently started exploring more of Europe and have been able to tick London, Prague and Berlin off my bucket list. There is so much more to see and discover, so perhaps it’s fair to say that my favorite place is always wherever I happen to be in the world right now.
Why I Love Photography
While travel became a passion later on in life, photography has been with me for as long as I remember. My parents gave me a small Polaroid camera for my fifth birthday and I was off to the races, taking photos of everything that caught my eye.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was training skills that would allow me to make an amazing living later on down the line. I just loved taking pictures, and this prompted me to experiment with angles, lighting and, as I started to earn a little money, equipment to get the best shots possible.
A photograph preserves a moment in time and with the advent of digital technology I was able to take pictures that would last forever. My favorite photos are the ones that conjure up memories of the great experiences I have enjoyed in my life. Hopefully, these pictures can also inspire people to try something new, just as they have for many of the friends are the reason why I set up this site in the first place. That brings me to…
My Goal For The Heartland USA
My main goal for The Heartland USA is the same as it was when I first created the site. I want to create a place where I can share the pictures I have taken and talk about the amazing experiences that I have enjoyed since I started traveling.
However, I have added a few more goals to that list since I started out. Once my audience started to grow I realized that there were a lot of people out there who were just like me but didn’t know how to get started. This led to me writing a small eBook titled “How It All Began” that offered a little more information about how this all started for me, in addition to a few pieces of advice for those who might want to follow in my footsteps.
With the help of a friend I also began monetizing this site. I began to earn a living by optimizing my site for search engines and selling advertising space to companies who I felt had something to offer to the audience I had built. Through this work my photos began to spread online, leading to me taking the initiative and selling many of them to picture stock websites, like Shutterstock.
So my goals have evolved over the years. I now want to make a living doing what I love, while also offering opportunities to others. Most importantly, I want to share my adventures with you and find out more about your adventures in life. I hope you enjoy The Heartland USA and come away from your visit with something that you can use in your own life.