It was in March of 2015 when Thor Hansen noticed a rafter, or group of turkeys, congregating in his backyard. It wasn’t the first time Hansen saw the turkeys, as they frequently visited his Eden Prairie home. “They were displaying their feathers especially that day,” Hansen says. He decided to take advantage of the moment by taking a few photos.
Hansen’s Cannon DSLR camera captured a particular turkey showing off his impressive features—a lush combination of umber brown, black and white feathers. The turkey’s appearance and behavior influenced Hansen to title the photograph Proud Tom. “I was inspired by their interactions with each other, the ritual of display of fanned feathers and puffed out chests,” Hansen says. The photograph earned an honorable mention in the Nature & Wildlife category for the 2016 Southwest Metro Magazine photo contest.
The full-time Eden Prairie teacher considers photography to be an activity somewhere in-between a hobby and professional work. Hansen started out as just a kid with a little camera, but it wasn’t until junior high that he began to pursue photography with interest. While he has taken many photos (some professionally), photography has not become a full-time endeavor.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop Hansen from enjoying photography and the outdoors, two things that go hand in hand. Equipped with his camera, he likes to stroll through areas near Anderson Lake Parks Reserve in Eden Prairie. “I like the trails and the variety, from the marshes to the lakes and woods,” he says.
With Hansen’s regular walks through nature, perhaps it is only a matter of time before he produces a picture similar to Proud Tom.