Photographs featuring landscapes in a multitude of colors — capturing Tahoe sunrises, sunsets, moving sapphire water and bold granite rocks in moment-in-time environments — have a surreal energy. This is the work of Michael Eadington, who has been a Tahoe-based photographer for more than 30 years.
In those three decades, he has made a name for himself selling his artwork through The Eadington Galleries located in Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe while also representing and offering giclée reproduction services to other local artists. His work has also appeared on the cover of Tahoe Weekly dozens of times throughout its 40-year history.
In 2018, Michael met his future wife Lisa, a fellow Reno-Tahoe native. They married in 2020 and now the Eadingtons run the business together.
“We’re always striving to take it to the next level, which is where we’re at now. We print on canvas, metal and do high-production work.” –Michael Eadington
It all started in the early 90s when Michael moved to Tahoe fulltime. He grew up in Reno, Nev., and his family used to vacation at the lake before he planted himself on the North and West shores of Tahoe for good. Michael studied photography at University of Nevada, Reno, and at San Francisco Academy of Art. Because he was into a lot of outdoor sports such as rock climbing, he began taking his camera around with him.
“I shot 35mm, medium-large format film,” he says.
In those early days, he shot a lot of black-and-white photography, spent a stint as the photo editor for a local mountaineer magazine and was climbing in the Eastern Sierra, Yosemite and a lot of Tahoe. He also started shooting snowboarding when it became allowed at Tahoe resorts and worked at the photo shop at Resort at Squaw Creek, capturing a lot of weddings and other special events.
Then around 1997, he bought a nice inkjet printer and started printing his own work. It allowed him to take his business to the next level, being able to turn his images into fine art more efficiently.
In the late 1990s/early 2000s, Michael worked out of his backyard and then had a small shop in Tahoe Vista, before purchasing a 2,000-sq.-ft. building in Reno. He was selling his prints at eight galleries in the area including Art Attack in Incline Village, Nev., and Andrew Bolam’s Gallery in Truckee but then when he had an opportunity to claim a space on the main street in Tahoe City amongst other shops and restaurants, he swooped in on it.
“We had printers in the back and the gallery was in the front and then we just got bigger and bigger,” Lisa says.
Now the entire first floor space in Tahoe City is dedicated to the gallery. In 2015, the Eadingtons opened a gallery in South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50 and two years later opened a digital-imaging production facility in Zephyr Cove, Nev.
“We’re always striving to take it to the next level, which is where we’re at now. We print on canvas, metal and do high-production work. We were on one of the busiest sidewalks in South Lake Tahoe at one point,” Michael says.
He started printing images on metal in 2012 and Michael says that they are the only gallery in Tahoe that does that kind of work inhouse.
“That’s why other artists use us to print their work, too,” Lisa adds.
The Eadingtons ended up closing the original South Lake Tahoe location at the start of the pandemic and reopened a gallery in the Shops at Heavenly Village. Now the couple is enjoying married life and running the galleries together while also making time to play in the outdoors.
Lisa always enjoyed working in galleries and meeting people while Michael liked taking photos, so running The Eadington Gallery together is proving to be a great partnership.
“We definitely have a passion for printing and presenting images and finding the perfect things to fit in [the client’s] world,” Michael says.
“People always come in and they’re like: ‘I don’t know which one I want.’ And I always say, ‘The right one will speak to you.’ And no one’s returned anything yet,” Lisa says, smiling. | theeadingtongallery.com