Galena photographer with Down Syndrome finds the beauty in every - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Galena photographer with Down Syndrome finds the beauty in everyday scenes

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Photography has been a nearly decade long love affair for 23-year-old Geoffrey Mikol.

He's the owner of River Bend Gallery in Galena, Ill., where it's evident to see his passion and skill.

Mikol has Down Syndrome, but in his photography, he's found a way to express himself.

And when it comes to describing his own work, he certainly doesn't shy away.

"It's great, awesome, big, huge," he said.

His dad agrees.

"The artwork, you know, kinda speaks for itself," said Paul Mikol.

His work captures the beauty in everyday life, and the humor too.

His favorite picture, he says, is a buck with it's backside to the camera.

He calls it "Kiss My..." well, you get the point.

But the success of his business is no joke.

They've recently moved into a bigger gallery because they've been so successful.  The new gallery is at the front of Galena's famous Main St., giving them even more exposure.

Geoffrey's love for photography started about ten years ago.

"My teacher pushed me to it, and also my dad teaches me," he said.

His dad says he always showed an interest in the camera, but he was surprised to see the quality of the work.

"When he picked it up and started taking pictures, it wasn't a shock. What was a shock is how good everything was," Paul said.

Both Paul and Geoffrey's mother take Geoffrey on spontaneous road or camping trips so he can take more pictures.

For more information about Geoffrey and his gallery, visit

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