One of the most frequent questions I am asked is "How did you
get into this business?" So I will try to make this brief. I bought a 35mm camera in the early 1980s and wanted to know how it worked. My wife
saw an ad in the newspaper that said Lebanon Camera Club was holding a
public slide competition. I entered and took 11th place out of 62 entries.
I wondered what place I would take in future competitions if I actually
knew what I was doing. So after many books, camera club seminars, a course from Kodak and a course from New York Institute of Photography, I started winning and placing in the monthly competitions.
My name kept showing up in the newspaper each month when I would win, place or show in the monthly competitions so I started to get phone calls asking if I do weddings. For quite a long time I turned them down because all I knew how to take pictures of was buildings, landscapes, flowers and the like. After months of calls about weddings I finally decided that maybe it would be a good idea if I learned to take pictures of people.
I started taking wedding photos for a small local studio on an as needed basis. Through a mutual friend, a larger studio offered to give me twenty weddings a year if I came to work for them. I never dreamed I would be making a part-time job out of a hobby but that is what began to happen. I saved all my photo money and bought new filters, lenses better flash units and eventually invested in a portrait studio lighting set.
I took an advanced portrait class at the Winona Institute and began taking portraits in the living room of our house and in six months the studio had taken over the downstairs of our house. My wife, Deb, helped all along the way with all the background work required in a business.
By 1986 we needed to decide if I was going to make the studio a full-time job as I was putting more hours in at photography than I was at my full-time job. In the spring of 1987 we built a small studio addition to our home and when it was completed I took the leap and quit my job to devote full-time hours to the studio. The studio continued to grow and by 1996 we needed to make another decision about a larger facility. We are already located near State Game Lands and two public parks which are excellent places for Senior and Family Portraits so we wanted a place near our home. We knew renting a storefront would force us to raise prices-alot! So we built a studio building to the rear of our property with high ceilings, a customer rest room and a larger dressing room and larger shooting area.
When we started the studio there were basically two types of photographers to choose from: the good ones who were expensive and the cheap ones who were not good. We wanted to offer high quality work at a reasonable price which we are able to do by keeping costs as low as possible.
We truly appreciated each customer who comes to us with their photographic needs and we hope to hear from you too.
Bruce and Deb