December 31st, 2013

My first grandma to pass away was when I was 4 years old.  My dad’s mom died of brain cancer and my memories of her are few.  As I was holiday shopping this season, I came across this candy, filling me with memories of my other Grandma, my mom’s mom.  My Grandma Daisy was a woman ahead of her time – college-educated, the bread earner of the family…  she had a wonderful laugh and a warm embrace.  I still miss her today.  She passed away suddenly in March of my senior year of high school.  It’s funny how little things evoke a memory.  When I saw this candy in K-Mart, I had to buy it.  Truly, it’s some of the worst candy ever.  The only good pieces are the filled raspberries, and there are about 4 in the whole container.   But my grandma always had metal canisters with the same image on them in her closet every Christmas.  Her tiny closet held children’s books we read over and over, her old manual typewriter, a coffee grinder, some clothes, and many other odds and ends and it  smelled of my grandpa’s smoke and mothballs.  Now, I realize this may not sound pleasant to the average person, however, these memories make me smile.


So, here’s to my Grandma!  I love you and miss you and can’t wait to see you again someday!


And here’s wishing that you also find, in this New Year, many past reminders that make you smile!  Happy 2014!

The Right Studio?

December 17th, 2013


Pictures.  Aren’t we all to some degree fascinated by them?


My interest in photography runs deep.  When I was little, I remember pouring over my mom’s photo albums, studying each image.  Really, I pretty much had all of them memorized, even as I looked at them again and again.  When I began school, I carefully saved each picture I was given by classmates, displaying them on a modest cork board that hung on the wall in my room.  Then, I don’t remember at exactly what age, I’m guessing about 6th grade, I got my first photo album, along with my first camera.  My photo album was 3-ring with the sticky pages that pulled back – not archival, of course – and it was burgundy with a gold accent line around the front cover.  I put all of my pictures in, one at a time with extreme care.  And I would look at my album nearly every day.  I would take it downstairs in front of our  console t.v. and pour over the beauty of each picture.


That album was the first of what I have today.  For this post, I took the time to count the number of albums I have in my possession.  I didn’t even know how many I had, I just knew that it was a LOT!  I have eighty albums and books that have created over my lifetime.  This doesn’t count scrapbooks I am creating (I don’t do the traditional scrap booking, I use the Hallmark instant scrapbooks, which I highly recommend) for my kids, their baby albums, and other books that I have created for them, that are now at home in my children’s rooms.  I no longer have that first burgundy album.  I started many years ago, trying to transfer my precious images into archival albums and did not get very far.  Now, I keep up pretty well with my current pictures in albums and there will be a day when I sort through all of those old pictures and transfer them in albums that will not damage them.


How much do you value your images?


Some of you will not really care about pictures.  And that is totally okay.  We all have our own interests and priorities and that is what makes every individual special and unique.  Are family pictures just something that you feel like you need to get done,  just because?  Perhaps grandma would really like a picture for a particular occasion and you just need something to capture the moment.  Your son or daughter is a senior and you just need something for the yearbook and you really have no intention of putting anything on your wall.  Because you are reading this on my website right now, these statements may not apply to you.  If these remarks ring true in your ears, I am probably not the right studio for you.


Did she just say that?


And if I am not the right studio for you, again, that’s fine.  Every photographer will attract different clients for different reasons – style, customer service, costs, location, personality, product offerings, …  I never really think of the photographers in my area as competition.  Because if I am the right studio for them, they will know it.


The care that I put into my pictures as a child, is the same kind of care I put into every single one of my images now.  The goal of my business is to create Timeless Works of Photographic Art for each and every client.  This involves meeting with my clients ahead of time, so that I can get to know your personality, your personal thoughts and ideas, discuss clothing selection to work with the interior design of your home in both style and color.  If that means coming to your home, it’s no big deal.  I would rather take the time to create the perfect custom art for your wall, than not.


I truly don’t know anyone pickier than me.  I notice details.  This can drive my family a little crazy on occasion.  I put more work than anyone I personally know in each little detail of an image – a shadow, lint on a sweater, specks on the floor, the smallest of blemishes…  I put the same meticulous care into every art piece I create, as if it is going to be hung on my own wall.  If something does not pass my thoughtful inspection, I won’t sell it.  I will redo it before the client even sees it.  If something goes out that I missed (I try my very best, but I’m only human), I make it right without question, at no charge to my customer.  I want every person to not just like their images, they must LOVE them!


This means only the best archival papers and mounting options, large portraits printed on canvas and personally signed by me.  What if the pen makes a goof on my signature as I am signing my artwork?  I reorder the whole product and sign it again.


When my clients come to view their images, they are presented with a slide show with music.  They get to see what some of them will look like fully retouched, I have already taken the time to create images with special effects or b&w, if I feel that the image calls for these special touches.  I do not overwhelm by showing every single image.  My job is to narrow these images down to the best ones for my client.  They deserve better than to have their time wasted.  I also create custom collages, such as this one, for clients desiring a very personal piece of art that they will always treasure.  I also project these images on my projection screen, actual size.  When the client emails me a picture of their wall ahead of time, by the wonder of technology I can project their image to what it would look like on their wall in each size, assuring that their image is not too large and not too small, in the words of Goldilocks, “It’s just right” – absolutely perfect to be exact.  I guide each client in the ordering process to make sure that they get exactly what they want.


I view my job as a photographer a calling.


My personal mission as I am creating my art, is to capture not just an image, but the soul of my subject.  And I also want every person who comes to have the best possible experience out of a studio.  This means that backgrounds are ready when the client arrives, the studio is clean and tidy, and beverages and treats are always at hand.  Every high school senior is so valued in this environment.  If that senior did not know what was special about them when they walked into this door, I want to make sure that they know when they leave here.


When you are looking for a studio for your next photographic project, please consider what is important to you and what kind of investment you want to make.  To me personally, nothing is more important than displaying fine art of those I love the most, my family, around my home.  If my studio is the right choice for you, I look forward to visiting with you soon!

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home2/michelle/public_html/wp-content/themes/salerno/archive.php on line 317
      107 E. Overmeyer Drive - Algona - IA - 50511      515-295-6128