JEWELL - Photography by Becca celebrates two years of business in Jewell in May. According to owner and photographer Rebecca Gansen, things are going well.
"Most of my clients are repeat customers. I love doing 'Watch me Grow' sessions with the babies," Gansen said.
Gansen, a 2005 graduate of South Hamilton High School, decided early that she wanted to be a photographer. Following graduation, she attended Hawkeye Community College with hopes of becoming part of their very popular Professional Photography program. The program filled up fast, however, and Gansen had to wait a year to begin her photography classes. In the meantime, she took business courses to help prepare for her future.
The reception area of Photography by Becca features samples of her work. Owner Rebecca Gansen recently marked two years in business.
Following graduation from HCC in 2008, Gansen began doing freelance wedding photography almost immediately.
"There's a lot of pressure for weddings," Gansen said. "But I haven't had a disappointed bride yet."
She attributes that to her training, including a full semester of shooting film photography.
In 2010, Gansen was ready to open her own studio. Although she lives in Des Moines, she decided to open Photography by Becca in Jewell. Most of her customers were already coming from the Jewell area and people there know her personally. In Des Moines, she would have been just another face in the crowd.
In addition to the support of her family and friends in the area, she benefitted from the cooperation of the Jewell Area Development Enterprise as well. JADE had already begun renovating a building on Main Street when Gansen began looking for a place for her business. The historic building seemed like the perfect place for a photographer. Full of character and charm, the original floors were refinished, and floor-to-ceiling windows line the north wall, providing beautiful, natural light for the studio. Gansen was able to help guide the finishing touches of the renovation, and now rents the space from JADE. She has filled the back room with "sets" built with the help of her dad, including a wall of turquoise doors from a family farmhouse.
Gansen said she is happy with her decision to open the studio in Jewell.
"I would have had a hard time getting started without JADE. The whole community has been very welcoming," she said.
She said she still loves to shoot weddings, although she does a lot of senior pictures and children's photography as well. Samples of her work, as well as pricing information are available at her website: www.photographybybecca.com.