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By JoEllen Black, Publisher
Go down the basement stairs at her sister Tiffany’s house in Orrick, and the entrance is a non-descript hallway.
The space gives no indication that it’s a walkway into the photo studio of Orrick portrait photographer Trisha Waters.
“You see a stark white hallway. A couple of clients have described it as an insane asylum,” Waters says with a laugh. The austere surroundings will change soon, though.
Waters was the recipient of a $5,000 prize for prints and products from Mpix, a professional imaging studio with labs in Pittsburg, Kan. and Columbia. Dubbed the “Hip My House Sweepstakes,” Waters will have ample opportunity to dress her walls with photos of clients, family and friends.
“I never won anything before,” she said. “That was super exciting. It has definitely changed my life and my business.”
That prize, she says, is a great boost for her business, trisha d photography, in its first year.
“It will allow clients to see product,” she said.
Last week, her studio floor was occupied by photo groupings of newborn babies, senior class portraits, engagements pics and family images ready for installation.
Waters says she primarily shoots on location – Watkins Mills is a favorite site – but utilizes the studio mostly for newborn portraits. Waters says she specializes in children and newborns because “it’s pretty easy to hang out with kids.” She’s had a lot of practice, coming from a large family and becoming an aunt for the first time at age 9.
Waters got into photography “big,” she says, a few years ago after being a full-time babysitter and previously a secretary at American Wilcon Plastic, Inc. in Orrick after graduating from Orrick high School. Her high school art teacher, Jeff Mace, piqued her interest in photography with film photography and processing.
When photography crossed over from a mere hobby to something bigger, Waters said she “practiced a lot on family and friends.” A niece, Delaney Waters, is a favorite subject or “practice buddy,” as Waters says, which helped her hone her skills. Delaney is now interested in photography as well, Waters said.
“I love it, though I can’t image doing anything else. As a secretary, I forgot how much fun it was in high school,” she said.
The self-taught photographer says she keys on the subject’s personality and facial expressions, relying less on Photoshop, which can alter a person “where it’s not them anymore.”
Waters said she is pleased with the response of the community for her business, saying she receives most of her business through word-of-mouth.
“It’s doing really well. I’ve had a lot of support. I’ve spent my entire life here and the community knows me, which helps,” she said.
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trisha d photography, 318 S. Bissell St. in Orrick, can be contacted at 816-770-2361 for an appointment. trisha d is also on facebook.