MOUNDRIDGE — Graphic Elegance in downtown Moundridge has a new coat of bright red paint on its front door, marking a time of transition for the photography studio.
Owner Ginger Funk said she is turning what was once a side business into a full-time enterprise after being laid off from her job as a graphic designer.
"I got to thinking, why not just work for myself," Funk said.
Being able to set her own hours gives her time to be there for her family and pursue her passion at the same time.
"That's worth a lot, right there," Funk said.
Funk got started in the photography business when she and a partner teamed up to do rodeo photography.
"I'm a big horse nut," Funk said. "We had a lot of fun going to barrel races and charity events."
She then struck out on her own, adding senior photography to her repertoire.
"Seniors are still my favorite," Funk said. "They don't want what everybody else has. They want it to be fun and creative and you get to tailor it to their style and what's going on in their life."
Still, Funk finds satisfaction in capturing the spirit of a special animal or place.
"I love dogs and I love farm and ranch," Funk said. "I really want to get into that, because I love going out to people's places and shooting at their homes."
Having a studio space allows her to take portraits indoors as well, using different props, chairs and backdrops in the picture and letting in the natural light from the plate glass windows.
"My main love is the outdoors, but I've started liking indoor photography — studio photography — because you can get just totally crazy creative," Funk said. "We have options, which is nice."
Funk is working on turning one room in the studio into a makeover area, which her daughter can use to style hair and apply makeup for clients if requested.
"They get to put on a robe to cover up their clothes and get kind of pampered," Funk said.
The consultation area of Graphic Elegance is set up much like the living room of an average home, with comfortable seating facing a wide-screen television. Funk said the space serves dual purposes for her clients.
"I want them to come in here and get to know me in a consultation, to see if we connect and I can get to know their wants," Funk explained.
She asks clients what the pictures will be used for (wall decoration, holiday cards, online viewing, etc.) and where they will be hung.
"Some people will have this wall at home that is blank or they have pieces on it that they hate and they just have no idea what they want to do with it, so I want to be their person, their go-to," Funk said.
With those details in mind, Funk will present a slideshow of pictures on her television screen, adjusting the size of the images overlaid on a picture of the client's wall.
"I can take their room, put it on this television in my program, and pick their favorite photographs to scale," Funk said.
This gives customers a look at how their pictures can be displayed in their home or office.
"A lot of people just can't see it until it's right there," Funk said. "That takes a lot of the guesswork out of it."
Along with traditional prints, Graphic Elegance offers pictures printed on canvas, wood or even metal — a popular choice for those who want their image to last.
"They're almost indestructible. You can put them outside, as long as they're not in direct sun," Funk said. "You don't even need to frame it."
Vinyl printing for window clings and putting images on T-shirts are other services Graphic Elegance will offer.
Funk also wants to create montages of pictures that people want to bring together.
"So many people have all these wonderful images sitting on their phone or on their computer and they don't know what to do with them," Funk said. "I can help them create something with what they already have. We can go to a whole new level of creativity."
Graphic Elegance is located at 122 S. Christian Ave. in Moundridge. For more information, visit http://graphicelegance.zenfolio.com.
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