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Making the moment last

Photo courtesy of Jim D'Angelo

Jim D’Angelo of D’Angelo Photography Studio
helps businesses and individuals capture
meaningful moments.

Only 20 percent of a photographer’s time is actually spent taking photographs. A majority of the time is spent motivating and engaging people to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Or better yet, to forget the camera is even there.

Photography that captures the affectionate bond between a bride and groom, the toothless grin of an infant, the confidence of a high school senior, or the personality of a pet captures a moment that has meaningful significance. 

“If I do my job right, there will be an emotional response,” Jim D’Angelo of D’Angelo Photography Studio said, “excitement, happiness, heartfelt fondness, even tears of joy—that’s what clients and customers really gain from their portrait experience.”

D’Angelo likes to meet with customers before a photography session to get to know what motivates them to have their portraits done. Getting to know a person’s personality, mannerisms, likes and dislikes—or the dynamics between couples, or even between a person and their pet—helps him capture those precious and unique moments that make memories.

And for small children and pets, a good romp around his large, open-space portrait studio—the largest in the area—helps too.

D’Angelo has been in the photography industry for more than 25 years. His first photography studio was located on the corner of Water and Buffalo, just three blocks south of downtown Milwaukee, in the Historic Third Ward. The historic Third Ward is known as Milwaukee’s Arts and Fashion District.

It was during this time that D’Angelo met and was influenced by the nationally known photographer John Beckett. “John taught me how to see light, the interaction between highlights and shadows—shape and form,” D’Angelo said. He also learned from Beckett how to dissect other great photographers’ work, utilize those techniques and recreate it.

D’Angelo’s initial work was commercially based. His portraits and photographs of jewelry and clothing, bands and models, sandwiches and pizza, and even motorcycles have appeared in advertising—on billboards, in trade publications, catalogs, Web sites, posters, magazines and newspapers across the country.

D’Angelo moved to Menomonie about 20 years ago, and although he still does commercial work, he offers full services to businesses and individuals—including portraits, weddings and pets—both in-studio and on location. He has been known to travel to other states for clients.

D’Angelo especially likes to work with pets, the “other” members of people’s families.

“You have to be an animal lover to work with them,” he laughs. “Every pet and animal has its own unique personality, and playing with the dogs is a great fringe benefit for me in what I do.” D’Angelo has photographed horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs and even chickens.

In addition to his work, D’Angelo Photography Studio stands out among photographers for his space.  D’Angelo likes his large photography studio in the historic Masonic temple building on the corner of Broadway and Main. The large space allows him to be more creative with lighting, posing, props and set design.

“When the opportunity presents itself, I prefer to make images that have an artistic feel to them,” he explained.

There is not much that will not fit in his studio. D’Angelo’s large studio space allows him to invite his clients to bring their own props that are meaningful to them.  And they have—from drums sets and tubas, to soccer nets and go-carts.

His studio can accommodate groups of up to 40 people, which works well for businesses, corporations, family reunions, as well as fraternities and sororities.

D’Angelo loves what he does, and his passion is evident when he speaks about his work.

“Photography is important,” D’Angelo said. “It brings people together.  It creates memories. It is important that people capture those things.”

He feels so strongly about the emotional benefit of photography that he is willing to donate his time for a good cause by working with nonprofits. He also is willing to barter with individuals and businesses.

“I’m here to serve people,” he said. “To help them capture something meaningful. To convey what needs to be said from the heart. To create an image that will help them remember that moment, that relationship, forever.”

Published in the Dunn County News, May 16, 2010

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