A portrait is intended to capture the likeness of an individual, as well as the personality and soul of the person, becoming an heirloom to treasure for generations to come.
And that’s what the husband-and-wife team of Armando Gauthier and Grace MacGibbon-Gauthier are hoping to offer district residents with their new business, A&G Photography.
Located at 306 Scott St., the studio will be open Friday afternoons and evenings for walk-in clients.
“We’re hoping to bring something special to Fort Frances that hasn’t been here for a long time,” Gauthier noted during the studio’s grand-opening on Friday, referring to the former Scott Street portrait studio, Sooters.
“It’s sounds like it’s been missed,” he added.
The couple, who both grew up in the district, relocated to Calgary three years ago with the opportunity to take over a school photos company.
They had known the owners, who at one time had been based in Thunder Bay and had done some work here in Rainy River District, so they set out to learn the trade.
Gauthier said they underwent some extensive training and several courses while working under a senior portrait photographer.
He is the photographer while his wife takes care of the editing and administration.
“I always had an eye for photography and enjoyed taking photos,” noted Gauthier, though citing his ability to work with people and children that really allows him to thrive as a photographer.
The pair ran the Calgary business for a year, taking school photos, sports, family, and traditional photography both in the studio and on site.
But when they started a family, it was clear they needed to return to the district so their children would be close to their grandparents.
Since returning, the couple has done a few small photography gigs while Gauthier has sought additional employment to make ends meet and help save up the money to purchase their own photography equipment.
“Now we finally have enough to start off with,” he remarked, noting they purchased a camera, several different backdrops, and a number of lights.
“Hopefully it’s something people want. We’re just testing out the market,” Gauthier said, explaining their services will differ from the portrait studio at Walmart here.
A&G Photography will be open Friday afternoons and evenings, for now, and clients do not need to book appointments.
Their package prices begin at $25, which includes the option for touch-ups.
Photos will be provided on CD or DVD instead of ordering prints.
“We want people to have control of their prints,” Gauthier explained, noting people can print the photos anywhere they choose.
The photo CD or DVD will be available for pick-up the following week.
“I love performing, miss performing,” admitted Gauthier, a former dancer. “I feel that taking portraits is like performing.
“I get to have fun, have a good time, make people laugh and capture that, which I believe is really important.
“And to be a part of that would be really cool,” he enthused.
The couple is hoping to build up a large enough clientele base to eventually be able to work with larger companies and take portraits on green screens to offer unlimited options.
“We can do the editing ourselves, but it’s not up to the quality that these big companies provide,” he admitted.
Gauthier said he hopes people will stop by and check out the studio.