BIZ NOTES: Jan Gratz Photography Opens in South River Colony Main Street

Jan Gratz is an accomplished local photographer. For years she has been the primary shooter for South River High’s baseball team. But it more recently that she decided to take a giant step by opening a studio in South River Colony Main Street. Her business, Jan Gratz Photography, will focus primarily on people and portraiture.

Jan Gratz at her Edgewater studio in South River Colony Main Street.

Jan Gratz at her Edgewater studio in South River Colony Main Street.

Gratz opened her studio earlier this year. But even before she opened, she has been working with families and seniors on portraits. Her photographs give families the kinds of images that will be family keepsakes. She puts them together as regular photographs, but also mounted on canvas and as photo books.

She not only has the artistic sensibility, but she also spends a lot of time on the technical components of photography. She attends conferences to learn about new techniques in digital photography. She also focuses on the having the equipment necessary to get results both in studio and in the field.

Gratz with the clothing and accessories in her studio.

Gratz with the clothing and accessories in her studio.

She gave an example of how that played out for a recent senior photograph. She started with a wardrobe consult and the kinds of locations that would suit the personality of her subject. When this particular student came to the studio, she brought her own clothes, but also “shopped” in Gratz’ studio closet for hats, accessories, clothing and shoes to get just the right look.

Gratz has been collecting items in preparation for opening her studio. She said that she has always loved fashion, but more than that wants the students to have a great experience.

“I want to make them feel beautiful,” she said.

On the day of the shoot, Gratz brought in Hannah Powers, local makeup artist, to do the teen’s makeup. Gratz regularly works with Body Wellness hair salon for blow-outs and hair styling.

When the subject was ready, they took some photographs in the studio setting and then made their way to Historic London Town and Gardens for an outdoor shoot in the garden. It is one of her favorite local spots.

“I have gone all over for senior portraits, Redskins stadium, Annapolis City, all over,” Gratz said.

She likes to find a location that fits the personality of her subject.

Sample senior portrait books.

Sample senior portrait books.

Gratz is beginning her senior portraits for the Class of 2015. Packages start at $500.

She offers a “Model” portraiture rate, which allows her to use the student’s photographs in her marketing campaign. She also asks her model-rate subjects for social media testimonials which help her to promote her business to her subjects’ friends.

Using social media in that way is a creative way of marketing her business and is a deliberate part of her business plan. Gratz said this is a key to her ultimate success — marrying her business background and expertise with her artistic eye as a photographer.

“When I wanted to do this, I did an extensive business and marketing plan,” Gratz said.

Gratz’s studio does not have regular hours since she is often shooting in the field. Contact Jan for an appointment and/or consultation.

Family portrait. Copyright Jan Gratz Photography.

Family portrait. Copyright Jan Gratz Photography.

Senior portrait on location. Copyright Jan Gratz Photography.

Senior portrait on location. Copyright Jan Gratz Photography.

Senior portrait of a soccer player. Copyright Jan Gratz Photography.

Senior portrait of a soccer player. Copyright Jan Gratz Photography.

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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. Mitchelle@SouthRiverSource.com or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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