EagleHerald Staff Writer
MENOMINEE—Another new business opened its doors on 13th Street at the beginning of July: Memories Studio, operated by Jenny Popelka, a certified professional photographer.
“I was just working out of my house, and we got pretty busy to the point where I wanted to jump into this,” she said. Memories is located at 2433 13th St.
Since opening, Popelka has had a few shoots in her new studio and has senior photo sessions scheduled every other day in August. She’s also got weddings to shoot just about every weekend.
“I also do a lot of family pictures, but seniors and weddings seem to be my main ones,” Popelka said. “I’m also a big sports photographer. I cover tough mudders and Spartans, but it’s getting a little hard to keep those things up.”
For Popelka, photography has always been a passion. When she was in school, Popelka served as a yearbook photographer, and when her children were younger she would often take their school photos.
“My second son could not take a normal picture to save his life, and my oldest son, who’s a bit of an adrenaline junky, always managed to destroy his face right before pictures every year. So I started doing their pictures myself,” she said.
About five or six years ago, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) introduced a photography program. Popelka said her husband works for the school and told her she had a golden opportunity to be a part of it. She earned her degree, and after that joined the Wisconsin Professional Photographers Association and the Professional Photographers of America, earning her certification from them.
“I push really hard to be good. I wanted to make sure I was good enough to actually charge people for something,” she said.
Popelka said she’s enjoyed meeting people through her work and has also enjoyed trying to give each person she works with a unique set of photos.
“I don’t want this person’s picture to look like that person’s, and it’s really nice when I sit with a senior girl and take her picture, and show her just how beautiful and amazing she is,” she said.
Not only does she try to get great new photos for people, she has also found enjoyment in restoring older photos.
“I had a woman come in, when I was doing her baby’s pictures, with a picture from her parents’ wedding, and it was stuck to glass and all tore up, and she asked, ‘Can you fix this?’ I love challenges, and in my downtime I love messing around with this stuff,” she said.
This week, Memories is having its grand opening celebration. Popelka will be offering free mini-sessions all week, and on Friday night the studio will host a “Roaring 20s” party.
Popelka has a number of flapper dresses and other 1920s costume pieces for people to use for photo shoots. She said her studio was once a bank, and the large safe from that time is still intact, so people will be able to have shoots in front of the safe.
“We’ll have printers right on site, so we’ll have people come in and take their pictures, and just have a good time,” she said.