In November 2015 after leasing this building 10 months for my Photography studio I purchased it with help from First National Bank and Karen Zeiset. Karen treated me with respect and listened to my financial needs. Thank you Karen.
There was a lot of hesitation, worry and surprise from folks. Once, I was told I had the ugliest building in town. People were concerned about the area, North town is generally not the sought out location for a business. I would wait out front for clients to arrive, watching their questioning expressions as they would drive up, slowly pulling in to park.
With any small business just starting, funds are tight. I did what I could, when I could to try and improve the building. Local painter Robert McCoy worked with me and I was able to get the front of the building painted. (Robert and his crew did an amazing job, they really got the job done.)
It takes a village and vision, blood and spit to build a creative Photography business. I've had a lot of help from friends and family.
Troy Williams designed and created the modern metal 327 street numbers.
Teranie Riley always keeps an eye out for that really cool prop.
Friend Pat Arthur spray painted the big planter pots a bright pink with matching mailbox!
Johnny Trammell has given me construction and business advice, networked my photography courses and helped in so many other significant ways.
I was able to hire two hard working, reliable people to help me get the place in shape, a big thanks to Jenni Hammersberg and coincidentally another Jennifer, both who worked so incredibly hard and really helped me out.
A big THANKS goes to my dear, sweet friend Andrea Jones. She came down and helped me clean and organize the studio which was a big deal. I honestly, could not have done it without her.
There are so many other friends and family who have stepped up and helped out. Mika Smith, Ivan Zhidov, Nancy & Jerry Reding, Wendy Holman, Jessica Stark, Shauna Hutchinson, Wes Hallmark, Carrie Chavers, Katie Davis, Pat Cunningham, Bobbie Elliott, Jessica Lane, Matthew Mollman, Steve McGrew, Max Wagner, Jonathan Manning, Sikander Lodhi, Royal Lantz, Meng Tong Lim, Narciso Arguelles, Patricia Isbell, Joe Donley, Fred Howell and so many more. I am incredibly humbled and appreciative of each and every one of you!
One friend who went beyond the friendship call of duty is Amber Heilman. Amber is the High school Art teacher in Rush Springs and an Artist in Chickasha. She offered to paint a poppy mural on the South side of the building. If you are passing by 327 North 6th, be sure and LOOK ! It is quite impressive.
There is still so much to do and I imagine there always will be.
As the building has improved so has the studio. In 2016, the studio started offering Photography courses, beginning, intermediate and advanced to Chickasha and surrounding areas.
The courses are designed to be step by step, hands on and interactive. Field trips, class demonstrations and small class sizes for personal attention.
The studio crew has grown as well, recently Wes Hallmark a Chickasha native has signed on to the studio and will be teaching FILM Photography courses starting in March. We are really excited about Wes joining the team. He brings 38 years of Photography & Videography experience to his students. FILM ADVANCE with Wes Hallmark.
And, I couldn't be more pleased to announce my new intern Jayne Gregston! Jayne will be helping me with the Photography courses and shoots. She is a current level 2 student and is incredibly bright. I am looking forward to working with her.
Now in 2017 it is my goal to create a Photography Education Hub at the studio. All things Photography Education. We will be offering the 3 & 5 week Photography courses along with day classes and workshops. Some of the ideas are to offer a day class in Head Shot Photography/personal branding images and a workshop in How to create an Artistic Videography short Film.
If there is a specific Photography topic that you would like to see as a day class or workshop please let us know. E-mail: contact@Z-Artscene.com
Gina Zhidov Photography | 327 North 6th, Chickasha | www.chickashaphotoclasses.com