ABSECON – Artistic Photography Studios and Media Production at 159-B New Jersey Ave. is the culminating collaboration of two careers that have crossed frequently as they passed through time.
Rich Krents and Cece Whitaker were friends at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., Class of 1975.
Krents remained in the Washington, D.C., area, trying his hand at a number of businesses – mainly in music production – while Whitaker moved to Atlantic County in 1990.
“She was a performer at the casinos – a singer for many years,” Krents said. “She had a band and I played drums for her band. I would come up for a five- to six-week stint and stay in the area. I did this for many years.”
He moved from Bethesda to Absecon in 2004.
“I brought my businesses with me,” Krents said. “They were in media production, CD-DVD production.”
The New Jersey Avenue storefront marks his move from a home-based business to a commercial location.
“It has quite a few advantages,” he said. “We’re able to meet with clients in a more professional setting. There’s a public presence. And we’re next to a great deli.”
According to Krents, the location they opened next to the Friendly Deli during the Downtown Fair Sept. 17 puts his partner and him on the ground floor of an expected downtown resurgence.
“Cece’s role is handling marketing and music production,” he said. “She also makes products: pet pillows and blankets. She’ll take care of our video services and she’ll be the second photographer and videographer when we do events.”
Standard photographic services are available through Krents, who has freelanced, mainly for the Philadelphia Inquirer, since moving north.
“We’re a little bit different than other photographic studios,” he said. “We offer audio, video and graphic arts products.”
They’ll shoot passport photos. They’ll also copy VHS tapes onto DVDs.
According to Whitaker they have a full-service photographic and music studio.
“A musician or choral group could conceivably come here and create their entire presentation,” she said. “From recording of the material, to production of the CDs, photos for the cover, promotional video – and ultimately a website to house it all.”
While such all-encompassing projects are possible, she said they will probably see more photography business, particularly using “green screen” technology, where the subjects pose in studio and backgrounds are placed later.
“Families who want to have a photo done for instance in the snow for a Christmas card, would not be forced to stand in the wet, cold weather while the picture was taken,” Whitaker said. “Instead, they could gather in comfort at the studio, fix hair and makeup, etc., warm up, even have a cup of coffee, and then gather in front of the green backdrop.”
The background can be anything, anywhere.
“Technology is king,” Krents said. “I can take photos of scenery anywhere. South Jersey is full of great settings. The only thing the customer has to suffer through is the posing.”
This is where their collaboration is best. Krents handles the technology while Whitaker works with the clients.
“I try to make folks look their best, and feel comfortable in front of the camera,” Whitaker said. “And fortunately, you don’t have to be photogenic yourself to make that happen.”
Artistic Photography is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., but takes appointments for off-hour shoots and sessions. Call (609) 568-6231.
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