A new photography studio has opened in Highland where you can take your favorite furry, feathered, scaled, creepy-crawly, or even slithery friends to get their picture taken.
Rebecca Kriegh will be celebrating the opening of her new studio, Rebecca Kriegh Photography, located at 1501 Broadway, with a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 26 and a grand opening celebration Oct. 28 from noon to 5 p.m., and everyone, including your fur babies are welcome. The first 20 guests of the grand opening will receive a goodie bag, and Kriegh will be auctioning off a free session.
Kriegh opened her business back in March, and she said that she is hoping this celebration will help get the word out about her unique, niche photography. Kriegh said she will welcome any kind of session, but her specialty is pet photography.
Growing up, Kriegh said she has always understood animals better than people. She has always seen her pets as family members.
But her calling for photography came later in life.
“I found my love for pet photography in college, while taking several classes, and just knew there was no other way of life for me,” Kriegh said.
While earning her bachelor of fine arts at the Art Institute of St. Louis, Kriegh said she faced her fair share of doubt when she told her peers she wanted to pursue pet photography.
“Often at times, I would hear people tell me, ‘Animal photography? You can’t really be serious about that as a career right?” Kriegh said. “I would often just smile and say, ‘Watch me.’”
Getting to know her subject
After graduating, Kriegh opened her studio with the help of her parents, Pamela Gronemeyer and Stephen Kriegh. She said, because of their help, she is taking professional pet photography to a higher level.
A successful pet photographer requires a specific skill set and experience that not every photographer possesses, according to Kriegh. When photographing her subjects, she said there is a challenge with getting the best look a four-legged model has to offer. She said she has to get into the mind of the animal. Kriegh has even taken a few animal behavioral classes just to make sure her furry clients are as comfortable as possible.
“When I work with animals, I become an animal,” Kriegh said. “I know this sounds rather crazy to some, but it’s how I get to a point where animals are willing to let me cram a camera in their face and pop off tons of lights all around them in an unfamiliar place. You kind of have to get into their heads to see their unique personalities.”
Kriegh said she also provides some options that are unique to her studio. Among these options are new-born pet photography sessions for animals under three months, cake smash photos for birthdays (special pet cake included), and holiday-themed, 30-minute mini sessions that are available at a discounted rate. Kriegh also said that she offers a variety of printing options for any budget.
Finding a mascot
One night shortly after opening the business, Kriegh said an unusual box was dropped on her doorstep of her studio. Inside the package were four newborn kittens. As an involved shelter volunteer and self-proclaimed animal activist, Kriegh could not let the cats go without a home.
Unfortunately, Kriegh said two of the kittens could not be helped in the condition she found them in, and they passed away. But she was able to find a home for one of the kittens with a friend, while she welcomed one of the kittens, now named Aria, into her own home. Out of her four cats, three dogs and two ferrets, Kriegh said that Aria’s story made her a perfect company mascot.
Pictures of Aria can be seen on the business’s Facebook page and any interested clients wishing to make an appointment can contact Kriegh through her website. Kriegh said she will photograph children, families, couples, and any type of pet. When booking with Kriegh, she said her customers can expect her to be friendly, professional, knowledgeable, gentle and sometimes goofy. But booking with her will always be a unique experience.
For those members of the community thinking that their iPhone will be enough for their family photos, Kriegh said they should rethink visiting her business. Kriegh will provide high-quality prints and will back up her files in case the family needs replacements.
“I understand the importance of capturing each pet’s unique personality,” Kriegh said. “I also recognize that each pet is beautiful in his or her own way, no matter the age or activity level. When those unique personalities are captured in photographs, those photos, and our pets, are art.”
At a glance
- Name: Rebecca Kriegh Photography
- Location: 1501 Broadway, Highland
- Specialty: Pet photography
- Phone: 618-977-5820
- Website: rebeccakrieghpetph.wixsite.com/rebeccakrieghphotos
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn