Photo studio opens in New Milford
There’s a new studio in town.
Katharine “Kat” Manning has opened Hello Studio at 45 Bank St. in New Milford.
Located in the heart of downtown, the studio is aptly named for the greeting that begins most conversations, according to its owner.
“I love everything about the photography process,” said Manning. “I love coming up with the ideas for photo shoots, what to capture, making sure everything someone thought of is captured.
“The most fulfilling thing is to see people so happy with the images.”
Manning’s studio not only offers photo sessions for individuals and events but also provides social media marketing content and website design.
“Businesses can have peace of mind knowing that I can come in and create content that’s on point with their branding,” Manning said.
She said many businesses handle their own social media content, but find it can be “overwhelming” and “draining.”
She will meet with businesses to “learn the product and create quality products to show their brand.”
“The images will embrace the audience and be interactive,” Manning said, of her contributions to social media marketing campaigns. “I’ll give clients an arsenal of images.”
Jeff Schmidt, one of the owners of At the Corner in Litchfield, praised Manning for her professionalism, flexibility and enthusiasm.
“It’s nice to see someone so young and passionate who mirrors our passion (for what we do),” said Schmidt.
Manning is taking photographs and creating videos and blogs for the restaurant and may even do print work down the road.
“We have a great partnership,” Schmidt said. “She is totally willing to help us redo the website to make it more current, and to streamline things.”
Website design is another area of focus for Manning, who from start to finish can help businesses develop an online presence.
The photographer works with Roxbury graphic designer Zeb Mayer, who will help her customers create concepts and logos, which can be included in website design and/or social media.
“She has a real understanding of how to manage websites, social media and Facebook,” said James Barron of James Barron Art in Kent. “She knows how to get the word out to a lot of people.”
Manning has always had a knack for photography and design.
She said even as a child at age 6, she would crouch down on the floor to get the “right angle” for a photo.
In her youth, she used her father’s 35mm camera to take photos and found her interest in film and, later in school, large format film.
Her passion for photography led her to the Hartford Art School, from which she graduated with degrees in photography and illustration.
After graduation, she completed a semester in archival photography before launching her own business, Connecticut Art Services.
Manning managed art collections for private collectors and galleries, photographing and compiling a history and data base for artwork for about four or five years.
She eventually found the creative side of doing photo shoots to be more rewarding.
She said seeing the “empowerment people feel when they see photographs of themselves” was inspiring and sparked her to focus more on photo sessions and led to the opening of Hello Studio.
Photo shoots are “more personable, there’s more interaction and it’s more positive,” she said.
Barron, who has worked with Manning for about a year, described the photographer as a “people person” who “makes people feel good about themselves.”
“She’s terrificly talented and developing skills,” he said. “She’s always imagining new and creative ways she can express herself and enhance the lives of others.”