Written by Marc Johnson
Photos by Tricia Hutchinson
During the ride over to my first creative industry interview, I was mentally going over the questions I needed to ask. We arrived at the address to a well-manicured front yard with willow trees, a gravel driveway, and Avalon Photography signage that lead us right to the studio. The landscaping layout of the backyard was impeccable, perfect for outdoor shoots year round. The actual studio itself was very inviting and fit with the style of photography Avalon is known for.
I met Steve, who was at his desk filling out some paperwork. A youthful middle-aged man, with dark hair, light eyes, and a warm smile. He showed me the two sides of the studio and lighting set up, as he had shot some vintage motorcycles earlier that day. Samples of Avalon Photography work graced the walls and shelves of the studio. After a brief moment to set up, we began the interview. Steve claims that he never got into photography because it was his passion; it was more a means to an end. Passion is good, but the ability to do what you do and do it well is more important to him. He had worked many different types of jobs and even did his time in the Navy where he worked in the hospital taking photos of internal organs. Learning the craft of darkroom photography through the years was just a part of what his work called of him. When in 1996 a friend and photographer was going to sell his photography business, Steve decided right then he would buy the business and continue it on from there.
As a photographer one of the eternal struggles seems to be dealing with people, as these are his main subjects. From flakes, to bad attitudes, and constant reschedules these are the downside to customer interaction. While the positives are major appreciation and profuse recommendations he receives from those who see the final product and love it. You can find Avalon Photography on FaceBook, Pinterest, there is a studio blog and on Yelp. Steve claims he’d like to extend his reach using social media, but as a guy who started out mainly advertising in newspapers and yellow pages he sees the times have changed and needs to catch up a little.
As the interview came to a close, Steve shared with me a quote that summed up his view of success, saying that if you argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours. Furthermore, he goes on to say that true success is living what you do and that sometimes the best sometimes comes out of less and not more.
You can find Avalon Photography at 2667 Alamo Avenue, Chico, CA 95973. The web address is avalonportraits.com. Their expertise is family, wedding, and Senior Portraits. If this is what you are looking for I greatly suggest you give Steve a call at 530-891-3442, he is one of the good guys.
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