Photography Business Opens in Bluffton
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors welcomed a new business to downtown Bluffton, Burman Photography, located at 209 West Market Street. Burman Photography is located in the second level of the newly renovated building.
Nathan and Steve Stauffer recently purchased the building and started to renovate the upstairs with the original intent of housing apartments. Soon after the purchase of the building, Nathan received requests from area photographers to house studios for their businesses. The Stauffer’s started to transition the space and within six months fixing water leaks, removing carpet, sanding the wood flooring, installing an HVAC, fixing walls and painting, opening up the windows, removing plaster on the walls and ceiling, and upgrading the electrical and plumbing.
“We do a lot of the work ourselves and it has become a family project,” explained Nathan. “It’s a lot of hard work, tears, and more tears, but in the end it is worth it. I love working with my dad; we involved other members of the family to come together and be a part of this project.”
Currently there are three photographers renting the space that have their own niche. Amanda Burman with Burman Photography specializing in seniors, weddings, newborns, and commercial services. Kristen Mittlestedt with Kristen Mittlestedt Artistry specializes in whimsical weddings, boudoir, and maternity. Tailor Schueler with Mama Hen’s Photography specializes in family and newborns.
Amanda Burman commended the Stauffer’s for involving them in the process to make sure the space would be feasible to serve their needs. “We needed a creative home space for our businesses because we have had to travel to other towns to take photos. This allows us to give the full-on experience for clients. In addition, when clients come from out of town, I can have them experience our community by visiting the area businesses. This is a way to bring a community together.”
A hobby that started over eight years ago became a business reality for Amanda Burman. Inspired by her own children to capture those moments starting when they were newborns led to bigger opportunities. “As I learned more about photography and running a side-business, the income on the side helped to pay for expenses, such as my husband going to Grad School,” explained Burman. “I was still teaching full-time, but the intent was to set goals and open my own business within ten years.”
Hosting workshops was a springboard into possibilities for Burman and saw the interest of people wanting to learn how to build their own business. “I realized there was a demand in the industry, and I was able to marry my education skills and the love of photography together. I left the workshops feeling so fulfilled and energized; it all came to reality to move forward with the business.”
Burman stated, “I was searching for my own space to call home that was not my basement. I used to teach with Steve Stauffer and discovered he and Nathan bought this building, so I reached out and loved the space. Bluffton needed this so we can bring creative people (owners of businesses) to our community. They want to eat here, visit the shops, and get the full-on experience of our community, which is better for Wells County.”
In addition to the services Burman provides, she will be hosting workshops, which can be found on www.burmanphotography.com, in April such as Shooting in Manual, Building Your Business in Photography, Workflow-Editing-Delivery, and How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media. Free courses are also on the website such as How to Plan a Wedding Timeline, Digital Photography, and a 31-Day Business Cleanup.
Pictured in photo left to right:
Mayor John Whicker
Stephanie Hiday, Magical Vacation Planner by Stephanie Hiday, Chamber Ambassador
Kody Kumfer, First Bank of Berne, Chamber Ambassador
Nathan Stauffer, Hallmark Ventures
Heather Morgan, National Oil, Chamber Ambassador
Steve Stauffer, Hallmark Ventures
Kristen Mittlestedt, Kristen Mittlestedt Artistry
Amanda Burman, Burman Photography
Tailor Schueler, Mama Hen’s Photography
Doug Brown, News-Banner, Chamber Ambassador
Erin Prible, Wells County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director
Erin Daughtery, State Farm, Chamber Ambassador