Studio D2D offers more than photographic memories

Dan and Amanda DeWard have been shooting photos professionally together for years, and are now open for business in downtown Rockford. Studio D2D is located at 25 Squires Street in the space that was formerly Merle Norman and Accessories Ltd, and prior to that was a bridal store and for many years home to Aunt Candy’s Toy Company.

Dan and Amanda DeWard are owners of Studio D2D. The business just opened in downtown Rockford.

“We’ve been looking for a location in Rockford for a couple of years,” Dan DeWard confided. He said many spots have come available, but none of them struck him as just what he was looking for. Now, with a prime location with the dam and the White Pine Trail just out of the back door, Studio D2D has found a home.

Studio D2D has been in business since February 1997, and DeWard said the pair already do a lot of business in Rockford. Previously the studio has had locations in Grand Rapids and Comstock Park. The couple have long been fans of Rockford’s downtown.

“We love the feel of downtown Rockford and the trendy boutique style of the shops,” DeWard said. “There are so many wonderful places to shoot outdoor photos. We felt it would be perfect for our unique style of photography.”

Dan and Amanda are joined in business by Studio D2D staff, including Nicole VanderZyl, Rich Kotarba, Natalia McDonald, Stephanie Larson, Emily Plants, Eric Smith, Nick Plunkett, Addam Clack and Mike Baribeau.

“Our photographers have had many years of experience, including educational classes at Kendal College of Art and Design,” DeWard stated. “Our Disc jockeys have over ten yeas of experience and our videographers more than 20 years experience.

DeWard say he and his wife are the lead designers of the business. Dan, Rich and Nicole are the main photographers for weddings and Natalia, Stephanie and Emily are also photographers. “Each one also photographs families, seniors and babies,” DeWard explained. Eric, Nick and Addam are the studio’s disc jockeys and run the photo booth at events. Mike is the main videographer and Andrea is the studio manager.

DeWard described the business atmosphere as relaxed, fun, trendy and creative. He said he likes to sit down with clients before a photo shoot and learn their style and what they are looking for. “We absolutely love what we do Each photo session and event is unique, which keeps it exciting.”

Studio D2D offers photography, videography, disc jockeys and the photo booth for events. “We also custom design invitations, announcements, business cards and signs,” DeWard said. “We put together photo and video montages.”

The photo booth (you remember, climb in the box, clown for the camera and your pictures come out in a strip) is great for weddings, school dances, graduation parties, and more. The business takes pride in the quality of the disc jockey service and has worked with many of Rockford’s schools with the photo booth and with disc jockeys. The photo booth was on display, and available for use, during this year’s Community Expo, where it was a popular favorite.

DeWard advises customers to check out the website at where they will list periodic specials and promotions. He said he is also offering the photo booth free of charge for many downtown events. With more than a decade in business, DeWard said he is confident this location will serve Studio D2D for the long term. “We’re staying put. We hate moving.”

Hours of operation vary depending on what photo shoots may be scheduled, but you may reach the studio at (616) 437-0696.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.