On July 5, 1995 Michelle Wise opened her business, Wise Photography, never realizing what a journey the next 15 years would hold. In that time her life changed in many ways and now she looks forward to discovering what story her future holds. Just like film is developed through a process, she believes all she discovered about herself and life’s lessons were developed in the dark room of her life. Wise fell into photography as she attended school with dreams of making movies. Her first clip, a two-and-a-half minute skit, cost $400 to process. As part of her criteria for earning a degree in film, she was required to take a photography course. Because of college expenses, her first love fell by the wayside and she discovered she could still tell stories through still images. While on that journey, there was another story unfolding. Through suffering she discovered something deep inside that wouldn’t have been uncovered with out the experience of pain and was led down a new path of faith and affirmation. “I had to go through life and experience some things,” Wise described. “Now I have a story to tell with my work with children.” Wise has written a book she decided to self publish: Discovery through the Eyes of Children, A photographer’s journey. Wise has been working on the book for five years, but it is really fifteen years in the making. The document is illustrated with the photos of children Wise has taken over the years, but the short message on each page is autobiographical. Wise said over the years she went through some personal issues that filled her with stress and actually made her physically sick from tension. She found herself second-guessing her purpose in life and her faith in God. As she continued her work as a photographer, she noticed, over and over, how the pictures she took while working reflected a deeper meaning. When she was questioning her belief in God, she saw children posing as if in prayer. Other, apparently coincidental happenings, kept bringing her back from self-doubt and despair, reminding her of a faith she thought she had lost. She said even electronics started to malfunction, it was if God was trying to get her attention. One day a failed email connection gave her the message: “Without the connection, […]
Rockford photographer discusses elements of professional portraits by MICHELLE WISE owner, Wise Photography So how’s business? How have digital cameras affected the market for the professional photographer? Sure, I get the phone call once in a great while: “We’re canceling our aappointment because we’re trying to save money,” or “We’re going to give our cousin Fred a shot at taking our senior pictures. We’ll call you if it doesn’t work out.” A phone call or two like this doesn’t get me down, it makes me stand up and be a more excellent photographer. It also gets me motivated to educate. If the average person doesn’t know what a professional can do for them, they don’t know what they are missing. There are so many elements to consider when making a professional portrait. Here are some factors to consider when making a portrait: • composition, color and design; • direction, quality and color of lighting; • personality, attitude and experience of the photographer and the model; • aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings; • direction, angle and placement of the camera position to the model; • focal length of lens and how it affects distortion of the image or background compression. Notice that I haven’t mentioned what type of camera or how many megapixels you should have. Having a good keyboard doesn’t mean that you’ll write good books. Many years back, I got a chance to fine tune one of these elements. A man was arguing with his son in my front lobby—to say it was a heated argument was a great understatement. The father stormed into the camera room and pointed his finger at me and shouted, “And we’re not buying pictures from you unless he smiles,” and slammed the door on the way out. I stood there shocked and amazed at what just had happened and thought, “How in the world am I going to get that to happen?” I told the boy I would give him some time, and I left him alone and felt so bad for him. I didn’t even care if I was able to do his pictures at this point; I just wanted his situation to change. A good five minutes passed by and I came back and […]
by RICH ZECK For over 12 years, Wise Photography has brought life and emotions to one-dimensional pictures at her studio on Bridge Street. You can say owner Michelle Wise has had her eye on hundreds of area families lives. She has been there to take pictures at our children’s births, weddings, anniversaries, senior class memories and countless of other special times. Her finger has been on the pulse of some of the best of our times. Taking a huge leap of faith Michelle has moved the new and improved Wise Photography Studio & Gallery to the prime window spot of Rockford at 1 N. Main. Two doors down from her old location, the new location not only has more space and higher visibility, but gives passersby an opportunity to put their eye and pulse on Rockford. A deeply spiritual person, Michelle, says, “photographs talk to the soul because they are not just words. Pictures can take you back to a place and time of fond memories.” Wise is not just a photographer but a storyteller. This new location will give her the opportunity to expose her many hidden gifts and talents for others to enjoy. What makes her work so different from others? Her work is very emotional and is reflected in the colors, settings, composition and personality of her pictures. Her photo shoots are an intimate and personal time that she spends connecting with people to maximize the beauty within every person or animal. Yes, not only does Michelle love taking baby and people pictures but she loves animals too. The animals and she connect just as well as people do and she brings their personality to life in print. The new studio and gallery will offer all kinds of personalized greeting cards for all sorts of occasions and the ability to purchase her artwork. The one thing you will notice when you visit this business is the sense of peace and calm that envelopes the four walls. Michelle sees her business as a light on the hill that shines hope and comfort to those who may be lost and lonely. After visiting her new location, I would have to say, that her move is certainly a Wise move for Rockford.
Wise Photography, established in 1995, is moving and expanding into a new location at 1 N. Main. “I’m excited about the new location because of the added exposure” Wise said. “I have a lot of art that no one has been able to see, just hiding in my computer waiting for a chance to be seen.” “I know many people who have lived in Rockford for years and did not know we were downtown. This time around they will not be able to miss us.”