Yesterday 9/7/2017 marked the completion of twenty years in business! (9/7/1997 - 9/7/2017) Wow! Did that fly by or what?! It seems just like yesterday that Wanda and I plunged into owning a full-time photography business and here we still are 20 years later! I have to admit that we really did not know what we were getting into when we approached the owners of Parade Ground Village in Malta and inquired about leasing a space.
Our dream to own and operate a photography business would not have been possible without the help from our most gracious supporters over the years.
First and foremost, Imagine! Photography & Design would not have even opened their doors in 1997 without the encouragement and support of Mrs. Gail Coury. There are people in this world with huge hearts, willing to give you the shirt off their back if need be... that's my friend Gail! Supportive, generous, loving, funny and yes even a little stubborn, is the way I would describe her. She probably would even be mad at me for writing this blog, she didn't need props or any thank you's. I always had to argue with her about paying for the check when we were in a restaurant for dinner or lunch! Let's just say she always won that argument. LOL!
In 2012 Gail lost her battle to a long term illness, my friend and role model had passed. You see, Gail was not a relative but a client from a previous business that we operated. One day while doing some work for Gail at her home she asked me, "Bruce are you happy with what you do?" Now most owners of a business probably would lie to their client and reply, "I'm living the dream!" but by this time Gail and I have become good friends (about 4 years now) and I wasn't about to be untruthful to her. I replied to Gail, "I hope to be a professional photographer and own a studio some day!" This intrigued Gail, which was followed up by many more questions of my future and dreams. At the time of the next question, I was only 26 years old and naive, but Gail asked me "What would it take for you to go for your dream?" I explained to her that I was saving a little but if I could save $10,000 I would be able to lease a space and start my dream of running a full-time photography business. That was the naive part, LOL! We ended the conversation and I told Gail I would see her in two weeks to complete the other work she requested. I simply put the conversation in the back of my mind and went about my everyday business.
Two weeks past and I am back at Gail's home to complete some work and she says, "Bruce I have something for you!" She presents me with a check for $10,000 and says, "Now you can go for your dream!" Did I mention already what an amazing person she was! With that $10,000 start Imagine! Photography was born and we will be forever grateful for her support and generosity! In 2012 I spoke at Gail's wake, the first sentence out of my mouth was, "Gail is my friend and I will never forget everything she has done for me." I believe in "passing it forward" just like Gail did and had the opportunity many times to do good things in honor of her memory. I miss my friend and hope she knows the joy she has brought into our lives having the opportunity to create images for a living! I can honestly say, "We're living the dream!" Thank you Gail Coury!
We are also grateful for the love and support over the past 20 years from our parents, family members and friends! We realized we had to miss many family functions due to photographing weddings and events every weekend but I promise there are a lot of happy clients out there because we did. Special thanks goes to: Scott Blaser, who help me build a reception desk for our first studio, Brian Curtis, who helped us while I was recovering from a major surgery in 2008, Jeff Curtis, who from the very beginning supported us with business advise and financial backing during our tough years, and Ron & Michele Riggi, who believed in our photography talent and provided us with a lot of photography work over the years!
And let's not forget all of our employees over the years and photography assistants, you all were amazing! A special kudos to Angelina Denovellis, who has been working with us as an assistant since she was 17years old, she has been with us for 7years! Not only is Angelina hard working, she is very loyal and a talented photographer! Currently she manages all of our Photo-Booth services at many of the weddings and events!
Stay tune everyone... our story continues! Here is to another 20 years!