Joanne Thompson: Thompson Landry Gallery

Written by: Frank Iacono

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As Canada’s only gallery specializing exclusively in Quebec artwork, the Thompson Landry Gallery, which officially opened in March of 2006 by Joanne Thompson and her partner Sylvain Landry, has gained international recognition for its unique ability to provide a space in which the spirit and culture of Quebec is encapsulated.

Housed in the heart of Toronto’s Historic Distillery District, The Thompson Landry Gallery, an impressive 7,000 square feet in total, is comprised of two distinct spaces: The Stone Distillery Building and The Cooperage Space. Each gallery offers a dynamic and exciting ambiance that pays homage to the work of both the very best contemporary artists and the Great Masters from the province of Quebec. Appropriately deemed “The Temple of Quebec Art” by the Toronto Star, the Thompson Landry Gallery is the only location where you can find the talent and diversity that Quebec artists have achieved in their work.

Each gallery space simultaneously reflects their architectural history and boasts unique backdrops that emphasize the artwork on display. Painting, sculpture, glass work, and photography are all set against the original limestone and exposed brick and plaster walls. The juxtaposition between the artwork and the rawness of the spaces creates an extraordinary experience for the viewer.

Always on the leading edge of the artwork coming out of the province of Quebec, the Thompson Landry Gallery pushes the boundaries to find work that is both innovative and exceptional.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanne Thompson and asking her about her early art influences, her background, her specific style of art, her favorite artists, and her passion for being an art dealer.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: How and when did you decide to embark in your profession as a gallerist? And, what made you decide to set up shop in the historic Distillery District in Toronto, Ontario Canada?

Joanne Thompson: In 2004 my partner Sylvain Landry and I decided that we wanted to open a gallery in Toronto. The key was finding the perfect place for it. We wanted something that was spacious and had a lot of character. Not something cold and sterile, but a place our clients would feel at home.

The Stone Building at the Distillery District had all those characteristics. I could also design and finish it the way I wanted. We knew we had to build our clientele, so opening in a walking arts district with other galleries, a theatre and one of a kind shops (the Distillery District) made sense to us. It took two years of planning, and we also needed to wait until the Distillery finished the building (late 2005) so that we could move in and finish our space. We finally opened our gallery in March 2006.

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JT: My background is in set design and stage management for theatre. I also worked as a scenic artist in the art department for film and TV. I have always collected artwork, and contemporary Quebec artwork in particular. Artists from Quebec continually asked for my partner Sylvain’s and my opinion on where they should be represented in Toronto. We tried to help them out, but there was never a perfect match. That was when we realized that there was a place in Toronto for a gallery that specialized in the works of contemporary Quebec artists.

TCS: For the benefit of those who are not familiar with Joanne Thompson or the Thompson Landry Gallery, please share with us your education, certifications, training, and/or additional qualifications that you possess?

JT: I graduated in 1993 with an Honours BFA in Theatre – specifically in set design and stage management. That training helped me to be able to think of the design of a room as a whole, and stage management taught me how to be ridiculously organized and deal with pressure. Hanging an exhibition is just a little like producing a theatrical production. I do not have any formal training in curatorial studies or art sales. Being able to visualize a space where the work is to be displayed in three dimensions is of upmost importance to creating a well curated hang.

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I was drawn to Contemporary Quebec artwork in particular because the artists continually push and manipulate the boundaries of their artwork. You can find this in so many ways: in their subjects, their use of mediums, their fearlessness in their approach to their artwork. Nothing supersedes the passion that you can find in their work, and that is something that I truly believe in.

TCS: Can you specifically define what educational path one would take to become a curator?

JT: There are some great universities in Canada that have curatorial and art history courses. For post grad, Sotheby’s Institute of Art has locations in NYC, Los Angeles and London which is a very good way to learn more of the business side of the art world. I believe that interning at an auction house, commercial gallery or museum to get some hands-on experience is always a good idea. Obtaining as much diverse experience as possible is what I would recommend. I would also say that life experience is key. Travelling, visiting galleries, exhibitions and art shows will help to give a better overall perspective of what is happening in the world of art, and will open your mind to new ideas.

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TCS: How have your experiences as an artist shaped your approach to running a gallery?

JT: Coming from a design background I have an appreciation for the time and creative effort it takes for an artist to put together either just one piece, or a full exhibition of works. I think it helps me to understand their process and it makes working together enjoyable and stress free.

TCS: Was there a specific artist that you were most excited about bringing into the Thompson Landry Gallery? And, tell us how you determine which art and artists you will showcase?

JT: I think that the artist I was most excited about bringing onboard at the Thompson Landry Gallery when we first opened 10 years ago was abstract artist, Jean-Pierre Lafrance. He had 35 years of experience and his masterful abstracts are some of the best in Canada. I had collected his works, and respected him as an artist, for many years.

There are several determining factors to choosing artists for the gallery. The first, and most importantly, is we need to love and believe in what the artist does. We always look at whether the artist has something original to say, and do their works consistently share that with the viewer. Finally, it is important to look at whether their works compliment the roster we have already created, and do they add a new perspective and something exciting to the gallery as a whole.

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TCS: Share with us some of the highlights from the Thompson Landry Gallery 2016 Exhibitions? And, describe for us what we can expect in 2017?

JT: 2016 was a very exciting year for us as we celebrated our 10th anniversary of the gallery. We had an enormous exhibition featuring 19 of our painters and sculptors creating over 100 works that were displayed in both galleries. The exhibition was widely attended and was one of the most remarkable displays we have curated to date.

In 2016 we also had very successful solo exhibitions for Marie-Josée Roy and André Pitre.

2017 is proving to already have a thrilling start for the gallery. From January 27th through March 12th we are featuring 2 of our artists, Laurence Nerbonne and Ognian Zekoff, in our Cooperage space in celebration of Light Fest at the Distillery District. These two artists are masters of light and shadow, creating dramatic and emotion filled figurative works.

Also in 2017 we have a fantastic line up of very talented, internationally renowned artists:

  • May 18th – June 4th: Danielle Lanteigne and Dominique Fortin
  • June 22nd – July 9th: Jean-Pierre Lafrance
  • September 6th – 24th: Stikki Peaches
  • November 9th – 26th: France Jodoin

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TCS: Describe for us what you think sets the Thompson Landry Gallery apart from other galleries?

JT: At first glance, when you walk into either of the gallery spaces, the work takes your breath away. The pieces on the walls are dynamic, colourful and created with a passion that exudes from the works. The artwork is lit by a professional who makes sure that the works are experienced at their very best. The spaces are welcoming and invite people to stay for a long period of time and enjoy the artwork. Whether someone walking in is enjoying the gallery for the first time, or if they are a versed collector, they are treated with upmost respect and courtesy. The most important thing for us is that our clients are comfortable and have a very enjoyable and memorable experience.

Also, having 2 separate spaces enables us to have a solo show in one gallery while we exhibit our other artists in the other gallery. This means that there are no lengthy times when artists are not being displayed.

TCS: How has the Thompson Landry Gallery evolved over the years?

JT: After three years of having our first space at the Distillery, we opened our second, Cooperage Space. That increased our square footage from 2700 square feet to 7000 square feet.

We have evolved with the artwork that we represent. As the artwork coming out of Quebec changes, we change with it. We want to stay current and always have something new for our clients to discover at our gallery.

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TCS: Looking back over the first 10 years of operation, what do you consider the most successful exhibit?

JT: A very difficult question because it depends on what you mean by “successful”. Some exhibitions have been very financially successful while others are received incredibly well by both the press and by clients, but maybe do not sell as well.

We held an exhibition called GAIA in August 2012, both inside and outside the gallery. It was comprised of 30 pieces inside and 60 large scale works outside around the Distillery District. The works were photographs taken of the earth, by Guy Laliberté, during the time he spent 11 days in space circling the globe 220 miles from the surface of the earth. These photographs were not colour adjusted in any way, as he wanted to show the earth as it really is. All the proceeds from any sales of these photographs went directly to ONE DROP. ONE DROP is a non-profit organization founded by Laliberté to fight poverty worldwide by ensuring access to clean water now and in the future.

This was a very proud moment for the gallery. We were very happy to be part of such a great cause and such an artistic achievement in large scale photography.

TCS: As an art dealer, what’s the gallery’s greatest achievement?

JT: I believe that the gallery’s greatest achievement is the reputation we have built over the past 10 years. Not only with our clients, but with the artists from Quebec. We treat our artists with the upmost respect. This is very important because the relationship between gallerist and artist is hopefully a lifelong one. I am happy when I can make my artists happy.

My proudest moment was probably at our 10th anniversary celebration last September when I could look around at 19 of our artists and know that we have worked incredibly hard but together we have made the gallery a success.

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TCS: When the Thompson Landry Gallery is closed do you visit other art galleries to look at the work of specific artists?

JT: The life of a gallery owner is not glamourous. It means working 6 to 7 days per week, during both the day and night. My one day off tends to be on Mondays which is a day that all other galleries in the city are also closed. That, sadly, makes visiting the other galleries quite difficult. My partner and I do travel quite a lot and visit many galleries in cities all over Europe. We also take the time to visit galleries and studios in Montreal and Quebec City to see who is being featured, and to find artists that we may not have known about before. We are always keeping our eye open for something new and exciting.

TCS: Do you collect? What artists – aside from the ones you represent – are of interest to you?

JT: Yes, collecting is what created my path to owning and operating a gallery.
I love the following international artists: Sophie Ryder, Jean-Pierre Ruel, Desiréé Dolron, Jonas Burgert, Simon Casson, Nicolas Hicks and Quebec artists: Paul Beliveau, Kevin Sonmore,

I also like to collect the lithographs of Marc Chagall and Jean Cocteau

TCS: What piece of artwork has affected you the most and why?

JT: I do not think that there is one particular work that has affected me more than others. I enjoy and appreciate many forms of artwork and to choose just one is impossible for me.

TCS: What is your mantra and, how does it sum up your life?

JT: Eleanor Roosevelt — “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Jump into everything you do with equal amounts of passion, intelligence and conviction. Live life to its fullest and don’t be scared to try something new.

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TCS: Being a successful art dealer requires both “art” and business skills. What do you think is the optimal mix? Has your opinion on that changed in the past 10 years?

JT: Having business skills are definitely essential to owning an art gallery. That and being able to relate to people, whether it is your clients or the artists you represent. 10 years ago, I didn’t know that being the Director of an art gallery, I would create such long and close relationships with both my artists and my clients, many I now call my close friends. You need to be able to read people and what they need from you.

Having “a good eye” in order to create a hang is where I mostly use my “art” skills. This also comes into use when going into a client’s home and advising them in terms of pieces, size and location.

TCS: What advice do you have for young artists who want to make a living through their art?

JT: Work hard and just keep at it. Find your visual language and the message you want to send into the world and sick by it. But, don’t be scared to try new things. When you are ready to find a gallery to be represented at, do your research and find a gallery that you trust and will well represent you. It is a two-way relationship that will hopefully be very long term.

About Frank Iacono

frankheadshot

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.stone-gallery-panorama-low-res-jpg

Roxy Petrucci: Vixen Drummer

Written by: Frank Iacono

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Roxy Dora Petrucci, the Michigan born native drummer, first burst onto the international music scene as a member of Madam X, a metal band that she co-founded with her vocalist sister, Maxine. Their 1984 release of We Reserve the Right album featured “High in High School,” an anthem that didn’t become a massive hit, but is still beloved by cultist hard rock and metal fans all these years later.

After leaving Madam X, Roxy joined Vixen, a glam hard rock band formed in St. Paul, Minnesota. Vixen consisted of vocalist Janet Gardner, lead guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, bassist Share Pedersen, and of course Petrucci. The band quickly built their reputation playing the infamous Sunset Strip and signed a major label deal with EMI Records.

In 1986, Roxy finally found the commercial success she’d always desired. Singles like “Cryin’”, “Edge of a Broken Heart”, and “How Much Love” hit pay dirt on MTV plus rock and pop radio. Shortly thereafter, the all-female group embarked on worldwide tours with heavyweights such as KISS, Scorpions, Ozzy, Deep Purple, and Bon Jovi which helped solidify them as a premiere rock act to be taken seriously.

In late 1991, the undercurrents coming from the Seattle grunge scene helped strengthen the winds of change and underscored the decision to disband Vixen. At that time, each band member independently dabbled in various projects. Petrucci later returned to the band when they reunited in 1997 along with lead vocalist Gardner and newly added guitarist Gina Stile releasing “Tangerine” under the Vixen moniker.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing legendary female drummer Roxy Petrucci and asking her a few questions about her musical influences, her struggles as a female drummer in a male dominated music industry. her career in both Madam X and Vixen, and her short and long-term future plans.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you first realize that you wanted to be a musician and what was the first instrument and song you learned how to play?

Roxy Petrucci: I was about 10 years old when I picked up the Clarinet and immediately fell in love with the instrument. I have no clue what the first song I learned to play was, however, I eventually kicked ass playing the Clarinet Polka! Through school and into college music was my salvation. I was a good classical Clarinetist and I took it serious, it wasn’t just a hobby. Music is what I was meant to do and still to this day I have a passion for it. I still get a rush from the sound of my kick drums and snare ripping off your face!

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TCS: What famous musical artists and/or bands were among your early influences and describe the impact they had on shaping your musical style?

RP: Fannythe all-female rock band, active in the early 1970s, had a huge influence on me. Back in those days you never saw women playing rock, it was mind blowing to watch them rockin’ out on TV.  Black Sabbath was my first ever live metal concert, their songs and live show hooked me and sealed my fate. From that day on I knew what I wanted to do. Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Judas Priest, etc. I love metal, I love jazz, and I love 70s funk. Roll all that into my playing style.


TCS: For the benefit of those who may not be too familiar with Roxy Petrucci or your musical career, please describe for us how you started out and eventually ended up being the drummer in the all-female band Vixen?

RP: I toured with a metal band called Madam X before I joined Vixen. This band featured my sister Maxine on guitar. We signed a record deal with Jet/CBS and released one album. Janet Gardner had heard rumblings of Madam X breaking up and as soon as word got out she swooped in and scooped me up.  I joined Vixen shortly after and it was quite a culture shock. These girls had it together and I was pretty rough around the edges but quickly learned to fit in. Share was recruited by Jan shortly after I joined. Jan Kuehnemund (RIP) was a compassionate person, such a good soul. We miss her every day. In describing the members let me just say we’re close like sisters. We have our disagreements but at this stage of our lives we appreciate every show and thankful to have this opportunity to show the boys how it’s done!


TCS: Share with us some of the struggles you may have encountered as a female drummer in a male dominated music industry.

RP: It was such a different scene when we were in the trenches. We had to look good but play better.  I have to say that many of the guy bands were a lot prettier than us and not very talented but they got a pass. The girls and I were not intimated because we knew we had something special, we were motivated to make something happen. It only took a few shows in L.A. before word got out that Vixen was the real deal. Before long we had lines forming around the buildings waiting to see us. David Lee Roth, Quite Riot, and many other higher profile bands came out to our shows. What an after party!

TCS: After Vixen signed with EMI records in 1988 and released the debut self-titled album, were you surprised by the success you generated from the first single, penned by Richard Marx and Fee Waybill of The Tubes, and video for “Edge of a Broken Heart”?

RP: Richard saw us live and he was inspired to write “Edge of a Broken Heart” along with Fee Waybill. In my opinion it’s the song that defined our sound and put Vixen on the map.  It’s still a fan favorite and yes it was in Billboard’s Top 100 and the video was stellar! An MTV favorite! Yes I shot the entire video in stilettos.


TCS: Describe for us the meaning and background behind Vixen’s highest charting single on Billboard’s Top 100 at 22 as well as the making of music video for “Cryin’”?

RP: Jeff Paris had presented that song to us and again a no brainer. Great songs are great songs regardless of who writes them. We took that song and owned it. The video shoot was pretty grueling. Back then we shot all day and all night but the end results were pretty amazing.  The stage was something like 18′ high and scary as hell. My riser was another 3′ ft. high so I was up there.  I think the lyrics speak for themselves, “I won’t be Cryin, Cryin when I think about you cos I opened my eyes’. ‘Those days are gone.”


The video for another single “How Much Love” was also a marathon shoot. Check out the stage, pretty awesome, as was the male model!  Janet tore her leather pants during that shoot and I had insomnia for like a month. Ha, the strange things we remember.


TCS: During the 80s you literally rocked the globe so share with us some of the major recording artists that you toured with and describe for us which band had the most profound impact on your career?

RP: We toured with KISS, Scorpions, Ozzy, Deep Purple, and many more heavyweights. I think opening for the Scorpions had the biggest impact on me because it was our first arena show.  Looking out in the crowd of about 20,000 fans left me speechless, the feeling is indescribable. Richie Blackmore was a real prankster. He always had something up his sleeve for us and his bandmates. He superglued our dressing room door closed just before we were to go on stage and he lit off stink bombs. We had nowhere to go it was horrible. All the bands were pretty great to us and we had the time of our lives!

TCS: Is there a particular venue that you’ve always wanted to play? And, what other entertainer and/or entertainers would you most like to have play alongside you on that stage?

RP: I would love to play Australia! Any venue! All Rockers are welcome! Love The Winery Dogs!

TCS: What does the short and long-term future look like for Roxy Petrucci, Vixen, and Madam X?

RP: We’ve been working steady since 2014 honoring our bandmate and founder Jan Kuehnemund. We’re gonna keep rockin for our fans and ourselves because we are just having too much fun! I’m also recording a new record with Madam X so stay tuned, more coolness to come!

To stay connected with me, please join me on the following:

TCS: What specific advice would you give young female artists wanting to become singers, songwriters, guitarists, bassists, and/or performers?

I have three strong pieces of advice to anyone just hoping for a shot at greatness with still no guarantees.

  1. Play
  2. Play Often
  3. Play More

Thanks! I’ll see you on the road! Xxx

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono Photo

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

The Creative Spotlight: 2015

Written by: Frank Iacono

2015-Spotlights

The end of the year causes us to reflect, and in this spirit, I thought it would be fun to recount The Creative Spotlight blog posts from 2015. When it comes to The Creative Spotlight, the goal is simple. Introduce readers to the best local and national musicians, artists, actors, business owners, motivational speakers, photographers, and other published authors. Consider The Creative Spotlight as the ultimate destination for unearthing a wealth of undiscovered talent, reading exciting interviews, learning helpful tips and tricks, and news that you can use…plus lots of great ideas for enriching your life and enjoying yourself.

As we welcome 2016, we want to make sure that you did not miss any of the 18 articles from 2015. This blog includes a complete, categorized list of The Creative Spotlight posts that were published in 2015.

January 2015

Marilyn Russell: Morning Show Host

March 2015

Chris LeGrand: Rolling Stones Tribute Band

April 2015

Neill Byrnes: Draw The Line Aerosmith Tribute Band

Shaun Benson: Actor and Director

May 2015

Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan: Author

June 2015

Dawn Botti: Singer and Songwriter

July 2015

Joanna Maria Morales Miarrostami: Artist

Sheila Brown: Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast 

August 2015

Travis Clark: We The Kings

Duffer’s: Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor

Ages Apart: Alternative Rock Band

Jack Morey: Morey’s Piers

Derek Crider: Singer and Songwriter

September 2015

Everything Falls: Modern Rock Band

Aandra Bohlen: Business Coach

October 2015

Michelle Antonucci Smith: Zumba® Fitness Instructor

November 2015

Meisha Johnson: TV Personality

Karen Mansfield: Singer And Songwriter

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono Photo

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

The Creative Spotlight: 2013 Review

Written by: Frank Iacono

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The Creative Spotlight began in March of 2012, when I interviewed Steve O’Driscoll, a long-time friend and business colleague, who published his first book called Rendezvous in Quebec. Since then, The Creative Spotlight has grown into a highly educationally-based blog featuring local musicians, artists, business owners, motivational speakers, photographers, and other published authors. Consider The Creative Spotlight as the ultimate destination for unearthing a wealth of undiscovered talent, reading exciting interviews, learning helpful tips and tricks, and news that you can use…plus lots of great ideas for enriching your life and enjoying yourself.

In 2013, The Creative Spotlight featured the following 13 articles:

February 2013

Ten Toes Up: Funk-infused Rock Quartet

March 2013

Jeremiah A. Iannacci: The Artful Runner

April 2013

Neen James: International Productivity Thought Leader

Denise DiNorscia Williams: BellaPizzelle

June 2013

Dan Gagliano: Separate Ways The Band

Edward Peahota: Speed Painting Artist

Jim Joseph: Real-World Marketer

July 2013

Paul and Lori Russo: Cool Scoops Ice Cream Parlor

August 2013

Jenn Bostic: Singer and Songwriter

September 2013

The HoneyBadgers: Alternative Rock Cover Band

Kim Kalman: Singer and Songwriter

October 2013

Face Down: Classic Hard Rock Cover Band

November 2013

Nancy Malay: Licensed Artist & Designer

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

Sheronda Seawright: Photographer

Written by: Frank Iacono

Sheronda Seawright

Over the last 10 years, interest in photography has exploded, largely due in part to the developments in digital photography. Cameras and computers have become cheaper and more powerful, software more sophisticated and printers can now print photos that are as good, if not better, than anything produced in a chemical darkroom.

For Sheronda Seawright, she always had an incredible passion for photography but after the birth of her son, Cameron, she decided to pursue her dream. Sheronda describes photography as a way to express creativity and share her vision with family, friends, business associates and clients. Capturing special moments through photography has had a huge impact on her life. She believes that the beauty of life is in the details. With that, she strives to capture those details— the loving connection between mother and child, a husband gazing into his wife’s eyes, the playful spontaneity of a child playing outside— because those are the details we remember when we think of our favorite moments.

Approximately 10 months ago Sheronda created CamSea Photography (now Sheronda Seawright Photography) and I am happy to have her join me in this edition of The Creative Spotlight to share what inspires her to be a photographer.

Q&A Session

TCS: What made you get interested in photography?

Sheronda Seawright: I became interested in photography by looking at magazine photographs and other images that moved me in some way shape or form. I wanted to learn how to acquire the skill necessary to create and reproduce such images.

TCS: When did you become interested in photography?

SS: I became truly interested in pursuing photography professionally once my son Cameron was born. I loved capturing all of his precious moments in photographs and I wanted to know how to take better portraits not only for me but for others. My son has made my interest in photography became a passion.

TCS: Who or what influenced you to become a photographer?

SS: As I mentioned, Cameron is the person who motivated me to become a professional photographer. Once he was born my life completely changed.

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TCS: Why is photography so important to you?

SS: Taking a picture is a great way to preserve a special moment for a lifetime. The emotion I feel when I look at photographs from my wedding, my son as a baby, and even myself as a child I feel myself reliving each of those special moments all over again. It is important for me to create these lasting memories for all of my clients.

TCS: What did you do to gain so much knowledge in photography?

SS: Besides taking photography courses, I’ve conducted research online and read a number of photography books to further expand my knowledge.

TCS: If you weren’t doing photography what would you be doing?

SS: Being such an artistic person, if I wasn’t a photographer I would definitely being doing something to express myself creatively while making others happy.

TCS: How would you describe your photography style (i.e., formal, traditional, contemporary, photojournalistic, etc.)?

SS: My portrait photography really depends on my clients. For more formal portraits, I use a traditional approach but for location family portraits my style is more contemporary. My event photography is photojournalistic.

TCS: Do you believe in the expression “A picture is worth 1,000 words”?

SS: Absolutely! There is a photograph I can recall from my wedding that the photographer took during our reception. It is me looking into my husband’s eyes while he touched my cheek. There were so many feelings of joy going through me at that time that I cannot even put into words. It was a candid shot I had no idea the photographer took, yet it is my favorite photograph from that day.

TCS: Do you have a favorite photograph that you’ve taken? If so, why?

SS: One of my favorite photographs is a portrait I took of a dancer (top left shown below) during a location shoot. I really like the photograph because not only is her face stunning, but she posed for the photograph on pointe which I thought was a nice touch.

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Sheronda Seawright Photography Sheronda Seawright Photography Sheronda Seawright Photography

TCS: Do you think that society would be different if photography was never invented? And, why?

SS: Yes, mainly because there would be no way to capture and preserve memories of an occasion or a specific stage in life.

TCS: What is your favorite camera and why?

SS: The best camera I’ve had thus far is the Nikon D5000 because it is my first “serious” camera.

TCS: Does the price of a camera matter in ways that it affects the quality of the picture?

SS: I think what truly affects the quality of the picture is the person operating the camera, not the price of the camera. Someone can have the most expensive camera on the market but if he/she does not know how to do simple things like correctly adjust the camera settings or frame the image than the quality of the picture is comprised.

TCS: In your opinion, what makes a good photographer?

SS: A photographer is someone who understands the technicality and skill that is involved in taking a good picture. A good photographer is someone who not only has the skill to use a camera but someone who can pull out the emotion in a photograph. Additionally, a good photographer is someone who is aware and sensitive to the subject(s) he or she is photographing.

TCS: In your opinion, what makes photography an art?

SS: Anything that can draw out emotion and set a specific mood in an artistic way (in my opinion) is art. I played the viola for over 10 years and the emotion that I drew from my music was artistic. Photography is no different.

TCS: What motivates you to do what you do as a photographer?

SS: My clients are my biggest motivator. I did a photography session with a mother and her teenage daughter. She advised me that the session they had scheduled with me was the first time they had their portraits taken together. Once she reviewed her portraits during our session review she began to cry because she was so pleased with the photographs. That reaction is what drives me to do what I do.

Sheronda Seawright Photography Family Image

TCS: Can the customer keep and/or buy the negatives?

SS: To date, I have not allowed my clients to retain a CD containing all of images from a session. I value my work and do not want to give away my copyright unless the situation truly warranted the transfer of ownership.

TCS: Do you shoot in mostly color, black and white, or both? And, why?

SS: I shoot all my images only in color because I enjoy the vivid look those images have. However, there are some more dramatic images that can only be achieved in black and white too. As a result, I shoot in color however because my images are digital I do at times convert the color image into black and white.

TCS: During most jobs, do you typically shoot digitally or with film? And, why?

SS: I currently only own a digital camera so I only shoot digitally. I enjoy the freedom that digital allows as I like to be able to review an image as soon as it is taken or delete an image if needed.

TCS: In the end, do you believe that film photography will be totally replaced by digital photography?

SS: Not completely. Although we are moving into a more digital generation and there is so much flexibility with digital photography. With that, I think film photography has such a rich quality which cannot be completely duplicated digitally.

TCS: During a photography job how many rolls do you typically shoot?

SS: Since I use digital and not film I do not go through rolls. The amount of frames taken really depends on the subject(s) being photographed.

TCS: Where is Sheronda Seawright Photography located and what specific geographic areas do you serve?

SS: Sheronda Seawright Photography is located in Woodlyn, PA (Delaware County). We work primarily in the Greater Philadelphia region. We serve Philadelphia, Delaware County (including Woodlyn, Ridley, Swarthmore, Media, Springfield, Drexel Hill, Upper Darby and Sharon Hill) and Southern NJ.

TCS: What type of photography jobs does Sheronda Seawright Photography typically do (i.e., weddings, company parties, headshots, etc.)?

SS: We provide portrait photography services for individuals/headshots, couples, children, families and maternity. Additionally, Sheronda Seawright Photography also provides special event services such as weddings, wedding showers, birthday celebrations, corporate/personal banquets, etc.

TCS: What is Sheronda Seawright Photography’s website and what can prospective clients see or do on the site?

SS: The website is http://www.sherondaseawrightphotography.com. Prospective clients visiting the site can discover additional information regarding my background as a photographer, view videos and image galleries as well as obtain contact details to hire me for a project.

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TCS: How do you market your business (i.e., referrals, advertising such as print and online marketing)?

SS: I currently market Sheronda Seawright Photography through local listing platforms within Google and Yahoo. I also market my services through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition I encourage and provide incentives for my customers to promote the business as well.

TCS: Have you embraced Social Media to promote your business (i.e. Yes/No and why)?

SS: Yes, I use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote my business. As a small business owner, keeping cost down is very important. These platforms allow me to market my services over the internet for free. I also enjoy being able to communicate to my Facebook and Twitter Followers.

TCS: Can you describe your average customer (i.e., location, age, income, likes and dislikes)?

SS: Sheronda Seawright Photography clients are located within the Greater Philadelphia region. My clients are individuals that are creative and value professional photography. My clients have a clear idea of what they want in a photographer and are well prepared for their sessions.

TCS: What is the best way to contact you about a photography job?

SS: The best ways to contact Sheronda Seawright Photography is by phone at 610.476.5630 or Contact Us through our website.

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TCS: What separates you from other photographers?

SS: As a photographer, I am all about 100% client satisfaction. I am honored when I am called upon to provide photography services. I ensure that the entire photo shoot is all about the client and not about me. Additionally, I also take great pride in going above and beyond my client expectations. I am very meticulous with regards to meeting client deadlines and providing quality services.

TCS: Do you offer satisfaction guarantees on your work? And, How you do handle difficult customers?

SS: Yes. Our work is 100% guaranteed; Sheronda Seawright Photography will always stand by this promise. I am happy to say that I have not had a difficult customer (or at least I did not notice it). It is very important to understand my customers’ expectations and needs. I firmly believe that the customer is always right as long as their request does not comprise the integrity of Sheronda Seawright Photography. I make it a point to be upfront and honest no matter the outcome.

TCS: What is the most exciting photography project you have worked on to date?

SS: The most exciting session was with my nephew’s 1st birthday shoot. My family attended the photo shoot. My family and I had so much fun watching my nephew pose and really enjoy himself during the entire shoot. I truly cherish the moments when I am able to spend time with my family while doing something that I love so much.

TCS: What is the best and worst part of being a photographer?

SS: The best part about being a photographer is the emotion I see on my clients faces after they have seen their images for the first time. I have witnessed smiles, tears of joy, and great excitement. It really makes me feel good to see the impact I have made in my clients lives. There is no worst part about being a photographer, I am blessed to have the talent that I possess and will continue to be humble because I view photography as a gift that I would not ever want taken away from me.

Why Should You Hire Sheronda Seawright Photography

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A smile, a frown, a silly face, a glance, or a special embrace are all moments that often simply fade in our minds, but a photographer immortalizes them forever. Sheronda Seawright Photography’s owner, Sheronda Seawright, brings knowledge and experience along with an unmatched ability to put people at ease, to every occasion she photographs.

With the help and support of Sheronda’s family, friends, business associates and clients, she strives to achieve her goal of providing an unforgettable experience with superior photographs, exceptional client focus and building long lasting relationships. Essentially, a photo shoot with Sheronda Seawright Photography is all about having fun. She is never intrusive or overbearing. She will never rush through sessions nor leave until the predetermined mutual goals of that perfect photo are achieved. She promises to provide her clients with the experience of a lifetime.

Although Sheronda Seawright Photography specializes in portraiture photography, Sheronda is always interested in working with new and unique projects as well, including maternity and other special events. Each session is individually styled to match each of her clients’ unique personalities and interest.

Portrait sessions are held in studio or location of your choice in the Greater Philadelphia area on Saturdays and Sundays only. Portrait session fees began at $125 and print packages begin at $75. A variety of products are available including fine art canvases, image albums, holiday & event greeting cards, etc. Investment includes pre-consultation meeting, portrait session, image retouching, and session review. For a full product and pricing list, please contact at 610.476.5630.

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.