Back in 2008...
I had no freakin' clue what I wanted to do. No, there wasn't a divine calling to pursue letter photography, or a monumental moment that changed me forever. What I did know was that I had an itch that could only be fulfilled by two things: Creating and working with people.
It all started with a camera. Back in 1973 my dad purchased a Nikon F2 Photomic as well as a few lenses. Fast forward a few decades and it is still snapping as well as the day it was bought. One day we loaded up a roll of film and just walked around the back yard, shooting whatever seemed interesting at the time. Immediately after getting the roll back, I knew I was hooked. The satisfaction of creating an image that I saw in my head was something that I had never experienced. From that point on, I would go on "letter hunts", shooting a few rolls of film on the trusty Nikon F2, spending hours simply walking and driving around the Dayton area looking for letters. The feeling of getting back a roll of film that had 24 different letters on it was one of the most exciting sensations ever. Once developed would then lay out the 4x6s on the kitchen counter, seeing how many different words we could make with the days loot.
Next came framing. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and while we obviously didn't invent framing, it certainly felt like it. I knew very early on that I could not continue to buy the frames retail, for it was far too expensive and the quality was unpredictable. That's where Kerry (my brother) came in. He was interested in Life in Letters and took the plunge of working on it full time. The problem was we had no framing training, no instructor, not even the presence of mind to watch YouTube videos. We simply followed our intuition and learned from our mistakes and now Kerry's frames can stand up to anyone's.
Lastly, we had to figure out how to sell our work to keep our bellies and wallets full. In 2009, we opened our doors at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek, OH. Needless to say we were a little intimidated. We all know retail can be tough... people can be tough, but somehow we only end up with only the kindest, most sincere customers. It's almost as if we have a human "spam" filter on our doors and only the most well intentioned people make it through. Since then, Justin Oster, our right hand man, has joined our team and has proven to be an invaluable asset. In 2013 we moved to our new location in charming Downtown Bellbrook, OH, only a few minutes from our storefront at the Greene.
We see no end and sight, and would like to invite you to check out our new store so we can personally thank you for your support.