I wish I could take nice quality pictures, the kind I’d be proud to frame and place in my house. I used to think it was the special equipment I needed, so my husband bought me a wonderful Nikon D5000 camera with extra lenses. I even took a crash course in how to use all of the fancy features. But it’s not just the equipment; it’s the operator. Sometimes you just have to have a good eye for these things, and I missed receiving the gift on that one.
Thank goodness I have a friend who not only loves to do this, but she does it well and has made a fabulous home-based business out of it. She’s a great example of how you can take your passion, share it with others, and grow a successful business out of it at the same time.
Mary Ettelt is the star behind MpE Photography. She photographs well-known historical sites in and around Beijing, as well as lesser known rural areas and people. In both color and black and white, Mary captures images of China that now grace walls in my own home, as well as those of many others, but more notably she has a permanent display in the American Embassy hallways. Her work is often exhibited in various storefronts; most currently at Wins Arts and Framing, 6 Gongti Donglu (across from the east gate of Worker’s Stadium) on January 22 from 11am-3-pm. Mary also has private viewings in her home.
End-of-year teacher gifts and the too frequent “goodbye” gifts to friends are always a struggle for me. I want to give a “piece” of Beijing, one that is meaningful. Photographs fit the bill for preserving the Beijing experience, and by personally knowing the artist behind the images (she’ll sign them, too!), it makes it a more personal gesture.
An excellent idea to consider when these occasions arise is a photo collage. The large framed artwork features space for nine photographs. You select the photos you want to create a very special memory! If your friend loves visiting a particular tourist spot, or perhaps goes to every market around, you can tailor your collage accordingly, making this a perfect, personal gift. The collage is RMB 800.
Mary also offers “natural portraiture” sittings (on location or in your home) for families and children. These cost RMB 700 and it includes the post-shoot work and all photos on a CD or flash drive (prints and framing are available at additional cost).
I will still attempt to improve my own amateur photography skills, but I have a long way to go. In the meantime, I get to enjoy someone else’s expertise instead! For those of you in the same boat, Mary can be reached directly at 135 2036 6348 or firstname.lastname@example.org.