The best way to describe myself is a person living his dream.
I have been married for over 30 years to my lovely wife Cheryl, have been blessed with five boys, two daughters-in-law, and am the grandfather of two beautiful granddaughters. When I look back over the past 30 years I realized how fast time flies by and how precious those memories are. I believe that’s why I love photography so much. The camera gives me the ability to capture today’s special moments, relive them for years to come and pass those memories down to our children.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted some kind of store or shop that people could come into to meet or socialize. I played with the idea of a coffee shop, restaurant, and bar. In fact I originally started college pursuing a Restaurant/Hotel Management degree. At one point I researched opening up a Sporting goods store, but the driving force behind all these establishments was a way to meet people. I love meeting people, to hear their stories, what makes them laugh and cry. But like most people, through necessity to raise a family, I needed to follow the money.
I ended up working for a Plastics company that manufactures automotive parts. Fortunately for me I was able to work my way up in the company and eventually reported straight to the owner. I was an Account Mgr with the responsibility of handling all of Chrysler’s accounts. My company provided me with a new car every 3 years, an expense account to take care of the customers, and a very good pay check. I was able to eat at some of the finest Restaurants, play golf at some of the best Country Clubs. We had season tickets for the Detroit Tigers, and the Detroit Red Wings. I even had my own tickets for the Cleveland Indians. I often heard people say I hit the “Job Lotto”.
Even with all of this something was missing.
One of my hobbies to take the stress and pressure off of the corporate world was photography. It always intrigued me to think that every time I pushed the shutter on a camera I was stopping time. The camera gave me the ability to record a moment in time and preserve it for a lifetime. It allowed me to share with people the things I have experienced and enjoyed whether it be a mountain range or a subtle smile on a little child. It was looking through some of my photographs that made me realize what I was missing.
In the corporate world time passes by in a flash. You’re so focused on getting ahead and moving up the ladder that you miss the little things that surround you every day. I was there to see one of my clients get his promotion … I missed one of my boys take his first step. I was there to see the Detroit Tigers play the first game in Comerica Park … I missed my son’s first hit at his tee-ball game. I was able to share a glass of wine with an associate and hear how he closed on the big sale that day … I missed having a cup of coffee with my wife and hearing how she shared her love with our children that day. Throughout the past 25 years I missed a lot of the small things that were truly important.
About twelve years ago on a Sunday morning I started drawing up a plan for my own business that would allow me to stay home in the evenings and do what I love to do … meeting people. It was on that Sunday morning that Heritage Studio and Gallery was conceived.