There is a famous saying that goes something along the lines of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When looking at a photograph, anyone can guess what is going through the model’s mind as they pose. But no one asks about what made a photographer choose a certain color, a prop, or a light setting. According to Armelin Photography, it takes a lot of set up, communication and pre-planning to bring a photoshoot to life for both the viewers and their clients.
As a husband and wife duo who enjoy taking pictures together, Ramona and Weldon Armelin find time to operate their photography business, Armelin Photography, throughout their lives filled with children, jobs and marriage. Established in 2015, Mr. Armelin conceived the idea while he was doing videography work for his church and started capturing stills. “I had already been doing videography for my church. So then I purchased my first camera and I wanted to take it to the next level.”
That same year, Mr. Armelin saw an opportunity to grow his skills behind the camera and jumped to it, quickly putting himself under a mentor and utilizing practicing on family members and his wife to perfect his skills, sharing “I had a mentor who talked to me for a couple of months and gave me the ins and outs before I even bought my first camera.” Mr. Armelin was interested in turning his passion into a fulfilling career that he could profit from. “And then from there YouTube became my best friend.”
After launching the business, Mr. Armelin met his wife, Ramona, who became his creative director (whom he calls his ‘second shooter’. Mrs. Armelin is in charge of the behind the scenes operations ad well as does photography during events. “She gets things that I can’t get,” Mr. Armelin added.
When viewing the Armelins’ photography, whether on their website or on their Instagram, you can see the power behind each photo they capture. As this is a tough job as a photographer to catch, Mrs. Armelin does an excellent job capturing the vision and intention of their clients. “[When we’re taking their pictures] we want to communicate what they’re trying to do,” she began to share. “My official title is creative director, so with that, I always say, ‘what do you want from these pictures?’ With the visuals, you want the visuals to speak for you because you don’t have words in the pictures.”
The Armelins’ teamwork and photography skills have both evolved throughout their years working together through communicating a lot before and during a photoshoot. “We have learned to shut off anything going on with us before we do a shoot,” Mrs. Armelin said. “Us working together and being on one accord can make or break that photoshoot. He could have just gotten on my nerves 30 minutes before we get to the location and we just have to put on our poker face and say, “it’s game time.” “Another thing is communication and trust,” Mr. Armelin added. “I have to be able to communicate to her what I’m looking for and she has to do the same for me so we can both know what we’re trying to go for.”
Going into a photoshoot with one vision is very important for the Armelins’, because they both can’t go in with their own ideas and expect a successful photoshoot. “We also have to make sure we’re on the same page,” Mrs. Armelin said.”Because if he’s going in with one vision and I’m going in with another vision, that’s not gonna work. We have to plan a lot before a shoot. So I have to pay attention to what he’ll say and he’ll have to pay attention to what I’ll be saying. I have to know him and him the same for me.”
When it comes to inspirational quotes, Mrs. Armelin loves to ask God to lead her path everyday, whether during a photoshoot or not. “I like to say, ‘go before us, make the pathway straight and just work this out before we even get there.’ For Mr. Armelin, he shares a perculiar quote that holds a deep meaning for him: “You have a pinky and a thumb on both hands. Your pinky doesn’t do what your thumb does but you still need both of them to get the job done.” To Mr. Armelin, this quote represents that different parts of people that are necessary for the job. Though him and his wife may have different personalities, their talents are equally needed in their business.
When it comes to future plans and what they would both like people to know about their business, Mr. Armelin shared that ”it’s just something that I really care about and I would like [the business] to be the main drive of how this family is ran. And when I get older and I can’t run the business any longer, I would like to pass it on to the kids.”
Mrs. Armelin agreed, adding in that the children are already starting to like photography, are helping with props and pitching ideas. “I just hope that [the business] will continue to grow and prosper because we know without Him we wouldn’t be where we are now. We randomly get people calling us and sending us messages out of nowhere, asking us about our business. And we would have just said ‘Oh, we need money for this and we need money for that.’ He just comes right on time.”