LeeAnne Sadler Photography studio opening this week

On April 1, local resident LeeAnne Sadler (far right) will open her new business, LeeAnne Sadler Photography, on Fairmont Avenue, offering the community a service that isn’t currently offered in Salamanca. Pictured with Sadler during Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony are (from left) Stephanie Timblin, John Sheehan, Sandra Hill and Mayor Sandy Magiera.

SALAMANCA — Whether framed on display or on a cellphone, photographs play an important role in everyone’s life.

To capture those special moments in the lives of local people, LeeAnne Sadler is opening the doors to her new business, LeeAnne Sadler Photography, on April 1.

Located at 19 Fairmont Ave. next to Ned Fenton Insurance Agency, Sadler said her photography studio is bringing a business into the community that offers something not offered in Salamanca.

“I know there are some small in-home photographers in the area and there are some in other towns that may have some studios but, right here in the city of Salamanca, there’s not one,” she said.

By word-of-mouth, Sadler found the space that was a former hair salon six short weeks ago, then everything fell into place within a month. She met with Fenton, who was to become her landlord, for the first time in mid-February. By March 3, she decided to lease the space.

To make it suitable for the studio, Sadler said a total renovation had to be done, which was a challenge and a good amount of work. This included replacing the old drywall and plumbing, installing new flooring, adding a drop ceiling, changing the lighting and painting.

Despite being diagnosed with COVID-19 during the renovation and was “out of commission” for 10 days, Sadler said she managed to pull off opening her business within a month.

Sadler credits Fenton, along with Marshall DePonceau and his crew at MAD Property Management, for getting the building up and running in such a short time. She said it’s been a great team effort of local businesses working together to make sure her business came true.

Although her favorite type of photography is working with kids and families, Sadler said she does it all, photographing anything from newborns and children to seniors, families and weddings.

“Something different happens when I’m behind a camera,” she said. “My headspace clears and I kind of forget this little bubble I normally live in. I just focus on the moment and get creative.”

Sadler said she focuses on the individuals she’s working with as she tries to capture who they really are and making their memories. She said she loves the candid shots whether the subject is laughing or crying because those are the moments people remember when they think back on those times during their session.

A self-taught photographer with 12 years experience, Sadler has a natural ability behind the lens and has honed her skills. She said her craft has been enhanced by job experience at Walmart working with families.

Sadler said she started out working in the Walmart portrait studio in Bradford, Pa., and after a couple of months she was made manager. She continued working there for a little over a year but as her son Holden got older, the long hours made it tough on them. The other downside was the “cookie cutter-type” shooting that left her no room for creativity.

“After I left there, I bought a $300 camera with my tax return and started playing around taking pictures. Some were of my kiddo and some were of the clients I had worked with at Walmart that I’d become good friends with,” she said. “They saw the pictures of my son I was sharing and they asked if I would do theirs.”

Sadler said photography is something she absolutely loves. It started as a hobby and grew. She said last year was a phenomenal year for her — even with the pandemic going on. She thinks everybody was really focused on family and wanted family pictures more than ever.

“I thought to myself, ‘Now is the time. If this is going to happen, it’s going to happen now.’ It all led to a month later of having my own studio opening,” she said.

Sadler lives in the Salamanca area with 13-year-old Holden and is working for the Salamanca City Central School District as a bus monitor. Sadler is also a team leader at Color Street, a business that offers an array of colors and nail art designs direct to consumers through a sales force of Independent Stylists.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held March 30. The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to noon when the public can meet Sadler and tour her new business. For those who are unable to attend the event, she plans to do a virtual tour of the studio.

Hours will be Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 4 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 3 to 7 p.m.

For more information or to book a session, call Sadler at (585) 307-6286 or email leeannesadlerphotography@gmail.com. Find LeeAnne Sadler Photography on Facebook and Instagram.

(Contact press reporter Deb Everts at salpressdeb@gmail.com)

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