136 West High Street Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 16823
By Ellen Matis
It was love at first sight.
Lydia Shafer knew three years ago that a space on West High Street in Bellefonte would become her future photography studio. On January 1, she officially opened for business at the 136 West High Street address.
She was drawn, she said, to Bellefonte’s Victorian vibe, small town feel and its people.
“This was always my favorite (space) in town,” she said.
On a late night scouring the internet, she saw that the space had become available. She immediately emailed the property manager, and two days later toured it. She barely needed to sleep on her decision to put a deposit on it.
Soon after, Shafer, her husband Bob along with her parents began a facelift on the studio, painting everything white, updating the bathroom and making other small changes. It was the windows, she said, that really drew her to the unit: They’re 6 feet across each, and at least 12 feet high.
“Besides the windows, I love the giant doors when you walk in,” Shafer said. “And I love the surrounding buildings a lot. It’s an older section of Bellefonte… it’s just perfect.”
Shafer, who lives in Bellefonte with Bob, is originally from Lock Haven. She only got into photography as a profession about three years ago. Her style is unique from other photographers’ in that it encompasses a light, “girly” style, she said.
“Any (photo shoot) that deals with a girl feeling pretty, I’m all in,” Shafer said. “I’m into boudoir photography, engagements, wedding, maternity.”
While she’s played with the idea of different kinds of specialities throughout her career, she said that he Bellefonte studio will help her narrow down her niche even more.
She shot her first wedding in the fall of 2017, and has six more weddings booked for this year. Bob, who is also a photographer, serves as her second shooter during events.
At the studio and on location, Lydia books: Engagement, boudoir, wedding gown first looks, weddings, maternity and seasonal family mini sessions.
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