Tillsonburg's Teresa Oldham had wanted to be a photographer since high school.
But she was told 'there's no money in that,' and 'don't do that.'
"So I didn't go with that... and now I am," said Oldham from her newly opened downtown Tillsonburg business - PIC This Studio - at 150 Broadway. "I proved them wrong."
Oldham, who worked in retail for 10 years, began to get serious about photography about four years ago.
"I enjoy everything about it. I'm glued to a camera, whether it's the camera on my phone or a digital camera, or this camera," she said, noting a tripod set up in the studio.
"I take millions of photos," she smiled. "I take photos of everything."
Everything includes wildlife and even a recent cosplay picnic.
"It's my life - I love it, always have. That's why I don't have a limited list of what I do."
She does not limit her photography, for the most part, but for convenience she has prepared a PIC This Studio price list that shows examples of popular packages. It includes family sessions, maternity, newborn, weddings (design your own package), boudoir (and doudoir), pets and animals, and smash cake.
She is also available for fundraisers, concerts, sporting events, and photo booths.
"I kind of cover everything. I'm even doing product photography for the guy that makes bath bombs here in town. Pretty much anyone that comes and asks, I try to figure it out for them."
On top of all that, she rents her studio to other photographers who need studio space.
"They get access to all my (studio) equipment," she said, noting an infinity wall, backdrops, and makeup room in the back, "as well as the space itself. Just not my camera and computer.
"We have the talent here in town, just not the money and means (for everyone to have their own professional studios). I'm excited about it. And I'll learn from other photographers, too, which is nice."
After one month at PIC This Studio, Oldham said she has been mostly doing family photos.
"Probably a good 75 per cent... I find that families are the ones that want photos more. I'm hoping to get some more wedding jobs."
Mostly a self-taught photographer, she has been taking a professional photography course online through the Photography Institute of Canada. YouTube is also a source of photographic information, she said, as she develops her in-studio lighting skills.
"I'm still learning it, but at the same time, I'm loving it. I thought it (studio lighting) would be a lot harder than natural light, but I'm actually finding it easier.
"Henry's has a nice package as well. It has over 1,100 videos from professional photographers teaching you studio lighting... everything."
The result has been professional quality and skill - something that has still demand in a market filled with quick-and-easy social media 'pics.'
"People want the professional eye for it. People are noticing the difference between a photographer's take on a photo and a 'normal everyday photo.' Definitely the equipment means a lot, but it's the photographer's eye that you're buying."
Oldham has been active in the community, joining the Tillsonburg Tri-County Agricultural Society fair board last November where she has focused her efforts on the entertainment committee.
"We've been working on the Battle of the Bands (August 5-6 preliminary round at Sammy Krenshaw's & the final 'battle' Saturday, August 20th at the Tillsonburg Fair), getting that up and going to raise funds for the fair, as well as the Zombie Adventure (July 23)."
She also volunteered at the recent Tillsonburg Fishing Derby on July 2.
"I love fishing," she nodded. "Next year I'm going to bring my fishing pole, and try to convince my dad to come help. He's the one who got me into it. As soon as I could walk he had me out fishing. He made sure I could clean the fish and everything, too, because you can't just 'fish' right?"