“So many photographers are giving up their studio space and moving into their homes to save money, and I’m doing just the opposite,” Becerra said. “I know it can be viewed as a risk in this economy, but it is so important to me because of the way I connect with people through my work to have a physical, community-centric space to teach workshops, display student photos, and meet with clients.”
Becerra has leased “Screen Room 2” of the Darkside Cinema building at 215 SW 4th Street in downtown Corvallis and transformed it into an eclectic space that represents his energy and creativity.
The public and the media are invited to the BECERRA PHOTOGRAPHY GRAND OPENING EVENT, MAY 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The celebration will include face-painting for kids, a free photo booth, a photography exhibition featuring work by Becerra’s former students, and vouchers for $50 off a family or senior portrait session.
“For years I always saw myself renovating an old barn on a farm somewhere, but being downtown at the heart of Corvallis made so much more sense,” Becerra said.
So, instead, he brought the barn to the studio.
“I made connections with different barn owners and have been salvaging material – flooring, roofing, windows – to bring that rural, nostalgic feeling into my studio space,” Becerra said. “Many of my shoots are done in rural areas of Benton County and it was important that the studio felt right.”
The flooring of Becerra Photography is from a crumbling, 100-year-old farmhouse and the walls are decorated with dozens of colorful antique wooden doors and windows.
“When my daughter, Miriam, was born a few months ago, I was holding her in the hospital and looking out the window,” Becerra said. “I saw an old barn in the distance that was falling down and approached the owner. He and I pulled some of the roofing material and I installed it in the studio. The owner was so happy that part of his barn would live on in such a beautiful, artistic way.”
Becerra will continue to offer full-service wedding, event, family and senior portrait photography and videography services, but plans to expand his clientele, offering studio portraits, and, most importantly to the lifelong teacher, community workshops at the new space.
“Everyone these days has a digital camera, but no one knows how to use it!” Becerra said of his community workshops. “I have a fancy, expensive camera, but I still shoot 100 percent manual. People need to know that they are smarter than their cameras, and that’s what my workshops show them.”
Becerra Photography will offer workshops ranging from basic digital photography to specific workshops focusing on events, portraits, lighting, editing, and using DSLRs to produce video.
“Five years ago I never thought I would be able to support a family by taking pictures,” Becerra said. “It was just a hobby, and I was just a teacher with a baby on the way.”
But after five years of teaching photography at Corvallis High and three children later, Becerra was offered the opportunity to make it happen.
“The part-time photography instructor role at OSU provides the launching point for my family and I to make this change,” Becerra said. “And I’m so happy that I can still keep one foot in the classroom.”
A Southern Oregon native, Becerra and his wife Kara have three children, Sofia,5, Gabriel,3, and Miriam, 4 months. The family has lived in Corvallis since 2004.
“I’m so proud of Chris,” Becerra’s wife, Kara, said. “He’s always been able to combine lofty dreams with the hard work to make them come true. I’m a little nervous about such big changes, but I know that he’ll always work as hard as he has to to provide for our family. ”
Becerra Photography, Oregon Bride Magazine’s 2010 Wedding Photographer of the Year, is a full-service photography and videography studio based in Corvallis, Oregon, specializing in weddings, engagements, events, and individual and family portraits. For more information, visit the studio at 215 SW 4th Street or find it on the web at www.becerraphotography.com.