Marsha Chartrand

Unforgettable Photos makes its next move

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At Unforgettable Photos, Mary Bortmas believes that all women are photogenic and she enjoys bringing out their natural beauty in her photographs.

At Unforgettable Photos, Mary Bortmas believes that all women are photogenic and she enjoys bringing out their natural beauty in her photographs.

A little over two years ago, Mary Bortmas was at a crossroads with her successful photography business, Unforgettable Photos. She had given up her space at 101 West Main Street, allowing her the freedom to take her business in a new direction.

“I moved into the Main Street Suites in October 2014 and scaled back my sessions so I could spend more time at home with my family,” she explains. “And I also was volunteering for a charity–Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep–that is near and dear to my heart.”

While the move allowed Mary the freedom to spend time with her family and volunteer work, she found that she’d occasionally run into people who asked if she was “still doing photography,” or even if she still had her business in town.

“People thought I was working out of my home; that’s when I decided that I really needed to be on street level again,” she adds.

Her two oldest sons had worked for artist Chris Roberts-Antieau for several years while her studio was located at 231 E. Main, just east of the Main Street Bridge, and she had always envied the spot but it was never available when she was looking to make a move in the past.

“I gave a lot of thought to moving into this space,” she says. “I have loved it for a long time. Once I went to look at it, I knew it was the perfect place to re-launch my studio.”

The excellent natural light in the building is one reason Mary  is happy to finally make it her new studio home. “I’ve really missed being on the street level and having windows to showcase my work,” she says. “People have told me they’ve missed it too!”

Mary’s mobile studio–a glamorously updated vintage camper–has also been taking shape over the past year and renovations are complete. She looks forward to using it for on-location photo shoots this spring and offering it as part of a “girls-day-out” package, as well as a photo booth for outdoor events and wedding receptions.

Recently, Mary has discovered that some of her favorite sessions have been beauty and glamour sessions for women. “I find that as women we are not often in pictures,” she said. “We tend to hide behind the camera instead.”

“And even in the business world, so few women have professional portraits taken. I would say the top excuses I’ve heard for not wanting to be photographed are, ‘I want to lose some weight first,’ and ‘I’m not photogenic.’  My answer to those women is this: I can hide 10-20 pounds just by posing you correctly, and everyone is photogenic when they are relaxed and having a good time, which is what we are going to do!”

She loves the extra reward of helping women see their own true beauty, in the way that others see them.

As her move nears completion, Mary already has appointments scheduled at the new studio this coming week and she is also scheduling appointments for dads and daughters to have their photo shoot early, before this Saturday’s Daddy-Daughter Dance to be held at the high school.

“Call 734-428-0888 to set up an appointment between 4-6 pm, and skip the line at the dance,” she says. “Then enjoy dinner at one of Manchester’s great eateries and be ready to dance the night away with your special girl!”

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