By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
The Little Falls Chamber of Commerce has named Silker Studio the 2013 Small Business of the Year. In business for more than 55 years, the company survived the transitions from black and white photography to color, then to digital photographs, something owner MaryBeth Zea said was not easy for most photographers.
In 1982, Mike Jensen purchased the photography studio from the original owners Glen and Mary Ann Silker. Zea started her career at the studio in 1995, and purchased the business in 2000.
While Zea is the owner and principal photographer, Jensen continues as an associate photographer and computer and production specialist. Jensen and Zea take pride in creating superior photographs and offering great customer service. Their expertise lies in many genres, including weddings, high school seniors’ portraits, families, group events and business photos.
Zea is a member of the Professional Photographers of America, the Minnesota Professional Photographers Association and the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce. Jensen is a member of the Minnesota Professional Photographers Association and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
The Little Falls Chamber of Commerce President Deb Boelz said of Silker Studio’s nomination, “Silker Studio has been a supportive member of the Chamber of Commerce dating back to 1962. They not only have participated in many of our events, but have also sponsored the networking events Business After Hours and Friday Morning Coffee. Mary Beth and Mike are regular attendees at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, volunteering for the Arts and Crafts Fair and participating in our business trick or treating even on Halloween. They even provide photos to the trick or treaters.”
Boelz also said Silker Studio has hosted various Chamber committee meeting as well as serving on the Outstanding Service committee.
For the past 26 years, Silker Studio has donated the professional photo of the Chamber’s Employee of the Month for each month, totalling 312 free photos to date.
“They take time with each recipient to ensure the photo is not only up to the standards of the Employee of the Month, but to their standards as well,” said Boelz. “Their services are endless and we are fortunate to have Silker Studio as a member of the Chamber of Commerce and our community.”