Princeton Times

News

December 11, 2012

Familiar face: Walker helps customers capture perfect memories

PRINCETON — Photography started as a hobby for Celeste Walker, but capturing picture-perfect moments has evolved into a second career and a calling.

Walker got her first camera at about the age of 18 and has always enjoyed photographing West Virginia’s mountain scenery and the myriad family events that form a life.

About 2 1/2 years ago, she decided to start a business from the pastime. She founded C Walker Photography in her Pisgah Road home, with her daughter, Brandi, serving as an assistant.

“Photography is just something I always liked to do, and it took me some time to get going,” Walker said.

Equipment costs proved daunting at first, but over time, she managed to accumulate the necessary tools — her beloved Canon camera, lights and backdrops. In September, she even opened her own studio on Athens Road in the same building as It’s All About You Salon, BB’s Treasures, JA Designs and more.

“Business has been going good. It’s picking up, but we’d like to see it pick up more,” Walker said.

Most of her photography appointments are scheduled in advance, because the busy wife, mother and grandmother also works another full-time job.

She’s a receptionist in the Princeton Community Hospital Emergency Room, where she works three 12-hour shifts a week, sometimes alternating day and night work schedules.

“It’s hard sometimes, but it’s worth it,” Walker said. “I go on very little sleep sometimes. Brandi helps a lot, too. If it weren’t for her, I don’t know what I’d do.”

Between her work shifts at PCH and photography shoots at C Walker Photography, Walker also lives a full family life, complete with her husband, Mike, daughter Brandi, two stepchildren, five grandchildren and a dog named Trixie.

As a photographer, Walker will shoot most any subject, but she said she specializes in families, children and senior citizen photos.

“I like everything, but I really like my kids. I like working with them. They’re a lot of fun,” she said.

When it comes to setting up a photo, Walker said there’s no point in hurrying.

“You just can’t rush a good picture,” she said.

She believes photo shoots always work better when the photographer takes a little time to get to know her model and understand what everyone wants out of the photos.

This is particularly true when children are involved.

“They can be hard sometimes, but you have to work with them and make them comfortable,” Walker said.

Then, when the photos turn out well, it’s all worth the effort.

“When you take a picture, you capture that moment. You can go back and look at those pictures, and they take you back to that time,” Walker said.

The photographer hopes to branch out into selling her scenic shots soon.

“A lot of people around here are interested in old buildings, sometimes dilapidated barns, and sunsets. If you can get good sunset, it’s hard to beat that. I’ve got one that I love. I was just driving down over a mountain and stopped to shoot it,” Walker said.

For more information on C Walker Photography, contact Walker at 304-952-3332 or c.walkerphotography@yahoo.com.

A selection of her photos are also available by searching C Walker Photography on Facebook, or visiting www.photosnappin.wix.cwalkerphotography.

— Contact Tammie Toler at ttoler@ptonline.net.

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