Emily De Vito
Updated: April 20, 2020 03:24 PM
Created: April 20, 2020 11:56 AM
A local photographer had to get creative to keep business going when her portrait studio shut its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
iSmile Studios is located at Colonie Center and they say they operated until the mall shut its doors back in March.
"Every one of us is really trying to do whatever we can think of to support our community and support our employees and families that live on these paychecks," said owner Stephanie McCauley.
McCauley now works from home. She turned to a network of professional photographers to brainstorm on how to keep her business alive.
"We all agreed that seniors in particular have really taken a hard hit between graduations and proms," said McCauley. "Just the closure of being able to say goodbye to the institution that's educated them for either 4 or 12 years depending on if they're a high school or college senior."
That is when she started to create lawn signs with their pictures on them. McCauley said she does the photography for many schools, but if she does not have a students senior picture people can upload one they would like. She said she has received orders from parents as well as gained interest from districts buying them as a whole for its senior class.
"We custom make each one," explained McCauley. "The student and the school and anything else the parents might like to showcase about their senior."
McCauley said it's a simple way for people to honor these students.
"It helps families stuck at home show a little bit of sense of pride in their senior and their accomplishments," said McCauley.
With New York now paused until May 15, McCauley said it's important to stay busy with these projects.
"It's tough on every small business locally. My heart goes out to all of them, but we'll persevere and we'll be back as soon as we're allowed to," said McCauley.
For more on these lawn signs, click here.
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