PORTSMOUTH — Geographically speaking, it wasn’t a big move at all. Yet, according to owner Emily Brackett, it was the biggest and best move she has made.
Live Free Photography opened a little over a year ago at 16 Sheafe St. This past autumn, Brackett moved her business across the street to 11 Sheafe St.
AT A GLANCE
Live Free Photography
Address: 11 Sheafe St., Portsmouth
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday or by appointment
Owner: Emily Brackett
“It was the easiest move I’ve ever made,” Brackett said. “I had run out of space and now I have double the space.”
Brackett said she looked out the window one day and saw the “for rent” sign. She walked over and found her new location.
“It was great to be able to stay in this neighborhood,” Brackett said. “I love the arty way Sheafe Street is becoming. We have a bookstore, graphic designers, book publisher and photography. It’s great.”
In fact, the past year has been so great that Brackett has not only doubled her space, she has invested in new equipment that will enable her to do all her work on the premises. She has also become business associates with Michael Winters, another photographer.
“He specializes in bands and portraits,” Brackett said. “I met him about 10 years ago, and now he’s my colleague here.”
Brackett now has room for a showroom in the front and the back room is for the equipment and studio. Brackett does movie transfers from 16mm, 8mm and VHS. The business also offers scanning services for slides, photos, film and art. Printing, photo restoration, custom framing and film supplies are available.
“I can print on fine art paper as well as all my other projects,” she said.
Brackett said people love knowing all the work is done on the premises. No fear of priceless family photos or films being lost in the mail, she explained.
“I also have all the framing equipment I need,” Brackett said. “I can chop and join. I can custom frame. My selection of frames and mats is very large.”
Brackett said that running out of space at her first location led her to revise her business plan and concentrate on exactly what she wanted for her business.
“I am finally settled enough,” Brackett said. “I have all my ducks in a row and all my resources here, on the premises.”
In other words, she explained, no more running around, using up gas and spending so much time using equipment elsewhere in the region. Brackett said jobs can now be accomplished faster and with less money spent out of the store.
“It is great to be here and to proof my own work on my own equipment,” Brackett said. “This really matters to me and to my customers.”
In the showroom, Brackett sells prints by David Mendelsohn, a local photographer who travels the world taking photos.
During the winter months, Brackett said a “by appointment” policy is working out well as the store’s regular hours are shortened until the weather gets warmer.
“All people have to do is call me and I’ll be there,” said Brackett, who lives in Portsmouth. “This location already feels like home,” Brackett said. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”