Longtime resident and entrepreneur Andy Heller knows a thing about lighting, photo lenses and snapping a photo from the right angle. More importantly, however, he knows how to capture the moment and seek opportunity, especially when it's right in front of him.
After more than a decade of snapping photos in Walpole, Heller closed the door to his Walpole-based studio to open Heller Photography, a studio closer to home in Attleboro. How it happened was unexpected.
For more than a year Heller was looking for the perfect studio space in Attleboro, but came up short. That, however, was until he was approached while at coffee shop with the idea to move his studio to a space in just behind Attleboro Jewelers in the Women at Work Museum.
While chatting at with owner Ann Friedman about his desire to move his business to Attleboro, he was approached by a man who overheard their conversation and had a suggestion.
That man was Jack Lank, president of the
"He was the one who pointed me in the direction of and Nancy Young. "I had been looking for well over a year," Heller said of his search to find a place to move the Walpole business.
"He's always looking to help Chamber members," Young said of Lank. "He's a good matchmaker for business people and he's one of the reasons I stayed in Attleboro after the flooding and put $350,000 into this building."
Heller pointed out that while Attleboro had many vacant spaces, many of them were located on the second level, which would be difficult for a photographer who has to lug lots of equipment.
The photographer has spent a few weeks modifying the subleased space at the Women at Work Museum, which is situated in a 22,000 square-foot facility owned by Young. He hired an electrician, suspended rolls of backdrops and set up an office space.
Now, Heller wants to spread the word to his friends and the community about his new digs.
"I've lived in the City for over 15 years operating in Walpole and it may has well have been the other end of the earth," he said. "People have no desire to go far for services such as this."
Heller's interest in photography sparked early at the young age of 10 by his father who was an amateur photographer. "There was never a time in my life when I wasn't holding onto a camera," Heller said. "I took photographs all through high school and college, and for many years taught an adult education photography class in Norwood.
"Having a background in film photography allows me to slow down during a photoshoot and give thought to each exposure," he said. "I think photographers who grew up in the digital age are at a bit of a disadvantage in that regard."
Someone who considers himself well involved in the community through his volunteer shoots for Team, (annual Turkey Raffle, the student vs. faculty basketball game and ), Heller was surprised when he learned that many of the families he had interacted with had no idea that in addition to events, he photographed family portraits.
Heller is happy at his new digs and is now making more connections. "Nancy and Jeff have been very welcoming," he said of the building's owners. In fact, they invited Heller to the sponsored by Attleboro Jewelers and the Diamond Christmas Fundraiser Reception honoring Sen. Richard Ross and State Rep. George Ross and Betty Poirier, also sponsored by Attleboro Jewelers. .