Kasi Pagel was always interested in photography and that interest grew when she was planning her wedding.
She and her husband, Micky, were married in 2001, and she remembers what it was like to look for a photographer. They chose her uncle.
“My uncle shoots film,” she said. “I asked him if he would shoot. I had so much fun.”
Pagel ended up with 40-some rolls of film and appreciated what her uncle did – particularly the many candid moments he captured that day. Soon, she was taking her own pictures.
That was eight years ago, and after years of setting up backdrops in her living room, Pagel now has studio space.
In July, she formally opened Focusing Life Photography at 104 E. Main St.
Her husband had also been running his computer business out of their home, and they share rented space in Weyauwega.
Natives of Neenah, they moved to rural Manawa four years ago. There, they live on a hobby farm with daughters Aurora, 7, and Kayde, 6.
Pagel said they considered locating their two businesses in Manawa, New London and Weyauwega before ultimately choosing Weyauwega.
They liked the community’s small-town charm and fact that there is highway access on both sides of the city, she said.
Pagel learned about photography from her uncle and is also self-taught.
In addition, she took photography classes with Pat Murray, of Murray Photo & Video in Appleton.
After seeing the pictures her uncle took at her wedding, Pagel became interested in landscape photography. Following the birth of her daughters, her interest in portraits blossomed.
Friends began asking her to take pictures at their weddings and of their children.
“Eventually, I bought backdrops and put them in the living room when I wanted to do pictures,” she said. “We (she and Micky) both agreed that we needed space.”
The name of her photography business came from her slogan which is “putting life into focus – one photograph at a time.”
Pagel always tells people, “You can’t forget something you have a picture of.”
Her photography business includes engagements, weddings, school portraits, senior pictures and family reunions.
She works out of her studio space and on location, and has the ability, in her studio, to print 8-inch by 10-inch photos or smaller. Larger prints are sent to a lab and back to her typically in about a week.
She and Micky are enjoying getting to know other business owners in Weyauwega and say the community has been welcoming, helpful and supportive.
Focusing Life Photography is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and on Mondays by appointment.
Pagel can be reached at 920-862-0200.
Because she remembers what it was like to be a bride on a budget, she offers a variety of bridal packages, including a $250 package that includes the ceremony and formal shots.
She said that opening the business has helped her to become more organized. She is having a lot of fun, and in addition to running her business, serves as the troop leader for both of her daughters’ Girl Scout troops and is a member and the secretary of the Manawa Elementary PTO.
When it comes to photography, taking candid pictures is what she enjoys most.
“If it’s a beautiful day, and I’m not in the studio, you’ll find me somewhere in a park or in the woods,” she said.