Amanda Schultz-Norisada thought she wanted a career in front of a camera but instead discovered one behind it.
“I wanted to be a news anchor since fifth grade,” she said.
A day after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a degree in radio/TV/film, Norisada moved to Boise, Idaho, for a summer internship at an ABC affiliate.
A radio sales position in Spokane, Wash., followed that experience.
While living there, she met her husband Jason.
She switched from working in radio sales to doing outside sales for a kitchen cabinet company.
During that time, she also decided to start a photography business – Norisada Photography Boutique.
“I just decided I wanted to give it a try. I bought a camera and taught myself how to work my camera,” Norisada said of her move into photography.
With her sales job flexibile, she initially did photography on the side.
Norisada started her photography business three years ago, and after five years of living on the West Coast, the Neenah native returned to her home state last year.
Last September, she moved her business into the space at E1249 County Trunk Q, which was most recently the location of Small Space Big Style.
“I saw it was available,” she said. “It worked out perfectly.”
When Norisada and her husband, Jason, decided to move to Wisconsin, she considered opening a studio in the Fox Valley.
In the end, she chose to open one here.
Her parents, Craig and Connie Schultz, moved to the Waupaca area about eight years ago, and after moving out of state, Norisada visited at least once a year.
After she started her photography business, she typically did a couple sessions during her Waupaca visits.
“I’m happy I chose to be here,” Norisada said.
She said there is more of a feeling of community, and she enjoys pairing up with other businesses.
“Last summer, I decided to switch my focus to senior portraits and newborns and families,” Norisada said.
She also does engagement photos.
When it comes to working with high school seniors, Norisada said she loves the creativity and freedom of working with one person.
“With newborns, I just like working with the babies,” she said.
And, whether working inside or outside, Norisada photographs her subjects with all natural light.
The photographers who inspired her were natural light photographers – something she says suits her style.
“I like the way it brings out the skin tones more, the softness. I like using the sun,” she said.
For that reason, she describes her work as fresh, sun soaked portraiture.
“I like the way it comes out in an image. I don’t like to overprocess. I like to keep it as natural-looking as possible,” Norisada said. “I like that to be part of my trademark.”
As a result, she is specific about the time of day in which she sets up a session.
Before a session, she asks her client what type of feeling is desired, whether it is an urban or more country feeling.
“I just drive all over, finding spots,” Norisada said. “I can’t continue to be creative if I use the same place. I want everybody’s session to be different, about them.”
Once she finds the spots, she makes sure the sun is in the right spot at the right time of day for the session.
During a session, she does not give her clients too much direction.
However, when it comes to details, she is a perfectionist.
That means when she is photographing a young woman for her senior portrait, she will make sure there is not a hair tie around her wrist.
“For me, it’s more of an art. It’s my vision,” Norisada said.
Her vision also includes a Senior Modeling Program at four high schools, including Waupaca High School.
The young women will be her representatives and can earn their own sessions and have a chance at a $1,000 scholarship, based on referrals.
This spring, Norisada plans to start “Make Workshops” at her studio, where women will come together to make jewelry or knit. Her plans also include an artisan fair in June.
With her camera able to shoot HD video, she also wants to experiment with engagement videos – yet another way to use her background in radio/TV/film.
“I want to make people aware that I’m here and bring something more to the community,” she said of her future plans.
Norisada Photography Boutique is open by appointment.
Norisada offers such things as acrylic prints, metal prints, matted linen albums and whimsical frames.
She loves everything about her work.
“It’s fun,” she said. “It never feels like work.”