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Business

Jill Christine Photography emphasizes the 'personal connection'

Jill Maybanks (right), owner, takes a photo of Katelyn Hand, 13, of Robins at Jill Christine Photography in Marion on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Jill Maybanks (right), owner, takes a photo of Katelyn Hand, 13, of Robins at Jill Christine Photography in Marion on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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MARION — Jill Maybanks has been taking photos for a long time. But in her new studio space in Marion, things are starting to feel brand-new again.

“I just love the light in this space and the character,” she said pointing to the brick walls, original hardwood floors and the large windows of the renovated space on the second floor of a historic building in the heart of Marion.

“I barely have to use my lighting because I can use the ambient light in this space.

“Although I downsized the studio space I am in, I’m being smarter about how I use that space,” she said. “The work I do is evolving and I just don’t need the studio as much as I did back in 2005.”

Maybanks first became interested in photography while in working as a high school student at a photo studio at the mall. That after-school job inspired her to get her degree in commercial photography from Hawkeye Community College.

Shortly after that, she spent some time in the commercial photography field, working in a lab to develop photos and assisting with photo shoots for various products — everything from oil filters and Bibles to gym equipment.

She took a break from being a professional photographer for a few years, but returned portrait photographer in the late 1990s, inviting family and friends to her home for photo sessions.

As the business grew, she decided she needed a studio outside her home, so she opened her storefront in 2005.

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“I wanted my own studio to have official space and because of the changing photography times,” she recalled.

While some things have changed in the world of photography, Maybanks said that interpersonal skills remain essential in building a successful business.

“I like to make a personal connection,” Maybanks said. “I so enjoy building relationships with clients, who often end up becoming friends.”

With so many photographers in the area, Maybanks said she’s always working on marketing her business.

Of all the work she does, dance photos are among her most favorite.

“I love doing those because the kids walk in and you’ll tell them to try a particular move and they will say, ‘I’m not that good.’ But then they will try it and we capture the shot, and they are amazing,” said Maybanks.

“They didn’t even know what it looked like because these are actions you don’t simply freeze frame to look at. It’s especially great at the tween age when they are building confidence. I love capturing those moments.”

Maybanks also especially enjoys doing newborn photo sessions — “And then I am lucky enough to watch them grow,” she said.

Although photographing the weddings or children of children she once photographed as children does sometimes make her feel old, she joked.

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l Know a business in operation for more than a year that would make for an interesting “My Biz”? Contact us at michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

At a glance

l Owner: Jill Maybanks

l Business: Jill Christine Photography

l Address: 1138 Seventh Ave., suite B, Marion

l Phone: (319) 366-8689

l Website: jillchristinephotography.com

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Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.