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Laura Grisamore stands outside of her gallery that will open May 30.

LauraLee Photography eyes grand opening

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By Nick Longworth

A former aspiring journalist at the University of Iowa and relative newcomer to the Park Rapids area, Laura Grisamore would like to take your next photos or sell you some from her existing gallery.

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Raised in Des Moines, Laura attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2004. But it wasn’t until she couldn’t find the words to write any more stories that she took to taking photographs full-time instead.

“I’ve been a photographer for quite some time. At the University of Iowa I was a journalism major, but I ended up having a really bad case of writer’s block which was not good for a journalist. It was terrible,” said Laura Grisamore. “I took some of the photo journalism classes to help complete requirements, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I finally found my passion,” Grisamore said.

In 2013, she left a career in social work to move to Park Rapids with her fiancée Joe. Married a year ago on May 4, she is now looking to fully secure her roots in the area by establishing her own business and gallery in LauraLee Photography.

“My mother-in-law had seen some of my natural landscapes and really liked them. She asked me if I would like to showcase some in her store and have a gallery there because she had in the past featured different artists that way. My artwork will be intertwined with her antique offerings from Six-Toed Cat Antiques Shop. I’m very blessed to have this opportunity,” Grisamore said.

Grisamore’s gallery has grown out of the inspiration she finds through her camera. She then relays her photographs to the form of canvas art, printing them on a canvas much like a painting.

Some of her services include on-location portrait photographs (including children, graduations, anniversaries, reunions, maternity and family), and “lake days” packages to document resort stays, cabins, or homes on the lake.

“As with any photographer, your visual interests are continually changing and definitely influenced by your surroundings. After moving up here I started going out and taking a lot of shots in nature and really working with the natural surrounding up here. I found it to be very interesting,” Grisamore said.

“This will be the first time that the gallery has been open. I don’t really know what to anticipate. I have really been working hard,” Grisamore said.

“You never really know if anything is going to sell, you kind of gauge the feedback from members of the community. So far a few people have seen my work and they seem pretty excited about it. I am very hopeful,” Grisamore said.

According to a news release provided by Grisamore, “Laura views nature in a particularly creative way, whether slogging through marshes to catch shots of mossy logs, gliding in a canoe to discover shells on river bottoms, or lying on her back and focusing her camera lens on cloud shapes overhead.”

New to owning and operating her own gallery (the grand opening for LauraLee Photography is May 30-31), Grisamore is optimistic about her future in the area while hoping the passion for her work will fuel her success.

“It took a little bit of time, but when it hit me I knew that this was something that I was really passionate about. I think that people have a lot of different callings in their life, and my photography has been there since I first found it. I like being out in this landscape up here. Whatever is in front of me is very inspiring; the whole world disappears when I have a camera in front of me,” Griasmore said. 

“I’m not just doing it to generate money; it’s my passion that drives me. I feel a calling to what I am doing. I can’t wait to share my work with people in a gallery format and have people be able to see it. I’m really interested in capturing what people want, too, whether that’s nature, or with different props.”

LauraLee Photography is located at 808 1st St. E. Their website can be found at www.lauraleephotos.com and features a full list of services offered as well as pricing. The store can be reached at either 732-8919 or 252-4379 and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Nick Longworth
A graduate from St. Cloud State University, Nick photographs and writes a variety of stories for nearly every section of The Park Rapids Enterprise. His duties also include section layouts and online content submission.
(218) 732-3364
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