Curry relocates family, photo business to smaller town

Riley Curry has been doing professional photography since 2011. Her business, Riley Curry Photography, became an official LLC in 2012. She offers services for weddings, seniors, families and more. (Photos courtesy of Riley Curry Photography)

Wanting to raise her children in a smaller town, Curry moved from Iowa City to Monticello in June. She homeschools her daughter and sees many educational opportunities in Monticello. Curry and her children, Lilah, 6, and Carter, 1 ½, are seen here on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Riley Curry moved her two young children to Monticello in June, after living in the Iowa City area for many years. Originally from Monticello, Curry wanted to raise her kids around family, in a smaller community.

     “It was too expensive to live in Iowa City, and I have family in Monticello,” she said of making the move.

     She also brought along her business: Riley Curry Photography.

     Curry began professionally shooting photos in 2011 with a family photo session. In 2012, she shot her first wedding. That’s when she started marketing her photography services.

     Curry took online classes through EICC (Eastern Iowa Community Colleges), and fell in love with her digital photography and graphic design courses.

     “I’ve been learning and I go,” she said of being self-taught.

     Curry’s love of photography stems to her high school days.

     “I would pick up and steel my mom’s camera and take random pictures,” she said.

     When her daughter, Lilah, was born, Curry simply used a point-and-shoot camera to capture her daughter’s early days of life.

     Since then, she’s upgraded to better-quality equipment like a Cannon DSLR.

     “When I was younger, I loved the way photos would turn out,” she said of seeing the after-product.

     Curry said as she advanced in photography, people would ask her to take their family pictures. She took her sister’s senior pictures “and it just took off from there.”

     Curry’s photography business officially became an LCC in 2012.

     Since moving her family to Monticello, Curry has booked a few high school senior sessions, and still drives to the Iowa City area for clients as well.

     “I am open to travel a couple hours, especially for a wedding,” she offered.

     For weddings, which are all-day affairs, Curry brings in a second shooter to assist in capturing those special moments.

     Curry said being a self-employed photographer is the perfect fit for her right now. She home-schools her 6-year-old daughter, so her job allows for more flexibility than anything.

     “I tend to be a home-body, so this job takes me outside for photos,” she said.

     Curry does not take indoor photos, but prefers to capture the natural setting, particularly sunsets.

     “That’s the golden hour,” said Curry.

     She prefers to use natural lighting and settings to capture her subjects in the real world, as they are.

     “I want my clients to relax and feel natural,” she said.

     Curry left Monticello when she was 7 years old, but returned many times over the years to see family in the Monticello and Cascade areas.

     “I’m related to so many people in town,” she said of her extended family connections.

     She said relocating to a smaller community allows her kids to run around outside more.

     “It’s a slower pace of life here, less traffic to worry about,” said Curry.

     She said traveling for her photo shoots also allows her to bring her kids along for the ride, adding to their educational experiences as well.

     “This job has the opportunity for fun, educational road trips,” she said.

     Since being in Monticello, Curry has explored the area for those fun and unique natural backdrops. She’s scoped out areas such as the downtown pocket park, Riverside Gardens, and Pictured Rocks Park. Curry also booked a wedding at Camp Courageous in August.

     Curry’s services include weddings, seniors, family sessions, and newborns. She’s willing to come into her clients’ homes for newborn photos if they prefer to have them taken in the nursery.

     “A lot of people come to me for (their children’s) birthday portraits every year,” she said.

     As a home-schooled parent, Curry said she’s starting to meet other home-schooled families in the Monticello area. She is also offering back-to-school photos as well right now, knowing that home-schooled families don’t have the opportunity to get yearly school pictures taken.

     In her free time, Curry enjoys “poking around antique shops.

     “I find a lot of photography props that way,” she said.

     To inquire about Riley Curry Photography, visit her Facebook page, e-mail her at, or call 319-541-1340.



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