Friends bring photography to life in downtown studio

Inside Blended Wind Photography in downtown Monticello, there are backdrops and props of every occasion. The owners take photos in-studio and on location. (Photo by Kim Brooks)

Callie Fagen (left) and Deze’ Rae Horstman opened Blended Wind Photography & Studio on First Street in Monticello. They each offer unique styles to their photos, wanting their subjects to feel comfortable. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     With interests in photography and an eye for capturing that unique, special moment, Deze’ Rae Horstman and Callie Fagen have come together to open Blended Wind Photography & Studio in downtown Monticello. The studio opened in December.

     The name is a combination of their respective photography businesses before merging into one: Fagen had Second Wind Photography and Horstman had Blended Hearts.

     The two met through mutual family/friends. Horstman was shooting Christmas mini sessions in her basement and offered the use of her home to Fagen for her own photography.

     “We became best friends overnight,” laughed Fagen.

     One thing led to another and now they share studio space in Monticello.

     Both loved to take pictures since they can remember. Photography for both is more of a learned/self-taught hobby/career than something they pursued in school.

     “We’re still learning,” said Horstman.

     Fagen said they’ve taken advantage of free photo classes online and YouTube tutorials. Fagen also follows several photographers on Facebook.

     Fagen said she enjoyed taking pictures in high school but got out of photography when the digital craze became too much to handle.

     “It overwhelmed me,” she said.

     Fagen loves the outdoors and wildlife. She started taking photos again on the side, capturing her horses and the Jones County farm scape. This expanded to family photos, with people offering to pay her for her time.

     “Photography is ever-changing,” explained Fagen. “I love it!”

     After discovering they both had a shared passion in mind, the gals decided to look into opening their studio. Horstman, who took fitness classes that were held inside the former Flower Shoppe building on E. First Street, knew the space was for rent.

     “It was nerve-racking,” she said. “But I’m happy we did it.”

     Fagen couldn’t agree more. “It was the best decision I ever made.”

     With different personalities, these gals also bring so much to the business with their creativity, people skills, and integrity.

     “We’re just down to earth,” said Fagen. “We want our customers to be comfortable and let their real personality come through.”

     Blended Wind Photography is a side job for both Fagen and Horstman, as they each hold full-time jobs in Monticello. Fagen works at Oak Street Manufacturing and Horstman at B&E Insurance.

     “I needed a creative outlet,” Fagen said of starting the business.

     “Callie would live here if she could,” joked Horstman of the time Fagen has already put into the business. “She is very dedicated.”

     Blended Wind Photography offers a full range of picture options: weddings, engagements, babies, children, family, in-studio and on-location.

     “And pets,” added Fagen. “We both work well with pets.”

     “Everyone starts somewhere and grows from there,” Horstman said of her own photography before merging with Fagen.

     Fagen just got married in June, and said she knows first-hand the struggles a couple goes through when finding the perfect wedding photographer.

     “You want a reliable, good quality photographer,” she said.

     With a passion for photography, Horstman and Fagen said their unique ideas add to the business.

     “We’re willing to grow as professionals,” said Fagen. Both want to be a part of the community, as well as pull clients in from out of town.

     “We can all help each other grow,” added Fagen of the business community.

     “We have so many cool places in this town,” said Horstman.

     Blended Wind Photography is open by appointment only at this time. They are located at 115 E. First St. Call 563-370-4822 or 563-542-6327 to make an appointment.


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