Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 26, 2004

Photo studio opens in old library building

By Jody Anderson

Through the lens of a camera, Ruben Duran sees many things that others might miss.

People, still life, and the shores of Winsted Lake are among the subjects he finds through his viewfinder.

Now, Winsted residents share Duran's taste for photos by visiting Duran's Wedding and Portrait Photography, which opened last month at the old library building in Winsted.

"I've always enjoyed taking pictures," he commented, "I've always carried a camera with me wherever I go."

Photography is a lifetime hobby of Duran's, in addition to studying photography at Eden Prairie Vocational College. He will graduate with a two-year degree in May.

He discovered the old library building in Winsted while completing a school assignment, and knew he wanted it for his studio.

"It's just perfect," he said, " the lake is a half block away, and there is beautiful scenery all around."

Duran, who lives in Annandale, is renovating the interior of the building for interior photos, but plans to leave the high ceilings intact.

Duran's Wedding and Portrait Photography offers many services to local residents; besides the requisite senior pictures, wedding, and family portraits, the studio is equipped with photo enhancement equipment.

"This means that you can bring in a photo that is ripped and we can make a new one," he explained. "Imperfections can be erased."

Duran also offers photo services for advertising purposes. "I like taking pictures of anything," he said.

His childhood was spent in colorful Mexico City, which bequeathed Duran with a unique skill that he offers to his clients: he is bilingual.

Children have certainly played a big part in Duran's choices as well.

Duran derives special inspiration through his four grandchildren, but his involvement with young people is not limited to his relatives.

He began coaching children's soccer teams in Delano when his own children were small, and is still coaching today.

Photography is a surprise turn in Duran's life, since he originally started out doing very different work.

Duran worked as a forklift driver for Spicer Heavy Axel for 30 years.

When the company was forced to close its doors, he was subsequently forced to retire or find a new venue.

Duran decided to make use of his favorite hobby along with a government program that promotes retraining in different professions, which is how he ended up with his own business.

After June 1, office hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meanwhile, appointments can be made at (320) 485-4590.

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