Submitted by Ryan Gueningsman
Delano Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
DELANO At its general meeting Feb. 8, the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC) announced that Linda’s Photography has been named the 2018 business of the year. Linda’s Photography will be formally recognized at the DACC Celebration Dinner Saturday, March 3 at the Delano American Legion.
Linda Motzko and her daughter, Megan, have been working side-by-side for more than 12 years. Linda started the business more than 35 years ago while the family lived in an old Victorian home in downtown Delano.
Since then, the studio has moved to River Street, and the family has moved just outside of town. Linda and her husband, Charles, live on five acres and have landscaped the property for photography, with almost all outdoor images are taken there.
“I still have just as much excitement, love, and passion for my craft as I did when we opened the doors,” Linda said. “Photography has led me to be a business owner, world traveler, working mom, gardener, set designer and so much more. One of the things I appreciate is that no day is the same here. I love the variety photography brings to my life.”
Megan began to have an interest in photography while in high school. She was her mother’s assistant ever since she was little. She made the decision to pursue photography and went to college in hopes of returning to Linda’s Photography.
Within the first few years, she won portrait photographer of the year from the Twin Cities Professional Photography Association, as well as state and national awards for her photography. Megan and husband, Jeremiah, live in south Minneapolis with their two-year-old daughter, Mae, and golden doodle Crosby.
“I feel the reason photography is so great is because it gives you a chance to rest and appreciate this time in your life,” Megan said. “So often moments zip by and we don’t slow down to remember them.”
Charles is the man responsible for all the great landscaping, waterfalls, ponds, and unique settings around the five-acre property, as everything outdoor at Linda’s is hand-made and created by him.
“It’s a lot of work to keep the open air studio in top shape, but it’s such a reward to wake up and see the gardens, waterfalls and sets outside our window,” Linda said. “Our family is what holds the business together.”
And family is what is helping the business transition, as Linda is setting her sights on retirement though she still plans to help Megan.
“I don’t think she’ll ever stop,” Megan said. “She loves the business too much.”
This spring, the photography studio will also be transitioning from its downtown location to a new studio on the Motzko property.
Over the past 35-plus years, the Motzkos have been long-standing members of the DACC, and have been involved with various boards, committees, and initiatives.
“They were an effective member of the Delano Highway 12 task force and represented downtown businesses, a vital part in making that period a successful year for downtown and all Delano businesses,” noted a nominator for the recognition. The nomination also highlighted the Easter bunnies and lambs photo shoot, which benefits the American Cancer Society, among other charitable endeavors.
They’ve been a staple in the community for many years through taking photos of teams, seniors, and events, on top of continuously working to promote our community, according to the nominator. They also draw many people from the cities (especially for senior pictures), which brings benefit to the other local businesses.
“They have seamlessly transitioned leadership within generations of their family,” the nomination concluded. “It is time to recognize this long-standing successful Delano business.”
Tickets available for business of the year recognition March 3
Linda’s Photography will receive the business of the year award at the annual DACC celebration dinner set for Saturday, March 3, at the Delano American Legion, beginning at 6 p.m.
A social hour, dinner, program, and live and silent auction will all take place prior to a performance from Robby Vee and his Rock and Roll Caravan, presented by Brandt Companies and Minnesota Lakes Bank. Special decor for the evening will be provided by the State Bank of Delano.
Vee, “The Prince of Twang,” was born Robert Velline and named after his father Bobby Vee. He is recognized by both the American and Canadian Rockabilly Hall of Fames and has been performing his unique style of rock and roll music for years on stages across the globe. Having been on tour with the legends and architects of rock and roll, Robby has learned from, and shared credits and stages with the best, from James Burton to Carl Perkins, Albert Lee, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Sir Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Dion, The Righteous Brothers, and more.
The celebration dinner and performance by Vee is open to the public, however a limited number of tickets will be sold, and the event is for ages 21 and up. Tickets cost $20 and are available at Coborn’s, State Bank of Delano, Minnesota Lakes Bank, Chevrolet of Delano, and Carousel Motorsports. For more information, contact the DACC at (763) 972-6756.