Photographer Develops Unique Business With Focus on Funerals
Kimberly Intorre has a passion for photography. T
hroughout her life, the State College native has captured just about every type of event through her photos.
She's done everything from portraits to birthdays and weddings. She hopes that her latest venture, Our Valued Treasures, will fill a void in the Centre County market.
You see, Our Valued Treasures specializes in funeral photography.
Intorre explains how she came up with the concept. “A friend of mine, her husband had just passed away and she had seen my photography,” she says. “She requested that I do his viewing, funeral and celebration of life. It was just something that I never thought I would do until that moment. When she asked, I felt honored.”
She realizes that funeral photography is still somewhat taboo.
“Six months ago, I was talking to my family about it. It's not something that you do. When I did it, I really didn't have any hesitation. It was interesting because it felt like a calling … like someone had a better plan for me,” Intorre says.
For the record, Intorre doesn't take photographs of the deceased, unless it's requested. Instead, the images consist of those who stopped at the service. The brochure for Our Valued Treasures features family members looking at photos and generally comforting one another.
The first time Intorre took photos at a funeral was somewhat surreal, she says.
“It takes a very special person. You have to take yourself out of the event. You have to take your emotions out of it. I felt that my lens was helping me. I was a lens away from everything. I was viewing it through my lens, but I was distant,” she says.
Our Valued Treasures features three different types of packages. The first includes the funeral service only and a mini softbound photo book. The basic service includes the viewing, funeral, graveside services same day and a mini softbound book. The two-day service includes the viewing, funeral, graveside services, the celebration of life meal and a hardbound book.
Intorre will also photograph funerals outside of Centre County.
She realizes that funeral photography is not for everyone. However, she feels that there's enough interest in Centre County to make a go of it.
“It's still new, it's still a start-up. I've been taking my brochures around to different churches, hospice programs, funeral directors. It's a mixed bag right now because it's so new. It's been more positive than negative,” Intorre says.
Intorre said that she blends into the background during the services while she takes photos.
“I'm not in people's faces. I'm back away from the crowd. If there are multiple rooms, I'll go to the other rooms and stand back and take pictures from behind,” she says.
Still, it can catch those paying their final respects off guard.
“I really only had a handful of people come up to me and asked me why I was there. I told them I was requested by the spouse, that she wanted to remember who came, who sent flowers, things like that. It was to help her grieve. At the celebration of life meal, I had people come up and ask how they could see the pictures. It really was a positive thing,” Intorre says.
Intorre's business model is unique. Photography isn't just a hobby, but a passion. “I've been doing this for 30 years,” she says. “I've always had a love for photography.”
For more information about Our Valued Treasures, contact Intorre at (814) 238-3706 or email email@example.com.