Mirage Photo – A Passion of Two Friends
What started out as friendship for Shawn Traman and Samantha Iverson soon turned into a local business called Mirage Photo. The two spend their days shooting portraits, events, and weddings around the St. Charles area. Their building at 1128 N. 2nd Street serves as a creative space where they can meet with clients, shoot photos and do the bulk of their photo editing work.
Since starting their business, the two have grown quickly and made more progress than they could have imagined.
An Unlikely Match
Traman was an art major in college and through that, he discovered his love for darkrooms and photography, practicing at his job with a screen printing company. After he graduated, worked in banking for 15 years. Once he got some paid time off, he turned back to photography and began shooting sports. Even though he swore he’d never shoot a wedding, he ended up taking a few wedding photography gigs finding out it was no easy task.
At the time his six-month-old daughter was attending the daycare Iverson worked at. Iverson has had a previous love for photography much like Traman. In high school, she loved to take photos and for a short period of time had a photography business with a friend of hers.
Knowing about Iverson’s previous photography experience, Traman asked if she would help him out with some of his wedding sessions. Before he knew it, the wedding sessions that he “swore he would never do” became one of his favorite passions.
“I couldn’t dream of going back to sports or any other kind of photography because I love weddings and it’s weird to say,” Traman laughed.
On the Hunt for Something More
After meeting countless clients at their local Bread Company or coffee shop, the two decided it was time to start looking for a space to anchor their business in. In 2012 they spent much of that year driving up and down the streets of Frenchtown waiting patiently to see a “for rent” sign in front of one of the buildings.
“It felt like a more legitimate business to have an office space to come into,” Traman explained.
One day as Iverson was driving 2nd Street, she spotted a for rent sign go up at 1128 N. 2nd. Within 15 minutes of seeing the sign, they were in the space, and within a week from seeing the space they had signed a lease.
When they first saw the space it was in no shape to be a photography studio, but with some work and passion, they turned it into the perfect place that they could work and display their work.
“When we walked into our current space it was so gross,” Iverson said. “But we just looked at each other and were like, ‘this is it. This is our home.’”
A Picture Perfect Team
Now, the two pride themselves on capturing more than just the standard posed image. As a pair, they work like flies on the wall to capture memories that would otherwise be forgotten. In the future, the two have no intention of slowing down on wedding shoots but are seeking to tap into the high school senior and the family market, as well.
Because of the strong passion Iverson and Traman each have for photography, they are able to capture and create moments of connection right here in Frenchtown.
“Even days when it’s crazy and we don’t want to go on because it’s hard, we remember we are doing something amazing for people,” Iverson said.