SAUK RAPIDS (WJON News) -- A vacant building along Benton Drive in Sauk Rapids has been renovated into a part photography studio and part event space.

Jennifer Kenning is the owner of the business called Curate at 20 North Benton Drive.

The front room closest to the street is the main area for shooting pictures.  Kenning says she picked the building and the location primarily because of all the natural light that comes through the west-facing large windows.

It was a unique challenge to find floor-to-ceiling windows, the right direction of windows, all the aspects that photographers need to create beautiful light on their subjects.

There is a separate area for storing photography equipment and also a prop room that she calls the 'rainbow room' because of the wide assortment of colors that photographers can choose from.

It's there to pick their splash of uniqueness and that pop of color that clients want to bring into their session.

Rainbow room, photo by's Jim Maurice
Rainbow room, photo by's Jim Maurice

There is also a lounge area that will have complimentary snacks and beverages.

Kenning's plan is to rent out the space to fellow photographers who are doing professional shoots with clients but don't have a studio of their own.  They'll have access to the props, furniture and lighting.

She says she expects to do about 30 percent of the photography business herself and the other 70 percent will be other photographers renting the space from her.

When the space isn't being used for a photo shoot, Kenning says she wants to rent it out for small events for around 10 people or so including micro weddings, which have become popular in recent years, or baby showers, or bridal showers.

Groom's Suit, photo by's Jim Maurice
Groom's Suit, photo by's Jim Maurice

The space has a make-up and wardrobe area that the bride and her party and be in and a separate area she's calling the groom's suit which includes a foosball table, and a television.

I wanted to provide a space where people didn't have to worry about getting ready somewhere else and then coming to the event space.  This is all in one spot.

Kenning says her old photography business on Benton Drive only had about 600 square feet, while this new location has about 3,000 square feet including the basement storage area.

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If you want to check out Curate for yourself, Kenning says she is participating in the Jingle and Mingle event in Sauk Rapids on Saturday, December 10th.  She will have five staging areas where guests can stop and take as many pictures as they want.

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