Savage Photography offers a creative, personalized approach

If you see Dave Savage riding his bicycle down Washington, chances are he’s on his way to work. It’s a short commute for the Clarkston resident who now lives and works on the same road.
Savage and wife Grace are putting the finishing touches on one of Clarkston’s newest businesses, Savage Photography, a professional studio set to open May 14 in downtown Clarkston.
Specializing in portraits, from weddings to senior composites to family location settings, Savage’s return to photography in the Clarkston area promises to offer unique results for clients based on his commitment to creativity.
‘Our philosophy is to not necessarily take over the client’s experience but carefully and masterfully photograph someone with lighting, posing and a finish,? Savage said.
Savage received formal training from the Winonna School of Photography in Winonna, Ind. From there he started as an apprentice at LaZaroff Photography, a now-closed studio in Pontiac.
He spent several years as a photographer, capturing some of the latest stars to visit Pine Knob Theater in the 1970s, as well as doing corporate photography before moving into the fields of architectural design.
‘Our goal is to continue the tradition of the LaZaroff studio in work and quality,? Savage said. ‘But we’ll have our own style.?
A Clarkston resident, Savage happened to drive past a building at 3 E. Washington on his way to work that became available for occupancy. Stopping inside to inquire about the possibilities of taking the building over for a studio, Savage signed on to the building and his studio was born.
‘This is a great place to have your business,? Savage said.
A member of the Clarkston City Council, Savage was responsible for the downtown revitalization program and believes in supporting the community.
‘I believe in what we’re doing,? Savage said.
Savage’s studio isn’t the typical photography booth that so many people have come to expect when having a portrait taken.
Warm colors and photos from his own collection adorn the walls of the old building. Remodeled dressing areas and the latest in computer technology are all part of the package inside the studio.
Savage’s office is even decorated with a collection of vintage cameras found throughout the years.
‘We have high-end photography as well as a more casual approach,? Savage said.
Shooting on location is a love of Savage’s. He uses the diversity of the area surrounding him here in Clarkston to create one-of-a-kind settings for his clients.
‘The village is fantastic. Shooting on location allows the person to be photographed in an environment of their choosing to tailor the experience,? Savage said. ‘It captures the essence of their personality or who they’d like to be. In some cases they feel like a rock and roll star or as simple as a mother holding her child.?
Savage always encourages clients to bring personal items, whether it’s a prop or even a favorite piece of clothing, to a shoot to customize the experience as much as possible.
‘I like to interview clients and find experiences they’d like to see,? Savage said.
The continued development of digital photography allows Savage to achieve a ‘magazine look? for senior portraits, thus eliminating the traditional boring cap and gown shot.
Between traditional film and digital media, Savage had no preference over the two and always offers options to his clients.
‘I’ve had lots of experience with film,? Savage said. ‘Digital offers up lots of new opportunities.?
Helping in the portrait process is wife Grace, a cosmetologist who used to own her own salon in Birmingham. Grace serves as a stylist for Savage’s shoots both in the studio and on location.
‘Grace really makes young women feel comfortable,? Savage said. ‘Teaming up with her is a great combination for the two of us.?
The attention to detail doesn’t stop when the shoot is over.
Savage’s studio offers high quality processing and retouching of all their work. Savage even carries a line of handmade Italian frames to complete the photo.
Although the studio doesn’t officially open until the beginning of May, Savage is already taking appointments as his studio prepares to make its debut to the Clarkston area.
‘I’m looking forward to having people use us as their family photographer,? Savage said. ‘I’m excited to meet young people in the area, do weddings and just practice our craft.
‘And I can bike to work.?