February 3, 2011 —
by Daniel Ebbutt and Brittney Luma
Pam Ely, owner of Reflections Photo Lab in downtown Hudson, loves her job. Taking photographs for a living is something she is passionate about, and she loves doing so in and around Hudson. She hasn’t always enjoyed her work, however.
For fifteen years or so, Pam worked off-shifts in the manufacturing business. The work was uninteresting, the hours were bad. “I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, but it paid the bills,” she recalls. She was subsequently laid off from M&S Manufacturing, and set about finding a new job. While searching for another unsatisfying line of work, inspiration struck. As she stood in the super-store looking through some newly-developed photos, she became excited over a wonderful picture of her niece and nephew that she had taken. “I wish I had a job that made me this excited, this passionate,” she remembers thinking. So, she decided to do something about it.
After writing to eighteen area photographers, she received a reply from a Brooklyn woman, at the time the owner of Reflections. She brought Pam into the world of sports photography, and from then on, Pam was a professional photographer.
Six months later, she confided in Pam that the business was to be sold. “She got a sense of my passion, and made me an offer on the business that I couldn’t refuse.” The company was sold, that was that. Pam was the proud owner of a photography business, but now she had to keep it running. “There was a lot of stress in the first few years,” she says. It was also becoming increasingly apparent that she really needed to switch over to digital photography, which meant expensive new equipment and time to figure it all out. Pam hired a college student to help her out with this aspect, and it wasn’t long before she was comfortable with the digital process. “I was apprehensive at first of the switch to digital, but With the photography going well, Pam decided to open a digital print shop downtown, as outsourcing the prints was expensive and impractical in the long-term. She now prints all kinds of photos at Reflections, and takes pictures herself for events like parties and proms, and of course continues to provide sports photography every season in and around Hudson.
Anyone can have all kinds of prints made at Reflections, and Pam can provide all manner of special services, including photo restoration.
“I appreciate the small town that I’m in, the customers that I have; I think they sense my passion for the work that I do”.
Pam has been in sports photography for nine years, and the lab has been open for three and a half years.