The Story Behind the Business
This story explains how I started my business and explains why I continue my B&W services.
I love the photographic process. Ever since I can remember I have enjoyed pictures. I used my parent's Brownie Box camera every chance I could to take pictures of our pets. I remember once trying to convince the man standing behind the photo counter at Gibson's in Lawrence, Kansas that the image he refused to print was not a mistake, but a double exposure of my dog photographed from far away being attacked by one of our chickens. On another occasion they refused to print pictures of stars. I was very frustrated as a 10 year old in the area of photography. On the negatives I could see the chicken and the dog, and the stars just fine. For my ability back then, the negatives looked great. Why wouldn't they print them? I was driven to figure out a way to print them myself. When I was 12 years old I decided that I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up. My brother Nile and I, (I am on the left) shared the same interest in photography which lead the two of us to ask for unusual Christmas gifts one year. I don't know where we found this mail order catalog, but we did. I think it was "Edmund's Scientific". Anyway, inside we found the perfect Christmas gifts for each other. I picked out a plastic 35mm kit camera and Nile chose a plastic enlarger kit. Would you believe that we got what we asked for that year! My father let us order the two items and they arrived in time for Christmas!!! These two presents launched our desire to learn all about photography. The kits not only taught us how to assemble the camera and the enlarger, but they went into great detail as to how light and optic lenses worked. The enlarger kit explained how silver halide crystals could be controlled by light and stabilized by a chemical process. Together we spent many hours learning and experimenting with the photographic process. From this humble beginning I started a hobby that shaped my desire to make it my life long work. By the time I was in high school at Topeka West, I was teaching photography for credit in the photojournalism and yearbook classes. Also, at the school library I was processing color slides for multimedia productions that our school was involved with. Photography, for me, became an incredible medium of expressing myself to others. I would take pictures of everything. I would try out different films, papers, and processes in the darkroom (which I shared with a washer, a dryer, and a deep freeze which became a table for the processing trays). I remember, by accident, my brother and I thought it would be cool to lay the camera on the floor and open the shutter for a long time. Suspended above the camera was a penlight flashlight that we would swing in a rotating pattern. After processing the film, we discovered some very unusual images. One of the best images I put on this page to share with you. I loved my hobby so much I got a job at Dillon's to help support it. Through the years family and friends also helped me support this expensive hobby by giving me little projects here and there to sharpen the skills that I had learned in photography while also earning a few bucks to add to the cause. I once made drivers licenses for a few friends and got paid pretty well on that deal. My real opportunity to make this a career came in 1980 by way of photographing cheerleaders for the owner of the National Cheerleading Association. It wasn't B&W, but it did pay the bills at least for the summer months. This was great, so I thought, until November came around and all of the money from the camps had run out. I didn't know what to do. I called my dad and explained to him my situation and he loaned me $800 to help me make it through the next few months. Sometime during November I found a book called Photographers Market which explained where and how to sell your pictures. In the book there was a section about photographic services used by hospitals. Among the services listed was the need of B&W processing for hospital news releases. I felt that I knew enough about B&W, so I decided to try to solicit my abilities to Providence - St. Margaret Hospital here in Kansas City, Kansas (today known as Providence Medical Center). I don't exactly know what Therese Horvat, the marketing director, saw in me at the time, but I am very grateful to her for giving me my very first roll of film to process. Yes, I was green, but Therese saw in me a confidence that at the time I did not see in myself. She believed in my abilitiy to process the hospital's film. After a few months of processing their film, I received a call from Therese. However, this time it was not to pick up film, but instead she asked me if I would be interested in shooting a job. I realized then, as I still do today, that B&W processing shall always remain a valuable asset to my business. It has been the very life blood of my career. B&W processing was then and still is today a great way to begin a relationship with a new client. Outside of my life in Jesus Christ, my marriage to Tammy (Stude), and my children, B&W processing holds one of the most special places in my life.
Marc Carver Photography v 2818 North 79th ST v Kansas City, Kansas 66109 [ Home Page ]