Necessity is the mother of invention. But in Verona, during this recession, it has become the fairy godmother of reinvention. Just ask Heidi Campbell Huze.
Huze has always had something of a knack for taking photos. She always had little cameras when she was a kid, and in college, traded up for a Nikon 35. She became the member of the family that everyone asked to take pictures at gatherings, she became the friend that everyone asked to take pictures at weddings and christenings. But photography remained a hobby, something she did on the sidelines as she advanced her career in telecom sales, married and raised a family.
Then, last November, she was laid off. But as anybody who has spent any time around Huze could tell you, what followed next was definitely not going to be a pity party. Almost immediately, she sat down at her computer and set up a Web site for her next career, a photography business called Precious Memories By Heidi. “I felt that I needed to get something going,” says Huze. “I wasn’t going to be sad that I was laid off.”
Sine then, she’s hardly had time to feel blue. Channeling her sales training into her new venture, Huze created opportunities for her new business, like a photo shoot with Santa at her home before Christmas. Verona resident Bill Hoogterp was there with his family and hired her to take photos for his communications company, Blue Planet Training. In January, she landed a shoot for a Jersey Cares event spearheaded by Newark Mayor Corey Booker (the photos were in the Star Ledger this past weekend). In February, she dove into social media, working her business’ Facebook page and competing in portraiture contests on the photography Web site I Heart Faces. She won second place in February for this photo, and again in March. April was blur of First Holy Communion shoots.
“Her work is absolutely fabulous,” says Laning mom Suzanne Welsh as she shows off the Communion photos taken of her daughter.
Huze has also been working at improving her craft. She added a Canon EOS Rebel and a Canon 7D to her camera bag and took online classes in different aspects of portrait photography. And she pushed the networking that had served her so well in corporate sales, landing shoots with the International Institute for Business Information & Growth, an executive conference company. Oh and when the lights come up on New Jersey Fashion Week in October, Huze will be there, with cameras.
“I think,” she says, “it is finally happening for me.”