Ryanna Turbiville received her photography degree from the University of Hawaii and Northwest College. After that, she started a small business out of her home in December of 2009 focusing on families, children and weddings. In February of 2011, Turbiville built a full studio for her ever-growing client base. Ever since, her portfolio is now full of school pictures, local business headshots, prom pictures, sports pictures, and pictures with Santa.
Pictures with Santa is an annual event during the first part of December, sponsored by Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T), held at the Bowman Public Library that dates back to 2010. While 2010 was the launch of the event, 2011 was the inaugural year for Ryanna and Turbiville Photography to get involved. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust provides one free 5 x 7 for each family that comes and takes their picture with us. It’s a really cool thing the bank offers to the community. It’s become a pretty big hit.”
In conjunction with the Bowman Area Chamber of Commerce, the Bowman Library, and DCB&T, Turbiville and her elves also donate their time and resources to the event each year. Though much smaller in size, DCB&T also sponsors a similar annual-based event in Rhame. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust donates to pretty much any local and youth program, not even just in Bowman County. They are instrumental as far as being proactive helping local businesses, youth, and all the small programs we have. They are really supportive of all those different things,” says Turbiville.
Referring to the Pictures with Santa event she goes on to say, “The kids come and do Santa Day with arts and crafts at the library. The city also has a bunch of stuff going on like sleigh rides and movies. Then, we supply all the pictures and we give out candy. We try to make it a really positive experience for the kids. We want to make sure the kids feel that it’s magical. We also want to be sure that they have time with Santa to tell him what they want for Christmas, to tell him all their wishes.”
Turbiville is proud to provide the community with quality pictures and quality memories with Santa. She also is sure to edit the photos and turn them around for pickup within a week’s time to make sure each family has their holiday photo in time for Christmas.
One of Turbiville’s favorite memories of her time taking photos stems from the local Wanner family and one of their sons. “He would literally put his hands over his face before he came, before he was even in the door. He would keep his eyes covered and would be shaking so bad. He would keep his eyes closed through the whole thing. He would never ever look and ask ‘Is it done? Is it done?” She recalls this young boy repeating this pattern for several years but as he grew, he started to become braver and braver as the years carried on. “A few years ago, he came in and was still super unsure. He was watching Santa, and he would get just close enough. He got about a foot away from Santa. The last time that he came, he ran in, gave Santa a huge hug, jumped on his lap, and had a huge smile. It was a pretty awesome progression through the years. I have that story with several kids but he sticks out in my mind,” mentions Turbiville.
Throughout the past nine years, Turbiville has created memories for over 1,000 families. The event holds a pretty constant crowd resulting in about 130+ photos taken each year.
Similarly to DCB&T, Turbiville Photography not only gives a lot back to the local community, but is local. She is thankful that her business has the support of her community. “It’s what all the area businesses need to continue to grow. Our community needs local businesses just as much as, us as, business owners need the community. If we continue to work together, it works really well.” With a goal to remain that way, Turbiville recommends giving her a shot.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director