For 25 years, Jon Elder has been capturing people's memories.
Elder is the owner of Jon Elder Productions, located at 21 W. Third St., Jamestown. Elder started the business 25 years ago in downtown Jamestown, where he still is today. Elder started at 16 W. Third St., across the street from where his studio is today.
''It had been the warehouse for Murphy's. It was a wide open space, so it was great for a studio,'' he said. ''I was there six to seven years ... but then the building was bought and all the tenants had to clear out. That is when I found this place right next door. So then, by hand, we moved everything across the street to over here. I've always been on Third Street.''
Pictured are boats gathering around Bemus Point during a performance of the Bemus Bay Pops taken by Jon Elder.
Elder said his interest in photography started at a young age when he was introduced to his first darkroom for developing film.
''I saw the magic in the darkroom and was so taken by it; I went after it. I went to school and joined the camera club,'' he said. ''By the time I was 17 my parents had built me my own darkroom.''
Elder said he wouldn't be in business today taking photos of weddings, parties and professional portraits if it wasn't for his parents.
''My parents have always been there when I needed them,'' he said. ''There have been some down times during the last 25 years, and I couldn't have done it without them.''
Elder said there has been several changes in the photography business in the last 25 years. The biggest was the change from film to digital. Elder said digital photography gives less room for error than film photos.
''Film gives you more latitude for error because you can use the darkroom,'' he said. ''In the digital era, you have to nail everything just right. There is less latitude for error.''
Elder said, after 25 years, he still enjoys the profession because each day there is something new.
''The thing I like the most is it is always different,'' he said. ''Also, I love interacting with the customers, they're wonderful. They come in and say, 'I'm not photogenic.' Then I take their photo, and they're amazed at how they look.''
Elder said his work has been published nationally several times in different mediums. He said he worked for Redbook, and that his photos have appeared in Rolling Stone magazine and have been featured on the Howard Stern show. Elder said he has been hired to do wedding photos for people who live in North Carolina or the New England states. He also will be traveling to the Middle East because he was hired to take photos in Israel.
''Makes me feel pretty good that they choose me to capture their memories,'' he said. ''I get lots of work from outside this area. They seek me out. I'm proud that they see my website and they want me to do the work.''
For more information on Jon Elder Productions, visit www.jonelder.com or call 488-0813.