ROCK FALLS – Seniors at Rock Falls High School may not need to look far to find someone to take their senior photo.
They can call upon one of their own classmates.
Photography has long been a love of Tanner Raab’s, and he has taken his hobby and made it a business: Tanner’s Captures.
It’s what keeps Raab, 18, occupied outside of school. As far as weekends are concerned, there isn’t a whole lot of free time – a senior picture here, a newborn baby there, or a wedding across state lines.
“I call myself a do-it-all photographer,” he said.
No setting or style is new to Raab. Aside from documenting life’s highlights, he also enjoys putting together the perfect family picture, which is his favorite type of photo. He had taken many of them with his phone growing up, but knew that an actual camera could do a better job and make settings clearer.
Raab’s camera of choice is a Canon Rebel T6, and getting it was a proud moment.
“I got it at Best Buy as an early Christmas gift,” he said. “I bought it myself. It was the most exciting thing that happened to me.”
Once Raab knew just how powerful his new camera was, he combined plenty of feedback of what he had already captured and decided to make a business out of it.
Raab has four or five different engagements every Monday through Friday, and that load can double during the weekend – all on top of time to carefully edit each photo before it is presented.
Running the business has become important enough that Raab tries to work out a balance with his school work; sometimes he’ll try and beat the clock to get assignments done during class periods or a study hall due to photography commitments.
“Everyone kept telling me that I took wonderful photos and should start a business. I went to get my own camera, started my Facebook page, and it’s grown. Now I’m getting all of these phone calls, emails and texts.”
One of Raab’s classmates, Macayleigh Smith, was a recent senior picture client. The two traveled all over downtown Sterling to pose for and capture pictures of Smith, and visited Martin’s Landing along the river to do the same. They also had a session at the Rock Falls High School track, where Smith posed with an array of medals from her 3 years as one of the Rockets’ top hurdlers.
Smith turned out to be a very satisfied client and is recommending Raab to others.
“Tanner made my senior pictures such a great experience,” she said. “Tanner makes you feel comfortable and makes taking pictures super fun.”
So how did Raab do his own senior picture? It’s a question he gets a lot, but he already made plenty of friends who are into photography that he found the right person to make his own look good.
When dealing with each senior client and individual photo, Raab understands that his work also serves as advertisements of sorts.
“You have to be patient about your scene and be still, but mostly you just want to inspire the photo,” he said. “Senior photos you want to have stand out very well because they are going to go on the yearbook and websites.”
Find Photography By Tanner's Captures on Facebook, on Instagram at tannerscaptures or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.