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Roy Dressel Photography About Us 

Business Portrait headshot

      Thanks for visiting our website and our about us page. While Roy Dressel Photograph has gone through a lot of changes throughout its history, one thing has remained constant. Our commitment to a quality product and to our service to our customers. Photography is a people business, it requires not just a good eye but more than a small amount of psychology. There is an art to helping people feel comfortable in front of the camera.

In Business since 1984

We take great pride in the fact that we have been in business since 1984. Through the good times, and the lean years, through thousands of rolls of film, to the digital era, it’s been fun, and certainly challenging. I still enjoy meeting new customers and old friends. Helping them with their photography needs, whether it be a business headshot, a photo restoration, a wedding, or your child’s sports photo.

Here is a short history of where Roy Dressel Photograph has come from.

I found my passion for photography when on my thirteenth birthday I received a kit to develop and print B&W film. The FR Developing and Printing kit. I was hooked and became fascinated with the darkroom. Developing the rolls of film I took with my old Kodak Box cameras and then making little prints with the small enlarger that came with the kit. It was like doing magic tricks. Only later did I get a good 35mm camera.

 

I photographed my life as I grew up in North Hollywood California and when I moved to Fontana I ended up a photographer for my high school yearbook. My photography teacher in high school, Robert Myers was a big influence on my life. He was not just a great teacher, but also had an interesting sense of humor that I loved.  If a student would say “Hi Mr. Myers, his reply would be “no I’m not”. If a student would slip past him in the classroom and say “excuse me Mr. Myers” his retort would be “there is no excuse for you”. Yes, an interesting sense of humor.

 Photographed for the COS newspaper and yearbook. 

Later, at COS in Visalia, I photographed for the college yearbooks and the newspaper, “The Campus”  and won awards at the state level. It was a great learning experience, shooting almost every day. After college, I went to work for JCPenney in their camera dept and soon realized, after having a couple of kids that retail, while fun and a great learning experience, didn’t pay the bills. I began taking photos at a BMX track near Ivanhoe to earn a little extra money. taking photos of the bicycle racers one week and coming back the next week, putting the photos on a board, and selling them for $1.00 each. Then, in January of 1984, I photographed my sister in laws wedding for free to get both experiences, and sample images and started Roy Dressel Photography. For nine years I  working out of my home in Farmersville, just a few miles east of Visalia.

In October of 1984, I moved from selling cameras at JCPenney to a more professional camera store called Main Drug in downtown Visalia.  It may sound like a little camera counter but Roland, who owned the store, was a camera enthusiast and carried everything from professional medium cameras like Hasselblads and Rollie to darkroom equipment.  All the area professionals shopped at Main Drug and it was there that I learned to deal with a more professional and upscale clientele, to wheel and deal a little with customers. It was great fun.

A second child meant extra income was needed. 

Realizing that I needed some extra income after my second son, Daniel was born I found that being a wedding and event photographer was something he liked and could do in my spare time. I loved being in business for myself and soon set a goal of taking the business full time.  The dream was always there. I wanted to be my own boss, to run a business and make my own decisions.  After several years, and another child I was able to go full time with the business in 1993, and move into my present studio in 1996. 

Married Javonna in 2011. 

In 2011 I married Javonna, then a nurse at Valley Children’s Hospital  We had been dating for about eleven years and I guess it was about time to tie the knot myself. I moved to Fresno but kept the studio in downtown Visalia.

We offer just about any kind of professional photography service, from scanning and photo restoration to weddings. For a few years, I was an affiliate of a company called Portraitefx but found that it did not offer me all the perks that I had anticipated, and after being self-employed for so many years, I found that I did not like being with a large organization. I didn’t like some outside people telling me what I could and couldn’t do in my business. It did teach me the ins and outs of the volume photography business and for that, I am grateful for that but I left them in August of 2019. 

Now I am back to being on my own again, and I believe I have been in business longer than anyone else in Visalia. I never thought that would happen when I was a 29-year-old starting my business back in 1984. It doesn’t seem all that long ago until I see some of those early wedding photos from the 80s. Oh yeah, that was a long time ago. 

the FR darkroom kit

The little darkroom kit I got for my 13th birthday. It was the start of a lifelong love affair with photography. 

Universal Mercury II

My first 35mm camera, the Universal Mercury II 

The Mamiya C-330 Twins Lens Reflex, my wedding camera for over 15 years.