"Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future."   -Sally Mann

"Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future."

-Sally Mann

Melissa Stukenholtz

Like most photographers I have loved photography since I was a child. I think it was my mother that gave me the passion for the art. Since graduating from ISU, I have continued to take photography courses from a variety of institutions and instructors throughout the years. I am always looking to learn and grow more.

I have been photographing weddings and children for over a decade and love every second of it. From the “big picture” to every minute detail…I love the shadows as much as the light…the black, the white, every shade of grey in between, brilliant hues, screaming color. Soft, shy, or strong…confidence, elation, or love…something, anything, everything….sunlight, moonlight, nothing but a flashlight.

I love having the opportunity to document the important moments and times in people's lives. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to grow with my clients--from senior photos to engagement photos. From the wedding day to the maternity session. From the newborn portraits to the family photos, each year capturing the moments in time so that the memories will never truly fade away.

Wait a minute!!! Why would you name your company "Gorman House Photography" if your last name isn't Gorman?

It all started with an antique piano…

When I moved into the home in rural Jamaica, IA, I was only the second owner’s of this piece of land since the 1800’s. The Gorman family migrated from Canada and eventually made their way to this corner of the earth. The house I live in now was the second house erected on the property and was built in 1911 with the craftsmanship and love of a hardworking family that intended live here forever.

Their youngest child, Ambrose, was born in the house shortly after it was complete. He lived here and worked the land until his body could no longer cooperate. When he passed away, my father purchased the land at an auction. Telling me at Christmas in 2002, as he handed me a glass of wine—and a handful of photos, that he had a present for me. But that it was too big to wrap, so he showed me pictures of the one piece of furniture still left in the house from the Gorman’s…a piano.

My father saw a piano that needed to be moved so that he could tear down the structure it was in…so there could be more land to farm. But, I saw more than a piano…there it was in the parlor—with French doors…in a house with antique light fixtures, thick crown molding, pocket doors, floor to ceiling windows and a claw foot bath tub. On a piece of land with barns built before power tools existed, with rolling hills inhabited by native prairie grass, trees that are older than the constitution, a running path carved by the deer, and a small creek with two bridges built on a random Saturday by my father and me.

Picture perfect. What a beautiful place to live…and have a photography studio. It’s all about perspective. So…renovations began a few months later—finding bits of history as we worked. While I own the house now…with the history of the home, and the land, and the previous owners…there has always been a sense that I still live in the “Gorman House.” Having lived here over a decade, I still hear from the ‘locals’, “So, you live in the old Gorman House?” I guess in a couple of hundred years, maybe they will call it by my last name. Until then, it only felt right to give homage to the Gorman’s.