Planning a wedding can be a nightmare. Who will cater the party, what kind of music will be played, where will the flowers come from, and - most importantly - who will capture the celebration on film for eternity ?
Martial Henrys, who owns L'image photography studio at 231-03 Linden Blvd. in Cambria Heights, said his goal is to preserve the day forever on film, but unlike many other photographers, he can help the bride and groom with the tuxedo, limousine, flowers, invitations and the food.
Even though, Henrys can supply the couple with everything they need for their wedding day, his specialty is photography. He owns a full-service studio and shoots weddings, portraits and schoolchildren. The portraits that hang on the walls of his shop are a testament to the quality of his work.
"Basically, I am a portrait photographer, but I like working with people so I shoot parties, CD covers, photo journalistic shots, graduations and weddings," Henrys said. "Being a commercial photographer like I am, you should be able to run the gamut of shots."
He said he provides all the services for a wedding, except the bridal gown because he is very picky and believes he can give the bride and groom one-stop shopping for the reception.
"Our full-service catering is top notch," Henrys said. "I am very finicky about services. If I can't provide top of the line services, I will not try to do it."
Henrys, 47, who lives in Fresh Meadows, emigrated to the United States from Haiti with his family in 1966. He said he first arrived with his mother, and siblings. His father, a doctor, who had been practicing in Africa, arrived three years later.
He became a professional photographer in around-about way. Sixteen years ago, Henrys wanted to take pictures of his first son, so he began to look for a camera. At the time he was a working rock and blues musician and discovered he was more interested in photography than just taking a few standard pictures of his newborn.
Henrys said he decided to buy a professional camera and the Nikon he purchased changed his life.
"I was getting sick playing music. The uncertainty of gigs and the temperament of other musicians," he said. "I was looking for a change of career, I got interested in photography and discovered I had an aptitude."
Only 1 1/2 months after he bought his first camera, he got his first professional gig. He said his ex-wife was a beautician and had some of the portraits he had taken of their son on the beauty parlor's wall. One of her male clients came in, saw the shot and wanted to hire him.
"He called me into shoot pictures for his restaurant trade newspaper and my first job was shooting Sky Chef at the airport," he said. "I slowly fused into a photographer and started getting work as a freelance with different studios."
Then 2 1/2 years ago after working out of his home and with other studios for 14 years, Henrys decided to go it on his own. He took over an old Cambria Heights locksmith store that had fallen into disrepair and rebuilt it from the floors up. He replaced the walls, renovated the bathroom, changed the store's layout and added a photo studio.
"Primarily we are photographers, but we can provide all services, Henrys said. "We do everything for the convenience of people and we have customers who come in and want everything. But most important is the quality of our work is really good."
Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.