photography

Entrepreneur Launches MedCity Studio to Serve as Resource for Local Photography Community

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Entrepreneur and Baltimore native Brendan Bush looks to change up the photography scene in Rochester with his business MedCity Studio. Located right next to Silver Lake, Bush aims to use the business to build and connect the local photography community and to serve as a resource for those just getting started in the business.

Bush himself comes from strong photography roots. His father was the Director of Photography at The Baltimore Sun and Bush always grew up with a dark room in their family home. Later he attended the University of Western Kentucky University for photojournalism; Bush worked in the newspaper business for several years before moving to Minnesota in 2014 with his wife and children. 

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After relocating to Rochester, this creative decided it was time to try something different. Digital photography had opened up the market to a variety of people including new professionals, amateur photographers, and people who just wanted to take better photos in their everyday lives.  

Bush launched MedCity Studios in May 2018 as, at the surface level, a rental studio for those seeking an affordable indoor location to shoot photos and meet with clients. However, the value add of the business runs much deeper. Bush himself serves as a resource for people as they are using the space, offering assistance for things like lighting set up to adjustment of poorly taken photos. 

“This is an opportunity for [new photographers] to have a place to learn from and experiment and practice,” Bush explained.

He hopes the business also creates a connection point for the local photography ecosystem to host events and serve as “an exchange center for photography information in the community.” 

Bush began running photography classes from the studio to help support and provide education for local photographers. He ended up landing on a huge value add for the community. 

“I never thought that photography classes were going to be that big of a deal. But, yeah, they’re really selling like crazy,” he laughed.

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MedCity Studio’s first DSLR basics class wrapped up at the end of January. Bush aims to run the class again in February as well as host photo walks in the springtime. He hopes to create a real experience with MedCity Studio through the classes, support for the photography community, and with the rental space itself. 

“The market is changing, and they say millennials are more about experience than they are about product. And I think that lends itself well to here,” he explained. 

Bush said his studio space has been gaining a steady following of repeat customers, including those that don’t fall into the traditional photography space. He’s had people use the studio for product photo shoots as well as to record video commercials.

“Photography is an art that has a strong technical side that attracts some people just for the technical aspect,” he said. “Some people just like the creative aspects and then there are all those shades in-between. But I think, in this town, photography could work because it has technical aspects that would attract technically minded people.”

Strong Women Creating Value, Part 1: Corrie Strommen

As part of Women's History Month, we are highlighting four women in the community who are making waves and creating things of real value. Check back in over the next few weeks as we share the stories of some real female innovators who are making significant impact in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota. 

Corrie Strommen: Assistant Manager of Cafe Steam, Photographer, and Content Creator. Photo by Will Forsman.

Corrie Strommen: Assistant Manager of Cafe Steam, Photographer, and Content Creator. Photo by Will Forsman.

Who are you? What is your role/title?

Corrie Strommen, assistant manager of Café Steam, freelance photographer, content creator.


What value are you creating in the community? 

At Steam, I'm striving to maintain our hard won title of Rochester's best coffee shop. Each and every one of our employees work hard to maintain that title, in every customer interaction and shot of espresso-it's all about staying focused on turning out a quality product with attention to the smallest details. In my role as a manager, I do my best to help create a work environment that is conducive to job satisfaction and efficient work flow. It's wonderful doing work here both behind the scenes and behind the bar. 

As a photographer, I'm striving to convey my artistic vision in combination with the desires and personalities of my clientele. As of late this has become a wonderful opportunity to work with artists and musicians in the work I'm doing for Collider Coworking and their efforts to incorporate local art and music into their space. I love working with local creatives and combining visions to become something really special. The connections I've made through photography have really changed my view of Rochester in such a positive way. 

What are your responsibilities in your day to day job?

Preparing and serving hundreds of kick a** coffees to the general populous of Rochester as well as managing Café Steam's schedule, reservations, and designing our monthly oatmeal recipes. In my extra time outside of that I often find myself at Collider, taking or editing photos, planning out and organizing future photo shoots, and generally trying to keep my life organized. 


What does it mean to you to be a woman in business?

Autonomy. My business ventures have occurred since being a single woman. Upon finding independence and self reliance, pursuing business came naturally. There was a certain level of risk and uncertainty that I embraced because I had nothing to lose and no one to let down but myself. But, in all honesty, I never wondered if my gender would affect my successfulness or lack thereof. I've found that when hard work and dedication are put out in my work, acceptance and success follow. 


What challenges do you think that women face in today’s society?

The same we've been facing for decades, societal expectations, a degree of dismissiveness toward our abilities, wage gap, sexual harassment, etc. etc. It's wonderful that these issues are becoming more widely spoken about and hopefully we'll see more improvement as time goes on.