Photography with purpose


Nov. 21, 2015

Wendy Smith-Ozug in her studio at Love With Purpose Photography.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

When photographer Wendy Smith-Ozug works with clients, she wants to capture each person’s essence. Walking through the doors to her new studio at 213 South St., reveals much about Smith-Ozug’s personality, from the vintage camera collection to the scattering of turquoise-colored items.

The atmosphere of the Love With Purpose Photography studio, Smith-Ozug said, was intended to put her clients at ease.

For 18 years, Smith-Ozug has been shooting photos of her daughters, Lydia, now 21, and Grace, now 17.

After moving to Wisconsin in 1998, Smith-Ozug took photography classes at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and began to take photos for friends and family. In 2007, she formed her own business after her husband, John Ozug, suggested making money from her hobby.

When Ozug bought the building at the corner of Barstow and South streets two years ago, he raised the idea that she move her home business into a retail space.

“I was never in a hurry to open,” she said. “I made it the way I wanted it.”

Smith-Ozug said she likes to take photos of her clients in their natural environments, including children. She also has a free-spirit approach to her art, she said.

“A lot of people choose me for that reason,” Smith-Ozug said.

Her favorite subjects are high school seniors because she gets to know them during the three-hour shoots. She also loves taking photos at weddings.

“I love to see two people in love and I get to capture that,” Smith-Ozug said.

A portion of the sales at Love With Purpose Photography goes to animal rescue.

In the future, Smith-Ozug is considering adding some retail to the space. But in the meantime, she is excited to be a part of downtown Waukesha and holiday festivities.