Krystal Klear
Taking portraits evolves into business

By AMANDA VOSS - Daily News

April 16, 2014

Owner Krystal Walling looks to her models posing with the Easter Bunny during the Grand Opening celebration at Krystal Klear Portraits on Saturday afternoon in Hartford.  
Daily News photos by John Ehlke

HARTFORD - Krystal Walling is a pediatric nurse who never imagined she would open a photography business, but she started taking pictures of her friend’s children and nearly four years later it developed into a business.

In her brick photography studio in downtown Hartford, Walling described how her effort grew from referrals to a full-fledged business called Krystal Klear Portraits.

Walling, who is from Hartford, said she has been a photographer for about four years and started taking pictures of her children after she had a bad experience at a retail store photo studio.

“I didn’t feel like it was very personal,” she said. “These are the moments I treasurer forever and if I’m going to be paying this much money, I want to have a good experience.”

Different props off to the side in the studio during the Grand Opening celebration at Krystal Klear Portraits on Saturday afternoon in Hartford.  
Daily News photos by John Ehlke

Walling started taking pictures for a neighbor who had a high school senior and couldn’t afford pictures. Then she took his girlfriend’s senior pictures.

“I was showing them off at work and they’re like, ‘can you do my son’s pictures’ and it skyrocketed from there,” Walling said. "I never had any intention of starting a photography business and eventually I thought I should make this legit.”

Walling, 31, photographs a range of subjects, including newborns, babies, children, families, maternity, engagements, weddings and pets.

“There’s nothing I won’t do. People want pictures of their gerbils. Why not?” Walling said.

Walling said she mostly photographs newborns because she is a registered part-time nurse and that brings comfort to her clients.

Scarves and headbands for newborns during the Grand Opening celebration at Krystal Klear Portraits on Saturday afternoon in Hartford.   
Daily News photos by John Ehlke

Noel Minster of Waukesha has three daughters - a newborn, a 2-year-old and a 10-year-old. She took them to Krystal Klear Portraits. She didn’t know Walling was a nurse at the time.

“Now I know why she was really good with the kids,” Minster said, adding she encourages others to visit Walling to get photos taken because she is good with children and her studio is nice. The children could watch a movie, “so they didn’t go crazy,” while the others were getting their photos taken, she said.

Walling said safety is her No. 1 concern when she is taking pictures of infants.

“There are certain ways you should pose them. There’s things to watch for as far as circulation,” she said. “There are ways to put their hands and ways you shouldn’t put their hands. Keeping them warm because they are naked. Not keeping them unattended.”

Krystal Klear Portraits owner Krystal Walling smiles as she entices a child to do the same while posing with the Easter Bunny during the Grand Opening celebration on Saturday afternoon at the Hartford business.   
Daily News photos by John Ehlke

This is Walling’s first business and she said the financial part is challenging, but the most rewarding part is being a part of her client’s lives.

“I know every one of my clients. It’s so personal. It’s not you just come in for pictures. I know you. I know your history,” she said.

Minster enjoyed the personal time Walling gave. She wasn’t rushed.

Different photographs from Krystal Walling displayed on the wall near the entrance during the Grand Opening celebration at Krystal Klear Portraits on Saturday afternoon in Hartford.    
Daily News photos by John Ehlke

“These are memories they cherish forever and I strive for perfection,” Walling said. “I want to give them memories. I don’t want to give them a bad picture.”

For more information, message Walling on Facebook or email her at krystalklearportraits@yahoo.com.