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Husom and Rose keep work close to home

David Husom and Ann-Marie Rose compare the original (top) to one of the prints he made for Red Wing artist Dan Wiemer. Husom and Rose have worked on projects for several local artists as well as the Anderson Center and the Minnesota History Center. (Republican Eagle photos by John Russett)1 / 3
Husom shows a print he recently made that will be used as part of the backdrop for a play.2 / 3
Part of Husom and Rose Photographics is restoration of old documents. Here Rose displays the original document (right) with the replication she made.3 / 3

Finding an easier commute to work for David Husom and Ann-Marie Rose might be difficult.

The husband-and-wife team operates Husom and Rose Photographics from the lower level of their Hager City home.

The business is a combination of things, Husom said. They do large-scale prints, often from film, as well as prints for artists who do a range of watercolor, oil paints and drawings.

Another aspect of the business, which Rose specializes in, is the restoration of old, damaged documents or photos.

Both photographers, with Rose having a background in prepress, moved to Hager City in 2000, and said they always knew photography and print would come together.

“Our name, Photographics, reflects that,” Husom said.

The beginning, he said, goes back to 1986 when they were doing photography for the homebuilding industry.

“We’ve been working together a long time,” Rose said. “We have a relationship where the more we’re together the better off things are.”

One of the first jobs they did, Husom said, was for Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn.

When the dorms had to be remodeled, all the walls inside essentially had to be torn down, Rose said.

Murals of stories read and areas of study were painted on all the walls by students, and the alumni were worried about losing them, she said.

After photographing all the walls and scanning the film, Husom and Rose made prints for the school. They made everything from a greeting card size to much larger prints, Husom said, which got the business going.

People have come from as far as Iowa and Illinois, but the majority of the artists they work with live within an hour or two, Husom said.

The source of the prints varies quite a bit, he said. Some projects come from artists who do it for a living and others are high school students who want something for their portfolio.

“It really runs the gamut of different artists and different medium, and styles, which is really fun to see, too,” Husom said.

Variety aside, the process can be time consuming. 

“It’s a slow, tedious process, because they’re incredibly high resolution,” Husom said, adding it can take around half an hour to do one scan. 

While most of the art is local, Rose said she is sent restoration projects from all over the country.

“I do sort of specialize in very, very damaged things,” she said. “There’s nothing magical about it, it’s just a lot of time.”

Rose said she finds the projects interesting because they are all pieces about which her customers feel very strongly.

“Even though it doesn’t have really any major value to other people, it is to my client,” she said. “I really have a lot of respect for what I’m handed over because I know how meaningful it is.”

Husom and Rose have no problem handling pieces of importance and historical significance.

“We’ve done things for the Minnesota History Center that never leave the building, but they trust us enough to bring them to us,” Husom said.

While Husom and Rose were on the forefront of the technology shift in their industry, neither one of them sees anything changing anytime soon.

“I think for right now it’s kind of settled in,” Husom said.

Rose said the only aspect she could see changing might be people not wanting art prints on their walls anymore, but added she doesn’t expect she’ll be around to see it actually happen.

As far as her restoration is concerned it all depends on the individuals.

“I think as long as people are interested in history and their family, there’s going to be a need for it,” she said.

Husom said it’s not the technology they use that brings in their business.

“What people hire us for has more to do with our skills than the technology. Technology may change a little, but I don’t see it doing what we do,” he said.

Rose added because of how they run their business and work so intimately with their customers they end up being friends with many of people with whom they work.

About 90 percent of their business comes from outside projects, Husom said, the other 10 percent are projects of their own.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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