Photo shop to open in Monto
Ron Mientjes’ business to open in March
RON Mientjes will soon be opening up a photography business in Monto’s old Lizard Lounge building.
The retired police officer developed a passion for photography as a result of his career and is looking to share that interest with the community.
“I didn’t have an interest in photography until I became a forensic photographer for the police in 2008,” Ron said.
“We were evidence collectors and photographed every crime scene and we weren’t allowed to use the auto feature on the camera.
“While I was still with the police I started doing photography and I really liked the freedom of being able to compose something and bring it to life.”
The store, named Top Town Studio, is set to open on March 1.
In the past, Ron has provided event photography and photography classes to the people of Monto.
The new shop will let him turn that service into a business.
“I’m going to be able to take family portraits, individual portraits, animal portraits in the studio,” he said.
“I’m also going to have some of my own works on canvas and other people from the Monto District Camera club and other locals who want to display anything they think might be of interest.”
Ron has been preparing for the opening for the last couple of months and has already purchased the first piece of equipment for it, a professional Nikon D600 studio camera.
He’s also purchased studio lighting, props, and a professional drone for aerial photography.
“I can use the drone for commercial purposes, helping farmers find missing livestock, doing property surveys for real estate, anything that people want videoed or photographed from a drone.”
Residents of Monto who use the local Facebook groups may have seen Ron put out a call for old second-hand cameras recently.
“I got an old camera that had been in the shed for a long time and it actually had film in it that was ready to be developed, so it’ll be interesting to see what’s on it,” he said.
The shop will also be used to hold occasional workshops, concentrating on digital SLR cameras.
There will be extended courses, as well a classes on specific aspects, like flash photography or how to adjust white balance, ISO and shutter speeds.
“I’m not a believer in post-processing,” Ron said.
“I have done it occasionally but I really want to teach how to take a photograph, take the time to set it up and get everything right.”
The courses are expected to start in April, once everything has been settled in.
There is still work to be done on the building, including setting up air-conditioning and moving in furniture.
It won’t be open full time; days haven’t been set, though Ron said it’s likely to be weekend days or by appointment.
People who want to book or have questions are advised to contact Ron on 0434 332 791.
...I really liked the freedom of being able to compose something and bring it to life. — Ron Mientjes
LITTLE COWBOY: Harrison Heigh, taken at the Landcare complex in Kelvin Street.
Ron’s dog, Bandit.
Ron Mientjes will share his love of photography in Monto.
From the Burnett Auto Club burnout competition in 2015.
Windmill on Shimke Road.