Mar­ried to her work

Aubu­chon a hope­less ro­man­tic for wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Her Arts - By Grace Brown

In some of her ear­li­est mem­o­ries, Kelly Aubu­chon re­calls the al­most grav­i­ta­tional like force pulling her to­ward cam­eras.

That at­trac­tion de­vel­oped into a pas­sion and, later on, a ca­reer. Over the past 25 years, she tran­si­tioned from pho­tog­ra­pher to videog­ra­pher, and even­tu­ally took on the ti­tle of busi­ness owner and en­tre­pre­neur.

Aubu­chon at­tended Na­tional Park Col­lege, where she re­ceived her As­so­ciate of Arts de­gree in jour­nal­ism and lib­eral arts. Two years af­ter grad­u­at­ing, she started Cap­ture the Mo­ment Im­ages, a video pro­duc­tion ser­vice spe­cial­iz­ing in real es­tate, busi­ness com­mer­cials and spe­cial events. Over the years, she has con­tin­ued to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of film, branch­ing off into var­i­ous creative di­rec­tions.

Aubu­chon’s re­la­tion­ship with film be­gan by sell­ing video equip­ment for John Cook­sey at Elite Video. There, she had ac­cess to in­struc­tional videos Cook­sey pro­duced for his cus­tomers. Aubu­chon took the videos home to study them, and even­tu­ally be­came an ex­cep­tional cam­er­a­woman. When she first be­gan, she didn’t have ac­cess to top-of-the­line equip­ment, but she didn’t let that stop her.

To­day, Aubu­chon owns and op­er­ates CTM Im­ages. She caters to a va­ri­ety of clien­tele, but her spe­cialty is wed­ding videos. She of­fers a va­ri­ety of video pack­ages, mak­ing it af­ford­able for every­one to have video doc­u­men­ta­tion of their spe­cial day.

“I try to make all op­tions avail­able for every­one. I want peo­ple to have a wed­ding video,” said Aubu­chon. She blames the fact that she’s a “hope­less ro­man­tic” on her love of wed­dings but, what­ever the rea­son fu­el­ing her pas­sion, it has truly blos­somed. Her love of wed­dings evolved over the years into dif­fer­ent pet pro­jects.

“I en­joy wed­dings, and wanted to fo­cus on that, pri­mar­ily. Ev­ery­thing branched (out) from there,” she said. In 2005, she started Sim­ply Bridal mag­a­zine and dis­trib­uted it in the area. The mag­a­zine fea­tured lo­cal wed­dings and ven­dors that catered to wed­dings, such as florists, bak­eries and venues. It op­er­ated as an ex­cel­lent net­work­ing plat­form for the bridal community un­til 2010, when cir­cu­la­tion stopped.

The year fol­low­ing the de­but of her mag­a­zine, Aubu­chon un­veiled the Hot Springs Bridal Expo and Fash­ion Show, which later be­came the Hot Springs Bridal Expo hosted by Gar­van Wood­land Gar­dens. The idea came to her via her for­mer em­ployer, John Cook­sey. He saw the pas­sion Aubu­chon had for wed­dings, and sug­gested she put on the event. He con­nected her with Mark Fleis­chner, whose fam­ily owns Lau­ray’s The Di­a­mond Cen­ter, who then put her in con­tact with Christo­pher’s Bridal — and the rest, as they say, was his­tory.

Twenty-five ven­dors from the area par­tic­i­pated in the in­au­gu­ral Hot Springs Bridal Expo and Fash­ion Show, and each year the num­ber has grown. She con­tin­ued run­ning the expo and fash­ion show for the next four years un­til hand­ing over the reigns to the peo­ple at Gar­van Wood­land Gar­dens.

“(Start­ing the expo) was def­i­nitely a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Aubu­chon said, but she knew it was time to let go. To­day, there is no fash­ion show, but the expo still hap­pens each spring. Prospec­tive brides from across Arkansas gather to find in­spi­ra­tion for their big day, and the re­sources to make it hap­pen. Nat­u­rally, Aubu­chon still par­tic­i­pates as a ven­dor each year.

Within just the last seven months, Aubu­chon quit her day job and de­cided to pur­sue her ca­reer as a full-time video pro­ducer. Most of the traf­fic she re­ceives comes from rec­om­men­da­tions from past clients who were greatly sat­is­fied with the qual­ity of her work.

“The main rea­son I started (CTM Im­ages) was be­cause I wanted to work for my­self. That, and the lack of video pro­duc­tion ser­vices lo­cated in Hot Springs,” she said.

Gen­er­at­ing an in­come proved to be a daunt­ing task early on. “It’s dif­fi­cult to con­vince peo­ple to be­lieve and in­vest in some­thing that is just an idea. You def­i­nitely have to be pre­pared to work hard. It’s late nights, long hours and ded­i­ca­tion,” she said.

In 2010, Aubu­chon de­cided to try pro­duc­ing a full-length doc­u­men­tary film about the in­te­gra­tion of Langston and Hot Springs high schools. She found some­thing she en­joyed in cre­at­ing longer films, and de­cided to pro­duce her own film, “The Pot­ter.”

A sus­pense­ful thriller set in Dry­den’s Pot­tery, the film fol­lows the dis­ap­pear­ances of sev­eral peo­ple in the fic­tional town of Cold Springs. Kelly filmed ev­ery­thing in Hot Springs, us­ing lo­cal tal­ent to fill the cast. It took 10 years to com­plete the film, but it fi­nally came to­gether. Aubu­chon has al­ready sub­mit­ted the film to a va­ri­ety of fes­ti­vals.

With wed­ding sea­son quickly ap­proach­ing, Aubu­chon pre­pares for her busiest time of year. She looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing her work in video pro­duc­tion for events, and even dab­bling in writ­ing, pro­duc­ing and di­rect­ing an­other film.

Visit her web­site at http://www.ct­mim­ for more in­for­ma­tion about her work.

Kelly Aubu­chon with Cap­ture the Mo­ment Im­ages in her of­fice.

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