The owner of a photography studio diversifies


THUNDER BAY, ONT. – It’s Christmas in July all week at Shine Photo Studio, which opened another location on Monday – this one in Thunder Bay’s North Core.

The studio opening included a visit from Santa Claus, warm cookies and gifts for visitors with an option to pre-book fall and winter sessions and programs. Local photographer and studio owner Nancy Tillberg has taken her imaging business to a new level with the addition of photo programs for everyone, all in the new upscale space.

The waterfront location is Tillberg’s third location, in addition to the one on Crawford Avenue in Westfort and his wedding studio at his Slate River Valley farm.

Tillberg says opening another North Side location is crucial to reaching his target market.

“When they walk into the new studio at 268 Red River Rd., I want customers to feel like they’re entering a business that matches the vibrant metropolitan vibe that has taken over downtown,” said- she declared.

Through this business expansion, Tillberg is now able to expand its programs which include female empowerment workshops, teen modeling programs, fairy birthday parties and The Tilted Tripod photographer network. The new studio, which is about three times the size of Westfort’s studio, easily accommodates these programs and has more shooting space, workshops and networking space.

Modeling registration is underway for the fall and plans are underway for a series of female empowerment workshops, with the next having a steampunk theme with an escape room attached to it in September. Also in the queue are a series of retro pin-up sessions.

Tillberg’s farm is the location for her pop-up wedding service called Inspired Weddings.

The rustic barn loft, with hundreds of fairy lights and views of the countryside landscape and horse pastures, is a perfect setting for a country-style wedding, bridal or vow renewal.

Diamonds dangling from tree branches shimmer in the wooded setting of Fairy Valley, with natural element guest seating and a chandelier above the rustic altar. Tillberg says weddings can take place on her property or she could rent other venues.

“That’s the whole point of a pop-up wedding is that it can pop up anywhere,” she said.

With the booking calendar for wedding dates, happy brides to groom’s fathers are thrilled with the service.

“She planned my whole wedding,” said bride Cassidy Pelletier, who married in August 2020.

“It was supposed to be a smaller wedding of 50 people because that was the maximum number of people we could have during the COVID restrictions. It was beautiful. I walked down the aisle through a fairy garden and there was a large white archway. It was August and everything was in autumn colors. It was truly magnificent.

Jim Wright, father of groom Brandon Wright who married Khim Kaing, says his son’s wedding was perfect in every way.

“Nancy and I sat down and planned it all in one evening,” Jim Wright said. “She took care of everything. My son and his wife were getting married in the Dominican Republic because they just wanted a quick wedding where you show up and everything is taken care of – and that’s what they got and it was perfect. I knew she would do a fantastic job.

Henriette DeBruin, the mother of the bride Rebecca (Debruin) Tallon who married Connor Tallon, says that after being the third of her four married daughters, the price was affordable and reasonable.

“It was a very good day, a great day and easy to organize,” said Henriette DeBruin.

“If you want a small wedding, that’s great. She is so easy to work with. I was really impressed. . . . It was just well done.

Tillberg called these micro-weddings an all-inclusive two-hour Vegas wedding for the couple, their family and best friends.

“We cut costs so you have enough money left over to buy a car, pay for your education, or save for your child’s education, or whatever else you want to do. The average cost of a wedding right now is $29,400 and our weddings start at $2,500,” Tillberg said.

All-inclusive packages include photography, a decorated venue for 20 people, officiant, bridal bouquet and boutonniere, cake, music, and soft drinks to toast the newlyweds.

Optional upgrades including additional seating, picnic lunches, live music, and a canine ring bearer are available.

Visit for more information.

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal

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