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Photographers open new studio near Tea

Greg & LaRae Photography opened their new studio south of Wild Water West this month.

Greg and LaRae Gieske built a 3,000 square foot studio next to Blue Haven Barn & Gardens at 46598 268th Street. They moved from their space at 8th and Railroad in downtown Sioux Falls where they had their studio for two and a half years.

“We just kind of outgrew it and needed more room,” LaRae said.

The studio was designed as a modern, industrial look. The south end of the building where clients enter includes bar-height tables and chairs and a viewing area for clients to view their photos. That space may also someday be home to a like-minded business or two.

Walking north in the studio is the shooting bay. They have all of their lighting gear, backdrops and camera gear set up and ready for shoots. It also includes a changing room, restroom and Greg’s office.

The Gieskes met when LaRae was a freshman at the University of Sioux Falls and Greg was a junior at Roosevelt High School. Greg had taken all of the available art classes at Roosevelt and his teacher got him signed up for an art class at USF.

They reconnected again a few years later and got married in 2002. Today, the couple lives in Sioux Falls with their two sons.

Born in Montana and raised in Hill City, LaRae has called Sioux Falls home since going to USF where she studied graphic design and art education. In addition to photography, she is an art teacher for middle and high school students at Axtell Park in Sioux Falls.

LaRae feels that teaching art helps sharpen her photography.

“I feel like they sharpen each other. I can take what I know from photography and get it to the students. That artistic sense that I have naturally works with photography,” she said. “It’s a way of keeping energized and creative.”

Greg is a Sioux Falls native and works their photography business full-time. He started photography full-time in 2005 and shot weddings and portraiture until 2008 when Greg felt a calling to join the military. In 2008, he joined the army as a forward observer. After his Major asked if anyone had a camera at a field training exercise and he was the only one, he took some photos for the army.

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