Guest Blog Post by Dan and Debbie Ficek ,owners of D2 Photography

As small business owners in the Salem/Keizer area, we do our best to promote and support other small businesses. It’s what keeps our community connected. Think about it, you can go to Walmart and have your photos printed, or you can walk into a local shop, meet the owner, build a relationship, and have your photos printed. Not only are you supporting a local business, but you’re building a REAL LIVE relationship. In the age of social media, it’s so easy to get lost in the crowd or even worse, to FEEL connected when in truth, there is no connection.

Here’s a personal example; we’ve always ordered our business cards from VistaPrint. It’s online, it’s easy, fast and involves no interaction. However, while ordering from VistaPrint, we’re failing to connect with people in our own community that work hard to provide the best service and product while also connecting with us on a human level. For this reason, we have chosen to start using a local printer here in Salem (insert plug here ——– @prettygoodprinting). This is only one way to connect locally.

The other way we enjoy connecting with our community is to give back. One of the ways we do this is to offer free senior photo sessions to high school seniors who are in foster care. We treat these sessions the same as if they were paying customers getting our most expensive package! We strive to make it about the graduate and make sure they have a good time and are happy with their final images. We’ve also reached out to the local Marion County Drug Court judge to offer free headshot sessions and images to graduates of the drug court program. Finally, we’re in the final stages of being approved to participate in an organization called Portraits for Patriots, offering free sessions and one image to men and women transitioning from the military to civilian life. To some, this business model may not make sense, I mean, aren’t we in business to make money? Of course, but we believe that giving back to the community, supporting other small businesses and being honest and fair in our dealings, will always pay off in the end.

I encourage you, the next time you need a service or product, do a quick search of local businesses able to provide that service or product. A great place to start is with Keep It Local Salem! The small business owners will appreciate you and, in the process, you may just make a new friend!

-Danial Ficek

ABOUT THE AUTHOR— DAN FICEK

Dan owns D2 Photography, LLC with his wife of sixteen years, Deborah. When he’s not taking photos, he works full time for the State of Oregon’s Child Welfare ensuring the safety of children in the community and helping families with needed resources. Photography is a way to have fun at work and give back to the community. We often take photos for adoption ceremonies and resource families for children in care.