When Jesse and Maria Rinka set up their photography studio at the tail-end of Main Street in Tarrytown in 2015, they immediately began to work with other businesses and organizations in the Rivertowns to give back to the community and other local businesses.
“We found out quickly that you can be an amazing photographer but if you’re not good at business, you aren’t going to make it,” noted Jesse. “We’ve managed to thrive without a solid plan in place and we’ve relied a lot on the help of others along the way.”
This past winter, the Rinkas had an idea to create a beautiful and compelling video to capture a story of true love. They ended up with just that thanks to a collaboration between nearly half-a-dozen local businesses eager to help. “We had this idea to incorporate dancers into the video,” said Rinka. “Since we didn’t have a big budget, we decided to bring in as many partners as possible. First was the location. We needed a venue with a beautiful, open space for dancers to move around. We didn’t have any luck until we went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting at The Lodge at Hudson Harbor and we fell in love with the space.”
Working with another local photographer and Chamber member, Mark Liflander, Jesse approached Hudson Harbor’s Paul Janos who had hosted the Chamber meeting. He was very receptive to their request. “Behind every successful small town business there is a strong community supporting them,” said Janos. “Here in the Rivertowns, a major part of that support comes from the local Chamber of Commerce. As a Chamber member, you have access to network with other local businesses, sharing ideas and ways in which all can thrive and grow together. This project is just one example of the power of networking and community.”
With the indoor venue secured, dancers they found with the help of a local realtor in their network, and a team of other local artists lined up to help, they had one additional need: A venue for outdoor scenes that would provide the grand backdrop for the video’s opening and closing sequences. They immediately thought of Lyndhurst Mansion.
“Lyndhurst Mansion was happy to be included as one of the sites used for the project,” said Naomi Vladeck, Lyndhurst’s Senior Manager of Development. “It’s so important for businesses within a town to work together whenever possible in order to support one another’s growth and strengthen the sense of community.”
The resulting video not only showcased the creativity of Rinka and his team – including videographer Ryan Moynihan – but highlighted the beauty of both The Lodge and Lyndhurst Mansion and provided content that they all could feature on their own web sites.
“I get that strong sense of community when we work with Chamber members because you are often in the same boat as other business owners,” said Rinka. “For future projects, we will try to involve a lot more members to make sure that others benefit from our efforts. Likewise, we are very open to supporting Chamber members if they have a project we can help with.”
To see the video and amazing photos from this project, visit www.jesserinka.photography/blog and click on Igor & Angelina.