In this concluding column, I am speaking to Mr. Martin Fella in his photography studio on Main Street in Northampton. This studio has been serving the area for 77 years.
Marty was trained by his father and uncles at the family studio in Bethlehem. He was the school photographer when he was a student at Northampton High School. During his high school years, he also worked at both the Bethlehem and Northampton studios.
When Martin graduated, he continued his career working for his father.
With a smile on his face, he recalled, “My take-home pay was $40 a week.”
He started managing the Northampton studio in 1977.
Since 1977, he has seen major changes in photography. The darkroom and chemicals of the past have been replaced by a dry process. Today, digital cameras have changed photography. Camera prices can range from $4,500 to $50,000.
For 41 years, Mr. Fella was the contract photographer for Northampton Area School District. He spent considerable time in the district. The sports calendar covered football, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball, golf, softball and a number of other sports. Martin was at class plays, concerts, open houses and wherever needed.
Graduation was a busy time for the studio. Each year, there were at least a thousand photos taken.
I asked about weddings. Wedding photography has gradually changed. Many new venues are outdoor parkways, city rose gardens, country clubs and the families’ backyards. Wedding albums are still popular as is the transfer of photos to DVDs.
Mr. Fella also covered appearances and speeches of many political personalities. One of the many officials he photographed- do any of our readers remember Sen. George McGovern from South Dakota? He was the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1972. McGovern lost the election in 1972. He appeared on a campaign stop in Bethlehem. He was defeated by Richard Nixon.
The Northampton Community Center, now a banquet venue, was used by both political parties hosting various candidates. This writer recalls when Sen. Hubert Humphrey gave a political address at the center.
Mr. Fella is not only a photographer; he is very active in the community with Northampton Exchange Club. He has been in the club for 42 years, serving as past president and treasurer for the highly successful Community Days.
The club has made many contributions benefiting the community- the band shell, picnic pavilions and monetary contributions to many nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Fella gets great satisfaction seeing the smiles on his customers’ faces when they look at their photographs.
Martin and his wife, Andrea, are proud of their son, Brent. Mrs. Fella was an excellent elementary teacher in the Northern Lehigh School District.
When Mr. Fella has free time, you can find him snowmobiling in northern Pennsylvania and New York.
Marty is very amiable and dedicated to his profession in continuing the proud tradition of Fella Studios. He is highly respected in Northampton- not only for his excellent photography, but his community service.
See you all in two weeks.