That’s the word photographers Gerry Monteux and Jessie Selah use to describe how they came to be business partners, sharing gallery and studio space on Main Street for their respective photographic pursuits.
Monteux Gallery and Jessie Selah Photography are located at 100 Main St. in Ellsworth (behind Union River Book & Toy Co. and next to Karen’s Café).
Both Monteux and Selah have been taking photographs for a long time, but only more recently as a professional pursuit. For Selah, it’s been about a year. Monteux said he’s been shooting seriously for about six years, but that a recent change in his work life enabled him to pursue it even more.
Also known as a veteran sportscaster by the name Bill Patrick, Monteux recently found himself with less time in front of the TV cameras after “things changed, as they do, at TV networks.”
He had wanted to have his own gallery space for “quite some time,” and in early April he said he “decided to take the plunge.”
Monteux’s focus is wildlife photography, while Selah works on weddings, high school senior portraits, engagements, events and other types of photography. Looking at photos of puffins and other birds, Selah joked with Monteux, saying, “Your clients might be cuter than mine.”
Despite having a different focus, they share common ground on areas such as what brand of cameras they use — for both, it’s Nikon.
“Is there any other kind?” asked Selah with a laugh.
“Not that I’m aware of,” Monteux said.
Monteux and Selah are excited about the location of their galleries and studio. Customers coming into Union River Book & Toy can meander back to Karen’s Café for a coffee and see their photography and check it out.
Monteux is eyeing partnerships with the Natural Resources Council of Maine and with Downeast Horizons. The latter organization holds a special place in his heart, as his sister, Sylvia Monteux, is a resident at one of its local homes in Ellsworth.
Selah said she wants to do projects that “help those who are struggling,” such as cancer patients. She also said she has “a lot of opinions about natural beauty and really helping women appreciate themselves as they are.”
Both Selah and Monteux said they plan to offer their expertise to others in the future, too.
“We’re both going to do lessons and seminars,” he said. “These days, everybody’s got a camera, even if it’s their phone.”
“But they want to know how to use them,” said Selah.