New photography studio opens on Jaffrey Main Street

Photographer Kassia Oaks recently opened a new photography studio on Main Street, at the corner of Blake Street.

Photographer Kassia Oaks recently opened a new photography studio on Main Street, at the corner of Blake Street. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Kassia Oaks, accompanied by her parents, cuts the ribbon on Corner Oak Studio on the corner of Blake and Main streets during the studio’s opening on April 27.

Kassia Oaks, accompanied by her parents, cuts the ribbon on Corner Oak Studio on the corner of Blake and Main streets during the studio’s opening on April 27. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-03-2024 12:01 PM

Kassia Oaks uses her camera to capture major milestones in her clients’ lives – sometimes following them through multiple major life events – and she said her goal is to always capture people’s “authentic energy.”

Oaks opened her first solo studio, Corner Oak Studio, on Main Street in Jaffrey April 27, an extension of her existing professional photography business. Oaks said while she has worked out of studios before, they have always been shared workspaces. After moving to Jaffrey last summer, she said she’s focusing on putting down roots, including a permanent studio.

Oaks grew up in central Massachusetts, and has lived in various places around New England before settling in the Monadnock region. She has been working professionally as a photographer for six years, and made it her full-time career three years ago, but said it’s an art that has always fascinated her.

“I’ve always loved art class since childhood. I think it was sixth grade, we were given all of these art books, and had to sift through them to find a medium to use as inspiration for a project. I remember going through a portrait and nature photography book, and I just thought it was the most ‘real’ version of art,” Oaks said.

Oaks said at the time, she dreamed of becoming a photographer, though in the way many middle- and high-schoolers do, she had several options she was considering, including graphic or web design. She graduated from Cape Cod Community College with an associate’s degree in liberal arts.

Oaks said she has taken some photography classes, but learned her trade mostly through apprenticeships under other photographers and self-teaching. She said one of her favorite pastimes when she was young was visiting nurseries and greenhouses with her father, and photographing the plants.

“I say I’m a nature nerd first, photographer second,” Oaks joked.

She said the creativity of the career is what appeals to her the most.

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“I love the fluidity of the creativity of it, and now that it’s my career I love being able to capture people’s authentic energy,” she said.

Oaks mostly professionally photographs engagement and wedding photos, and families, and said it is that idea of “authentic energy,” rather than consciously trying for the best photo, that leads to the most-natural shots.

“That’s why I love doing wedding photography specifically. I tell my couples that on the day, the most important thing is to be present with your partner, and the good photos come from that,” she said.

Some of those couples will later return for maternity or family portraits.

“That’s one of the most-beautiful parts of this career – to grow with the client and be able to document these big milestones,” Oaks said.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.