Carol Perialas knew better than to let her high school sweetheart slip away. Instead of letting her family move her back to her roots in Orlando, FL, from her residence in Big Rapids, MI, Perialas took her fate into her own hands.
She realized that although the move was halfway through her junior year in high school, she was turning 18 shortly, which meant it was time to make her own decisions. Shortly after her move to Orlando, Perialas legally emancipated herself and returned to Big Rapids for her senior year with an armful of responsibility, but a good feeling inside.
After the completion of her senior year, Perialas followed her future husband to Lansing while he attended classes at Michigan State University. While in Lansing, Perialas took a position as a hygiene assistant. Her husband enlisted in the military, and Perialas spent her pre-child life traveling from state-to-state. This suited Perialas very well because she wanted to have something going on, and became restless quite easily.
This is why, when Perialas moved to DeWitt in 2000, she started taking photography lessons. Photography gave her an outlet to be creative and do new things with constantly changing environments and people.
Shortly after taking up classes, Perialas started a photography business. Her studio, which she shares with a friend, is named Studio 21, and is located in St. Johns. What started with pictures of her two boys blossomed into a business filled with faces for senior pictures, family portraits and child profiles.
“I love the one-on-one, you get to know [clients’] personalities,” said Perialas. “I like to get them out of their shell, especially the guys, because some get really into it.”
Three years ago, Perialas received her first digital camera from her husband, making the move from manual to digital photography. There were many aspects she adored about the manual experience, for example, the dark room environment. But now that she’s gotten the hang of her digital camera, she wouldn’t go back.
“I couldn’t imagine doing manual anymore. I’m still learning though, and I take classes here and there,” said Perialas.
Although her kids have yet to take any interest in photography, she hopes she can instill her sense of humor and hard work ethic in her children.
“If I do something, I do it 100 percent,” said Perialas.
Her only regret to this day is not getting a college degree, yet by snagging classes here and there, she has been blessed to find a job she loves as a photographer.