Getting to Know Local Cornelius Photographer Deborah Young

The exterior of Young’s studio in OTC

It’s a bright, fall day. The birds are chirping, the leaves are turning a golden brown, and there’s a scarecrow casually reclining on an iron rod bench. This is the scene outside of Deborah Young’s photography studio, a quaint, homely space on Catawba avenue. You may know Deborah, as she’s been a photographer for the past 40 years, traveling across the world and snapping incredible shots featured in numerous publications for their unique artistic elements. For the last 25 years of her career she has settled in Cornelius. She is truly a master of her craft, specializing in family portraits, senior photos, professional profiles, and any other unforgettable life moment you’re looking to capture. 

“Fall is my favorite time to take pictures. I love scheduling tips to the mountains, and I invite my clients to join me for fun exploring sessions.”

Deborah Young

New Changes

Covid has hit many local businesses hard, but Deborah has been steadfast in finding ways to create safe environments to craft beautiful shots for her clients. “The pandemic has impacted my business in both positive and negative ways. I promised myself I would retire in installments, and take a few months off each year. Covid gave me a chance to see what that felt like during the first few months of shutdown. I have had several commercial jobs, but during this time people are really seeing that family is one of the most important things in the world; and they are calling me to photograph their families. While I have seen an impact on the income of my studio as a result of Covid, my business is strong, and I have loyal customers who have supported me through this time.” 

Although the pandemic has brought uncertainty, a small blessing can be found. During this time families came together; be it because of less travel, students being home from college, or working from home. People have found they have more time to spend together, in their own homes and backyards. As the fall season approaches, Deborah is finding ways for families to be safe and still capture those precious moments, especially while everyone is together. “I always make sure to wear my mask during photo sessions, I clean and sanitize the studio in between each session, and I practice all of the guidelines set out by the CDC.”

Local Achievements

“Fall is my favorite time to take pictures. I love scheduling tips to the mountains, and I invite my clients to join me for fun exploring sessions. The fall clothing, changing leaves, mountains views, and fireside coziness are some of my favorite moments to capture,” she says.

While living in Cornelius, Deborah has taken some truly great shots. Her most notable project is her “local color” creative art scenics, which can be found around town at OTPH, Brick Row, and also at the Davidson Village Store. Her favorite time to take these shots is during the golden hour, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. She then brings the images into the computer to apply art techniques she’s developed using photoshop, as well as techniques she’s adapted from the days of using a darkroom. 

Some of Young’s local photography hangs in OTPH

“Every year, I feel that I evolve; my work evolves. In January, I made my word for 2020 – Grace. I planned to approach 2020 with the mindset of giving others grace, and I would feel grace given to me, and I would give myself grace. My goal was to grow, and to evolve to accept grace in my life. I had no idea I would get such an opportunity to practice this mantra!”

If you’re interested in any of Deborah’s services, or just want to check out some of her incredible work, head on over to her website!

Bella Love also did a feature on Deborah back in 2013, which can be viewed on their Facebook page here.