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Letters 09-22-2014

Lame Duck Move

Twenty three states are controlled by Republican state legislatures and governors including Michigan. It is reported that Michigan Republicans are planning a sneak attack during the lame duck session to change the way electoral votes are allocated in presidential elections...

Lessons From The Middle East

“My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” That statement applies in the Middle East....

Student Athletes, Coaches Worth It

Are coaches at major universities overpaid? A simple Google search will show quite the opposite. These coaches do not get paid with taxpayer money. The coaches get paid by media companies, equipment companies, alumni groups, as well as revenue from ticket sales and merchandise...

Mute The Political Ads

Mark Sunday, September 14th as the opening of the flood gates, with TV political attack advertising. Fasten your seat belts until November 4th...

Home · Articles · News · Features · He got carded
. . . .

He got carded

Erin Crowell - November 30th, 2009
He Got Carded...
Photographer’s greeting cards
offer a touch of Northern Michigan
By Erin Crowell
Noah Creamer was just finishing his degree from Grand Valley State University when the economy started hitting rock bottom. For the Suttons Bay native, it was either scrap for a minimum wage job or work really hard.
Creamer chose the latter.
With a little sweat, some 50 to 70 hour work weeks and some inspiration from his 12-year-old daughter, Creamer turned a love for photography and the beauty of Northern Michigan into a fulltime business.
Social Explorations is a multi-media company that utilizes the natural landscape of the area for tourist promotion and business ventures through greeting cards, corporate banners and other forms of media.
One of the philosophies of Social Explorations is promote local, use local. Creamer uses local printer Britten Banners to produce some of his larger works; and he has provided his images to a number of local businesses, including the Leelanau Brewing Company.
“I’ve known Noah for a number of years,” says Charles Psenka, owner of the Leelanau brewery. “I’ve also known him to be an insightful, thoughtful person with an insight into human nature.”
Psenka needed high-resolution shots to help advertise his beer and thought of Creamer. So, the two packed up the products and headed down to Whaleback Beach, or Carp River Point near Leland, and took photos of Psenka’s beer on a Northern Michigan backdrop.
“My first beer (Whaleback White) was named after that place,” says Psenka.

A SOCIAL ENDEAVOR
“I’m a big fan of Northern Michigan -- Leelanau County especially,” says Creamer. “Social Explorations came from my love of exploring, interacting with the environment and my passion for sociology.”
Originally, Creamer’s plan was to pursue his master’s in sociology. When he graduated with his Bachelor of Science in liberal studies from GVSU through the Northwestern Michigan College University Center in 2008, financial woes put that dream on hold.
“I’ve always thought of graphic media arts as more of a hobby. But I felt there was a need for it.”
So, Creamer turned his hobby into a fulltime career, creating a business that has survived and flourished in its first year.

LIKE DAUGHTER, LIKE FATHER
“My daughter is a big inspiration,” says Creamer. “I really was learning about the business from her.”
Creamer’s 12-year-old daughter Sierra has had the same interest in photography and has stepped up, making her own personal career. One example includes Creamer’s work with weddings. He has been the photographer for the weddings of friends and family. Sometimes, he would even officiate, which would pose a problem: Who would take the pictures?
“I said, ‘Well, how about Sierra?’ So, she started covering the 15 or so minutes I was up there officiating. She really knows what she’s doing.
“(Sierra) is very much a part of this business. I’m not saying she has to take it over someday, but it’s nice to show her, ‘this is how Dad makes his money.’ She’s even taking photos for her middle school dances.”

GIVING BACK
Local stores, such as Annie’s in downtown Traverse City, carry Creamer’s greeting cards and sell them for around $3.
“The greeting cards are an inexpensive way for visitors to take a piece of Northern Michigan home with them,” says Creamer.
Some of those images might include the docked boats in Charlevoix’s harbor, the jet trails of the Blue Angels flying over Traverse City, or the dunes of Glen Arbor.
Creamer says his end goal would be to set up a scholarship fund for GSVU University Center students through his greeting card sales.
“Most scholarships are geared towards students living on campus. A lot of students at the university center are older, non-traditional students. It’s just an incredible institution and I’d like to give back to it,” says Creamer.
For more products, photos and information on Social Explorations, go to www.socialexplorations.com or call 231-668-9644. You can pick up Creamer’s cards at any of the following locations: Papers and Presents, Annie’s, and The Cherry Stop, Traverse City; Anderson’s Market, The River, and Leelanau Coffee Roasting Co., Glen Arbor; Pegtown Station of Maple City, Michigan’s Gifts & Treasures, Interlochen; Plant Masters, Suttons Bay; Manitou Island Transit in Leland; and Between the Covers Bookstore of Harbor Springs.



 
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