Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Oklahoma Project Produced Tributes Memorial Photos Become Business

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Oklahoma Project Produced Tributes Memorial Photos Become Business

Article excerpt

One year ago, a group of Illinois photographers believed that honoring the people touched by the Oklahoma City bombing was their moral duty.

The staff of Hi-Shots International spent 30 days at the site snapping pictures. They created a commemorative poster featuring rescue workers that raised $100,000 for victims and families.

These days, the company, based in Salem, Ill., has made the same type of tribute their business. When members of the Hi-Shots staff returned from Oklahoma, they wanted to do more than just sell aerial equipment and run a digital imaging service. So they started a new division of their company, called Memorial Tributes, that produces tributes dedicated mostly to deceased people for individual families and organizations. "We were looking for something we could do that would be good for people, that would make people feel good and, at the same time, we would be able to make into a productive business," said Dennis Carter, director of Memorial Tributes. Since February, the division has provided families with an 8-by-10-inch tribute photo of the deceased on a special background. The name, the date of birth and death and a text selection are inscribed on the photo. Surviving relatives or friends provide the picture for each tribute. Each family receives the first tribute for free through the funeral homes. Memorial Tributes banks on the hope that several family members will want a copy of the picture. The second tribute costs $24, and $19 for each additional mail order. The staff does not solicit by phone. More than one out of every four families will buy extra prints, Carter said. The staff also produces tributes to public officials, most recently Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. They do this on their own and offer them to the public. Organizations such as the Red Cross also have hired the company to do tributes to their workers. So far, the tributes seem to be going over well, company officials say. …

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