FRAN RUCHALSKI

Manhattan, Kansas area editorial, music, sports and event photographer and photojournalist, who has found a home at The Manhattan Mercury.

I am many things to many people. I am Dad to 4. I am Pop to 11. I am the "significant other" to 1. I have lived in a very large city and on a farm outside a small rural town. For the past 7 years, I lived in a little beach town on a small island in Northeast Florida. Yes, I'm a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll and a little bit Jimmy Buffett. I am now living in America's Heartland in Manhattan, Kansas. Prior to this, I never lived more than a hundred miles from the Atlantic Ocean. So, this is a totally new adventure for me.

And I am an exceptional photographer. If I don't have a camera with me, the universe seems somehow out of kilter. And people...not only my mom...think I'm pretty darn good at it. I'm sure you will too. I want to be YOUR photographer.

To put it briefly, I am a photojournalist and editorial photographer at heart. There is nothing I love better than going out on an assignment and being able to illustrate a good story. And then seeing those photos in print. I get an indescribable high from it every time. It's a feeling that never gets old.

I love creating portraits and head shots that convey something special about the person I'm photographing. My goal is to tell your story in a way that's unique to you. I want you and the people that know you to feel I've been able to capture something in my photographs that says "this is you". And I want it to be a process that you'll enjoy and want to do again.

I have made a name for myself with my concert and band photography. The combination of photography and live music is just so natural for me as they are both such a big part of my life. I went to my first concert when I was 12; it was The Grateful Dead at the Spectrum in Philly and they played for 5 hours. I'll never forget it. I spent most of my teen years and beyond going to as many concerts as I could, sometimes 3 or 4 in a week. These days, I get out to probably one live performance a week, sometimes quite a few more. I Shoot Musicians and I make people look like ROCK STARS. No matter what the conditions or the lighting, I will get "the shot". I love to capture that moment when a performer shows their spirit and personality. It's like magic. Capturing that energy and emotion is what it's all about for me. I can capture that moment f