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Photographer Chris Leonard and his wife Gina, owners of Leonard Photography Studio, hosted business representatives and chamber members to the weekly Manteca Chamber of Commerce coffee last week at the corner of Lincoln and Yosemite avenues. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Chris and Gina Leonard opened the doors of their photography studio at Yosemite and Lincoln avenues in downtown to members of the Manteca business community for their weekly chamber of commerce coffee.

Leonard Photography is now the official yearbook photographer for Manteca High School taking senior portraits and identification photos for the year book and for student body cards for some 1,600 students. 

“I love seniors – that’s my passion meeting them and finding out what they are going to do in life and meeting their parents,” Leonard quipped.  “With our yearbook only photo sessions, we are equally friendly to the students and hope to turn them into sales.”

The cost-free yearbook photo sessions are booked between 3 and 6 p.m. the last Saturday of the month through October, Leonard said.

On the mirror in his dressing room is etched, “You’re never fully dressed until you wear a smile!”

Shim Lacy Watson spoke out to those at the coffee about smiles that Chris and Gina created recently at a Manteca Youth Focus handicapped students’ prom where, she said, the studio went above and beyond photographing those special teens making them feel on top of the world.

Round Up Day started Tuesday and continues today. It is where Manteca High students will go before the camera for their undergrad photos from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. It’s “rough to do for 1600 kids” in that limited amount of time, he said.

Leonard talks proudly about their “Mod Squad” high school students who act as representatives for the studio providing word of mouth support among their peers at Manteca High.  Several of them were present at the chamber coffee event last week.

Gina Leonard said they also enjoy doing families, children and business portraits at their studio.

“We like to do limited edition events several times a year including ‘40s style pinup pictures and we even have a makeup artist come into the studio for our clients.”

On Sunday, Oct. 26, the studio is taking appointments for Baker Beach family and individual portraits using a bridge as a background.  Then, on Oct. 5-6, kids’ portraits will be taken using Hollywood movie themes in creating special memorable portrait sessions.

Special outdoor family portraits “Fall Leaves” sittings are already on their  calendar for Nov. 21-24.