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Estate attorney follows her long time passion for photography

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Estate attorney Angela Bilen followed her long time passion for photography by starting Capture A Moment Photography in 2010 with long time friend Jen Dera. A couple of years later, the two opened a studio in the historic Mineral Bath Hotel in Mount Clemens. And now, having outgrown that space, the pair moved in March to a larger studio in New Baltimore.

“Our new studio, that we designed, offers double the space and has more storage and plenty of room for clients to make themselves at home during the process,” Bilen says. “Our new space is a hit with clients and we look forward to calling New Baltimore home for years to come.”

The shutterbugs, who have won First Place for Detroit A-List Best Portrait Photography and Second Place Wedding Photographer in the Metro Detroit Channel 4 WDIV “4 The Best” contest, travel all over Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and southern St. Clair counties, to take photos of clients at parks, client’s homes, or just about any venue client suggest.

Favorite places include downtown Detroit; Belle Isle; Clinton River Park North in Sterling Heights; Macomb County’s Waldenburg Park and Heritage Gardens/Mae Stecker Park; Van Hoosen Farms, Bloomer Park and Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills; and the downtown/ Riverwalk and the train depot in Mt. Clemens.

The two, who have helped a local Girl Scout troop earn their photography badge, handle all kinds of photography, from boudoir shots to babies, kittens, cars, weddings, engagements, graduations and more. Some clients have become regulars, returning each year to capture photos of the children as they grow. Anthony Forlini, State representative for the 10th Congressional District, was a recent visitor to the studio.

Bilen’s photography clients often become her estate planning clients.

“We work with many young families and as we talk during our session, it’s a natural progression to discuss the ‘what if’s’ in life and the importance to be prepared, not only for each spouse but for their children,” she explains.

“After having spent a session with me as their photographer, they’re comfortable enough to ask for help for their family or for an older relative that they’re concerned about. I’m more than happy to guide them or their elderly family members through this very difficult conversation. Every time I meet with a legal client, the end result is always relief and I’m glad to be that person for them.”

 A graduate of L’anse Creuse High School Central in Macomb County, Bilen earned her undergrad degree in English from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2001 and her law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law (now Detroit Mercy Law) in July 2004.

She chose estate planning as a means to be able to work from home with her first child, a son born in 2005. She began working with other estate planning attorneys who mentored her early in her career; and after her second son was born in 2007, she incorporated her own PLLC. The birth of her second child also strengthened her passion for photography — and with the desire to be more than a “mamarazzi,” in 2009 she moved up from a small Sony Cybershot to a Nikon D3000. In 2010, when she and Dera launched Capture A Moment Photography, she sold the Nikon in favor of a Canon T2i, and later moved to a Canon 7d. “We now rely on Canon 5d Mark III cameras for each of us as our go-to camera for all of our shoots,” she says.

Friends since middle school, Bilen and Dera balance the business tasks, with Dera handling technical issues such as the computers, equipment, website, and blog, and Bilen — who added to her family with the birth of a daughter in 2012 — handling most of the client interaction. She also brought her legal expertise to bear in such matters as incorporating their business and client liability waivers.

The new studio is located at 51400 County Line, Suite B, in New Baltimore. For more information, visit www.captureamomentphoto.com or call (586) 646-8189.

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