Alika Hartmann and Adam Despres started a new Redwood-based photo studio this month, aiming for a reach from Sioux Falls to the Twin Cities.


When Alika Hartmann was finishing high school, the 2006 RVHS grad was convinced of her future.

“I was going to paint,” she said.

Others, however, encouraged her toward another art form – photography.

Hartmann would often photograph the things she wanted to paint, and others saw in the photos she took that she had a creative eye.

Hartmann ultimately accepted that encouragement, and today she and her partner, Adam Despres, have started their own business – Despres Photogra-phy. The two were working together at a photo center in Sioux Falls when they opted to go out on their own.

In Sioux Falls, Hartmann was working in the portrait studio, while Despres was selling cameras.

Both saw in what they were doing at the store their potential was not being tapped.

Hartmann, who learned much of her photography skills on her own, still takes the portraits for the new business located on Second Street.

Despres’ expertise is in action photography.

That skill he learned while serving as a photographer for the United States Air Force.

A self-proclaimed Air Force brat, Despres said he grew up in a lot of different places and at first resisted serving in the Air Force.

His dad, an Air Force recruiter, convinced him, and he spent the next two years learning the ins and outs of taking good photos.

Despres said he had the technical side of photography burned into his brain during his time in the Air Force.

While he might not have appreciated it at the time, he admits now that knowledge is being put to good use in the business.

“He (Adam)?is very good at action shots,”?said Hartmann. “We really match up pretty well.”

The two began taking appointments at their new location in early October.

They have already taken on some business, adding to their portfolio of experience.

Despres said be-tween the two of them they can photograph about anything from weddings and senior pictures to live action shots at athletic events.

The two of them are currently open by appointment, but are scheduled to host an open house at their new location at 126 East Second Street this Saturday.

“We are available by appointment any time for anyone,”?Hartmann said.

The open house, called a Halloween Spooktacular, is being held from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. That day people can bring their kids for a 10-minute mini shoot in their Halloween costumes.

Hartmann said the two chose Redwood Falls as the place to open its business for a number of reasons.

Being it is her hometown, she knows a number of her friends are going to be getting married soon, which means the market exists.

Also, said Hartmann, Redwood Falls is centrally located between the Twin Cities and Sioux Falls, which means they are relatively close to a huge market.

In addition to photos, Despres Photography offers a variety of products including custom designed greeting cards and coffee table books.  

To learn more about Despres Photography or to see some of their work, visit To make an appointment, call (507) 637-2404.