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Photo studio aims to make dreams come true

Posted on March 22, 2021

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Mirabela Kruger is shown in her new photography boutique, Fofia Studio Creation on Main Street in downtown Bailey.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

Mirabela Kruger is shown in her new photography boutique, Fofia Studio Creation on Main Street in downtown Bailey.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

BAILEY — A photographer with an impressive resume has opened a downtown picture boutique.

Mirabela Kruger runs Fofia Studio Creation on Main Street. The studio’s name is a reference to Kruger’s daughter. When 12-year-old Sofia Renee was a young child, she pronounced her first name “Fofia.” 

“Very few things I don’t offer,” Kruger said. “I don’t do cookie-cutter photography. I’m not focused on one style. I say, ‘Close your eyes, let your imagination fly, tell me your vision and I will bring it to life.’”

Kruger said she knows professional photography sessions can be expensive.

“Come to me with a budget,” Kruger said. “I offer a one-stop shop and payment plans. I want people to have the ability to have a luxurious wedding by offering quality at affordable prices.”

Kruger said she’s willing to help fulfill dreams because she understands life’s ups and downs.

Kruger’s son Hunter spent 289 days in the hospital after his birth four years ago. Hunter suffers from a rare disease with only 1,000 cases worldwide. So far, the boy has undergone 27 surgeries.

“His chance of survival was very low,” Kruger said.

A wedding planner at the time, Kruger began taking photos of her son to document his hospital stay in case that was the only memory of him the family would have. She found herself developing a passion for photography and began offering free sessions to families with children in the hospital.

“I could relate to them and share my own story,” Kruger said. “Photography clicked.”

After 19 months in a Raleigh hospital, the family took Hunter to specialists at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

At one point, Hunter died, but hospital staffers were able to bring him back after 17 minutes of CPR, Kruger said.

“We were given a second chance,” she said.

The family spent time at the Ronald McDonald House, and again, Kruger found herself taking photos of the other families staying there in order to give them something to remember their often terminal children.

“In a weird way, photography chose me,” Kruger said. “I knew then I would switch to photography.”

“I get asked a lot how we handle our kid going into the hospital so much,” Kruger said. “I say ‘We just have to do it.’”

Both her family and her husband Kevin’s families have helped the Krugers. 

“You create a plan and stick to it,” Kruger said, attributing her ability to run a business and juggle appointments to her time spend running back and forth to Atlanta, a 700-mile round trip.

At the children’s hospital, her photography career went full-bloom. 

Television and radio host Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol” fame is an Atlanta native. His nonprofit Ryan Seacrest Foundation has a center at the children’s hospital.

One day about three years ago, Kruger was in the hospital with her son when a foundation employee told her that its regular photographer called out and the group needed someone to fill in immediately. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity led to more gigs with the foundation. 

Kruger has photographed a who’s who of pop music stars — including Selena Gomez — and many other celebrities.

A Raleigh resident, Kruger stumbled across the empty building in Bailey while helping her parents look for space to open a new restaurant.

“I had never thought about a studio,” Kruger said. “I walked in here and fell in love.”

The restaurant never happened, but Kruger’s studio opened for business earlier this month.

Kruger offers photography for everything from real estate to weddings and family portraits to fashion modeling and actor headshots.

Kruger scheduled a headshot event in Raleigh on Wednesday. She will soon travel to Maine and Texas for wedding shoots.

To ask questions or book an appointment, call 919-348-4342 or drop by the studio at 6222 Main St. in Bailey.

Kruger is on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram with the username @fofiastudiocreation.  

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