Spotlight's On: Curbside Capture

I met Monika and James last year at Turner Hall when we were neighboring vendors at Urban Garage Sale and I was instantly impressed by how perfectly they have captured the heart of Milwaukee in images. I love their authenticity in how they've taken what they are passionate about and made it their life's work. Take a look at their website and see if you don't agree?

1. Tell me about Curbside Capture – when and how you got your start?

Curbside Capture Photography’s story starts in the summer of 2013 when James and I met; after traveling over 15,000 miles together in two years, what started as an escape from routines turned into a desire to capture the beauty outside of our car window through photography in addition to memories. While we never intended to sell our photography, our friends kept encouraging us to apply our talent to a tangible medium and after a few successful months we decided to become an official LLC in October of last year with the help of Jan Pierce. We offer Milwaukee and Wisconsin-themed, nature, landscape, and cityscape art prints on canvas, dye-infused aluminum, and Kodak Endura metallic paper mounted onto styrene foam. To see our selection, visit our official website- or Etsy page.

2. What inspires you?
Simple: Life. Every day we wake up and feel like a new adventure is waiting for us, whether it relates to photography or not; each day is different and what inspires us the most is finishing the day before us so we can look forward to the next because the only constant is change and there is no point of staying stagnant.

3. What can customers expect when they work with you?

If a client hires us for a photo shoot, they can expect professional work while having fun. If a customer buys one of our prints , no matter what medium, they can expect durable prints with vibrant colors, brilliant luminescent images, and exceptional detail.

4. Tell us where we can find your awesome work?

We are lucky to be one of 22 makers featured at a brand-new gallery that opened up in Bay View called “Orange Gallery,” our Pacific Coast Highway trio on canvas is available at Clark Graphics, located on the East Side of Milwaukee, and at numerous vending opportunities including Rummage-A-Rama in May, Maker Market, and Bay View Art in the Park! Check out our Facebook page for details.

5. If you could have any celebrity, alive or dead, as your company spokesperson, who would it
be and why?
Since pictures can tell a thousand words, I think James and I would be the only ones who would be able to tell the story behind each photograph since we experienced the captured moment. However, I do believe we have two goals with our company. One is to be able to make Curbside Capture our full-time job so we can continue to photograph the world around us without having to work other jobs to make ends meet. The other is to advocate for numerous causes that we believe in, such as animal rights, preservation of nature and our National Parks, and sustainable farming through photography and stories and I think an excellent partner that would help advance these causes is singer/songwriter Jason Mraz. Mraz is a social activist whose philanthropic efforts cover a variety of issues, including the environment and human rights, so we think he’d be the perfect fit because he already selflessly gives to similar efforts already.

6. In addition to your photography, you seem to post a lot of Milwaukee-related media on your Facebook. Is Milwaukee your hometown?
While James grew up and has lived in the Milwaukee area his whole life, I myself an an “outsider” who has called Milwaukee home for the past seven years; I was born in Poland and left Chicago at 18 years-old but I found my true identity and became comfortable in my own shoes while living in this great city. I have come to love everything about Milwaukee- the people, the culture, and the eclectic tastes of Riverwest, the East Side, and Bay View… I just love it all and we both believe it is important to promote the city that selflessly and endlessly enables us to capture its beauty each day.

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After my first purchase from Monika and James, I was so impressed, I never bought from anyone else again. I’ve been to many of the places they photographed, and it’s like being there again. Incredible! Amazing talent!


Hi Tyler, I have the good fortune of meeting many talented artists and fine crafters in my travels and Monika has a true entrepreneurial heart, spirit and work ethic. I feel blessed to have met her, she inspires me. -Lisa

Lisa, C9SC

I’ve known Monika for over ten years and I’ve never seen her be more passionate about anything (besides her pets!) as she is dedicated to photography and building her image; any time I try to get a hold of her she is working, at a photo shoot, or busy promoting away!

Great people, wonderful company, excellent photography. Great job guys. Really proud of you MJ!

Tyler D.

Hi Joanne,
That’s a great and totally spot-on review of Monika & James work, I completely agree with you!

Lisa, C9SC

I have seen first hand the awesome pictures taken by Monika and James. Their incredible ability to take us inside each photo and make us feel that we are we actually there observing what the camera is capturing is certainly a tribute to their great talent.

Joanne Orban

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