"Jack of all trades, master of none."
That phrase, in its common current use, normally describes someone who can do many things, but do none of those things exceptionally.
Undoubtedly, though, there are those among us who can arguably be described as "masters" of more than one trade.
Dave Caldwell/MDN •
Kim Whittemore, owner of 360 Digitography, pauses Friday in the midst of preparing to relocate her business to a new, downtown location.
Although she is loath to describe herself as "a professional photographer," Kim Whittemore has been in the photography business since 2001. At the very least and with a little coaxing, she will humbly admit with a smile she "makes money doing it."
"I don't know that you ever truly master the art of photography," she said Friday, amid painting and packing in the midst of a relocation of her business.
But Whittemore, owner of 360 Digitography in Minot, is much more multifaceted and talented than she would be willing to admit.
After seven years at its South Broadway location, Whittemore's 360 Digitography is moving downtown to the Main Medical Building, located at 315 S. Main St.
"I have more space than I really need, so I just want to compact things down," she said. "I'm looking for a smaller, kind of more intimate space."
Along with the change in venue, Whittemore said the focus of the business would also be changing.
"We're going to veer more towards the newborns and kids," she said. "We do well with kids, so we're going to try to create kind of a niche with kids.
"But we're still doing the other kinds of photography, and actually we're going to dive into a few weddings here and there, which is something I haven't done for quite a few years."
Whittemore said she prides herself on her studio's relaxed atmosphere.
"We're really laid-back," she said. "We're not your average photography studio. We're a little 'off the beaten path,' I'd like to say, and I'm proud of that.
"People can just come here and feel really comfortable with us. We're really down-to-earth."
In addition, Whittemore said 360 Digitography is incorporating high-definition video shoots into graduation photo sessions.
"I'll make a very nice DVD-movie-video kind of thing - a little time capsule for the grads," she said.
She also has plans to incorporate video into wedding shoots and newborn sessions as well.
"We're not videographers by any means, but it's just something really nice to add into your session so it's not just flat pictures anymore," Whittemore said.
In addition to making a living by putting people under bright lights in order to shoot their photos, Whittemore has considerable experience being under bright lights herself. An accomplished musician and singer, she is currently playing in two area bands.
For several years she has been featured on vocals, guitar and keyboards in the popular rock act Reckless Jefferson, but she recently decided to add to her aural portfolio by taking on a gig with a country band.
"I used to do country back in the 1990s with a group called High Fever," Whittemore said. High Fever eventually morphed into Reckless Jefferson.
"But an opportunity came to me to actually switch an instrument, and change the style of music," she said. "So I thought about it and just grabbed it."
Whittemore's new gig is as the bass player in the new band Branded.
"I like country, and bass is a lot different," she said with a laugh. "It's a fun, but difficult, instrument to master - I'm enjoying it a lot, and it's kind of nice to have both.
"It makes me look forward to each one differently."
Through that musical background and the connections that came with it, Whittemore has made many, many valuable connections in the Minot entertainment scene.
A few years ago, inspiration struck, causing her to parlay some of those connections into a charitable effort that has become a notable fundraiser in the fight against cancer.
The Minot Bands Together projects she has helped to spearhead over three of the past four years have become critical and popular successes. The past two, in 2008 and 2010, each raised about $28,000 to be donated to the American Cancer Society.
"That's something that's near and dear to my heart," Whittemore said reflectively. "I know of so many people who are dealing with cancer, and it's wonderful that musicians and people who like to listed to music can come together and raise a ton of money to help out."
Organizing those events, which usually involve reuniting popular bands from the Minot area's past music scenes, is a massive undertaking. In fact, Whittemore said, she's never sure from year to year whether or when there will be another.
"It's not always easy to get these bands together," she said.
"We want to make the most of the chance we have to do it," she said. "If it's this year, great. If not, we'll wait. If the time's not right, we'll do it next year or the year after that.
"But we'd like to keep it that way. Then, it's something special that you don't see every day."
"It still would be great to get four (current) local bands in an evening, I think that would be an attraction too," Whittemore said. "But then again, they can see those people all the time, so it's maybe not quite as special an appeal."