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story.lead_photo.caption Paige Crabill has lived in Callaway County for eight years. She graduated from William Woods University with a degree in graphic design and owns Crabill Photo Co. on Court Street in Fulton. (Submitted photo)

Paige Crabill has lived in Callaway County for eight years. She graduated from William Woods University with a degree in graphic design.

"I had to take a photography class and that's what kind of sparked my interest in photography," Crabill said.

After graduating, she worked at a graphic design job for three years and did photography on the side. But she had the desire to do more photography.

"Almost two years ago I quit to pursue photography full-time, and I haven't looked back," she said. "I love it."

She owns a photography studio on Court Street called Crabill Photo Co.

"I've always dreamed of having a studio," Crabill said. "And that dream finally came true this spring. It was one of those things where I was nervous it wouldn't take off. We put so many hours into making it our dream space, a space where people would feel cozy and welcome when they come in for their session."

Growing up, she always begged her mom to move to Fulton, but that didn't happen until she met her husband of three years, Brendon Crabill.

Though she's pretty busy with her photography career, during her spare time she enjoys hanging out at home with her husband and playing video games.

What was your first job?

My first job was McDonald's here in Fulton. My freshman year I commuted to college. Second year, I moved in with Brendon and we also had another roommate, so I had to pay rent for the first time. I had college and cheerleading, so they worked with my schedule. It was definitely a good learning experience.

Who inspires you the most?

Both of my parents. In high school, they really pushed for me to study and get good grades to get into college so I could have all the opportunities that I wanted. With graphic design you have to have a degree and that's what I wanted to do, so they helped me with that. They helped put me through college. What student loans didn't cover they paid for.

My mom worked all her life until she got into a car accident, which handicapped her permanently, so she was a stay-at-home mom. And that alone is a crazy job. And then my dad, he worked in the family business for a very long time, left that, got a different job and right before I quit — he's the one who kind of inspired me to quit my job — he quit his job to pursue his own business. And I was like, you know what, that sounds really nice, I'm going to try that.

What have you done that has been the most fulfilling?

Starting my own business. Being a business owner in general is just really, really hard. It's really stressful. You're working for yourself, handling money, emails, scheduling, all that stuff. And then on top of that, photography is really expensive. I wish someone would have told me before getting into it. I mean, I have so much equipment. At my graphic design job, all the money I got there went to paying bills, and then the money I made on photography went into savings to buy whatever I needed to get me started. So I think that's the most fulfilling thing I've done. My parents helped me with my degree, but I built this business completely by myself.

What is something you are proud of that you've been recognized for?

Just being super independent. My husband tells me all the time. And I have clients that have become really great friends that tell me. So basically, my dedication. Not just to the business itself, but to my clients and making sure my clients' experience is good. Just all the hard work I've put into it. They tell me all the time I do such a great job. Sometimes as a business owner you feel like you're not doing a good job, so definitely that.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

Definitely still my job. I specialize in seniors and then weddings and couples. I still do a little bit of family stuff. But I think what I would like to do with the wedding portion is travel more. That would be a cool job. I would just like to be able to see more, but still do what I love.

What is a job that you wouldn't want to do?

Honestly, any job where I couldn't be my own boss. I don't know if I could ever go back to working for someone else. Being able to make my own schedule, if I want to take a vacation or a quick trip I can do that. I basically spoil myself. So any job I couldn't work for myself, I would just prefer not to.

What is your favorite thing about Callaway County?

I actually brag about Callaway County all the time, or Fulton in general. I'm from a really small town. It's the kind of town where everyone knows everyone, and if you're not like a certain family, you're not it. So living in my hometown wasn't a really good experience for me. Moving here, I've never ran into people like that. The community is just so kind, so nice. Whenever I moved here, everyone was so nice to me. When I was starting my business, the people I worked with would help spread the word about my business on social media, they'd hand out business cards, things like that. It's a very close-knit town. And it's not too small or too big. I feel like if you need something, someone is always there for you.

This column serves as a spotlight, highlighting the everyday people who work and live in Callaway County. The Fulton Sun takes a moment with someone who is not usually featured in the news but is just as instrumental in making the community the strong and beautiful place residents here know and love. To nominate someone, email [email protected]

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