“By looking at the richness in life, we are able to become sensitive to it and capture its real substance. Along the way, we discover what’s personally relevant and celebrate the bond of family.”
Darren Modricker founded Willow Street Pictures in 2002. Willow Street Pictures is now a prominent family and pet photography studio in the Philadelphia area. The studio specializes in capturing the natural and loving bond of families and their pets. Along with pet photography, the studio captures family pictures, high school senior portraits, couples portraits, tasteful boudoir photos, and lifestyle photography.
Born in Lancaster, PA, Darren Modricker moved to Berks County early in his childhood. A friend of the family and a music teacher, Mr. Bozart, taught an elective photography class and introduced Darren to the world of photography.
It was here that Darren made his first print in sixth grade. As a result, he grew a lifelong passion of creating images. He would bring the camera along with him everywhere. Darren continued to explore and refine his art and education by attending the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He graduated in 1990 with a BFA.
Upon graduation, Darren was one of ninety-nine artists in world to be accepted into the Eddie Adams Workshop. Eddie Adams was a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer. Darren was now in a very select group of young artists who were mentored by the top photo editors including Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, Business Week, and National Geographic. Moreover, from this elite group, only 10 won awards based on the work created at the workshop. Darren is very proud and honored to be included in both groups.
An Artist with Heart
Janice Lipzin, Director of Visual Arts and Education for the Banana Factory in Allentown, PA sums it up best in her review of one of Darren’s solo exhibits:
“Darren Modricker is a nationally acclaimed artist specializing in portraits that capture the essence of a person without artifice or posing…. Moreover, he creates an atmosphere of trust with his subjects that enable him to capture such honest images. These powerful photographs celebrate the beauty and the strength of these cancer survivors.”
Apprenticing in NYC
While in art school, and afterwards, Darren worked as an apprentice for several of the leading photographers in NYC. Here, he learned first-hand the technical skills required of professional photographers. He learned it is equally important to know all the steps involved in producing an image for a client in any environment. He also learned how to make sure each and every project was completed on time, on budget, and produced outstanding images that exceeded the client’s expectations.
With this knowledge and a portfolio of images, Darren started to show his work around NYC. He soon began receiving calls from photo editors of the top magazines and record labels for projects. From this, he became nationally recognized for creating portraiture and lifestyle images, which are real, spontaneous and creative.
Darren’s commercial clients were local, national, and international. Additionally, his projects have taken him as far as Madagascar! Darren did an amazing shoot for Mountain Bike magazine in conjunction with a nonprofit Pedals For Progress. He has been commissioned for projects in London and cities all over the world.
Here and Now
After two decades of building Willow Street Pictures fine art portrait studio, Darren has the same passion and drive that he had when first opening. He is always looking for a creative project where his talent and vision can take the studio to the next level.
Most recently, he has been putting his creative energy into film and capturing art through motion. Between his video projects and community efforts, he’s been keeping busy!
Our Founder FAQs
How long have you been involved with photography?
My passion for photography started at an early age. It was during an elective photography class in sixth grade when I saw my first print being developed in the darkroom that I immediately fell in love with it. The teacher was a friend of the family so I took his photography class. I didn’t enter the class thinking it would have a lasting impact on my life, rather, I just thought he was a cool person to hang out with.
As I grew older, I had my 35mm film camera with me 24/7. I would always be seeing and capturing images on film, then running to the darkroom to process it.
After that, it was about making the best print possible which turned into long hours in the darkroom.
What other passions do you have?
Growing up, if I wasn’t creating something in photography then most likely I was on my dirt bike riding out in the fields.
It’s kind of funny how things come full circle in life. I still love to ride and while I have dirt bikes, most of my time is spent on a beautifully made bike that allows me to go on long distance roadtrips on-road and off-road.
My first long distant ride was a little over 3000 miles to the tip of Cape Breton in Canada. My next ride doubled my miles and went cross-country through the heartland of America until I hit the West Coast. My longest ride was over 10,000 to Alaska and back.
I had my camera with me 24/7 and would pull over in my full motorcycle gear to take pictures of beautiful scenes impossible to ignore.
What were you doing before starting Willow Street Pictures?
I had been working all over the world on photoshoots for major corporate clients, magazines, and record labels. Most of my time was in NYC, however on a moment’s notice, clients would call me for an important project and I’d have to jump on a plane and fly to Europe or other parts of the world. It was an amazing time of my life.
What type of projects do you like to work on?
I love collaborating with clients who want something that’s innovative, original, and who are expecting the best work. The images could range from an individual portrait in the studio to spending a day or more creating images with a family on location. The location could be anywhere.
What media outlets have you been featured in?
I’ve been featured on NBC, Discovery Health, TLC, and HGTV. I thought after leaving NYC that type of stuff would fade away. But as it turns out, the major networks came to my studio in Pennsylvania and filmed some of my photoshoots to air on national television and it became a huge hit. It turns out our photoshoot made the top ten episodes for the show. We started receiving phone calls from all across America from viewers who now want to book photoshoots with us.
What celebrities have you been on photoshoot with?
I spent over a decade in NYC in the photography industry and have photographed internationally recognized musicians, corporate moguls, and fashion icons. There was a photoshoot with Sir Richard Branson that I recall being a real challenge. I was shooting with a large format camera that required the person to sit still and he kept moving all over the place.
There was another photoshoot where I lit the band members of Queensryche with a flashlight. I was painting with light and creating something different for each frame. I’m not sure what I was thinking back then but it was a lot of fun.
I’ve also been on photoshoots with Steve Jobs, Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings, Sam Walton, Martin Scorsese, and Bob Weinstein, among other celebrities.
What's something you're proud of that people wouldn't expect?
I was the middle school Ping-Pong champion and I won the title while playing in a highly competitive playoff tournament in the gymnasium in front of the entire student body. I’m proud of this because Ping-Pong was very popular at the time and my dad was incredibly good at it. We played almost every night after school and he never let me win against him. Rather, each day and each month I kept improving my skills to the point where I finally was able to win a game. I’m not sure why this comes to mind, but I love him for making me a better person and would give anything to play another game with him.
“I am inspired by capturing your true family story. I strive to create artwork that showcases the love, bond, and personality of each family we photograph.”
Founded in 2002
A Fine Art Portrait Studio
Darren Behind The Scenes
Darren + Family
Darren with his wife, Helen, daughter, Jasmin and their doggies.
Adventures in the creek
Darren helping out behind the scenes during a fun outdoor photoshoot.
Father + Daughter
Darren with his daughter when she was 7 years old. Now she’s in her 20’s!
Darren + Chelsea
Darren with one of his dogs, Chelsea, being sweet and ready for cuddles.
Darren + Helen
Darren with his wife, Helen, and they’ve been married for over 29 years!
Darren + Jasmin
Darren and Jasmin working behind the scenes getting set up for a photoshoot.
Always up for an adventure
Love To Ride
Take The Road Less Traveled
Darren takes his bike on some great adventures. From cross country trips to 10,000+ mile excursions to Alaska and back, he loves to ride.
“There’s something so free about hopping on my bike without a destination in mind. I’ll set out in a direction and discover so many hidden gems you would never find on a main road.”
Recently, Darren has been strengthening an interest in adventure photography. Capturing outdoor lifestyles including, riding, camping, kayaking, and hiking. Darren believes there’s always a new adventure around the corner.
Alaska or bust
Darren and Jasmin on their road trip to Alaska making a pit stop.
Enjoying small town America
Some small towns really bring you back to the good ol’ days.
Taking a moment to enjoy one of America’s greatest treasures on one of his cross country rides.
Off the beaten path
A day off the asphalt is a day in heaven.
Visiting old college buddies in LA
Stopping by to say hello to Derek Drymon, co-creator of Spongebob and old college roommate.
Expect the unexpected
Sometimes things don’t go as planned but it’s all apart of the journey.
One of the many donation goals our Founder, Darren Modricker, established was to make time in everyone’s schedule for capital campaign projects that not only held meaning, but also helped increase community awareness of important fundraising causes.
The entire Willow Street Pictures creative team is known both locally and nationally for our generous donations to many organizations
We are very proud of the valuable contributions we have made to public and private schools, animal rescues, cancer organizations, service dog foundations, and numerous nonprofits.
We are more than happy to provide information about our services, our recommendations, and answer any questions you may have.
Thank you for your message, we will be in touch within 48 hours.
Willow Street Pictures
2212 Penn Avenue
West Lawn, PA 19609
We offer off-street parking, wheelchair access and are pet friendly!
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