Posted on January 3, 2020 at 10:30 AM by Melissa Horton
A special thanks to the Altoona Chamber for the opportunity to update my fellow Chamber members on Isenberger Photography’s booming business and my great experience working with fellow Altoona business owners and organizers.
It’s hard to believe it’s 2020; 2019 flew by extremely fast! I celebrated my 30th year in the commercial photography business after working for a large catalog studio in Des Moines to kickstart my career. I started my business with film shooting mostly large format film for catalog, fashion, food and product photography. Transitioning into digital several years ago added many more changes. I added simple video production to my repertoire in the early 2000s and in the past 10 years, I’ve become an expert at drone photos and video. The photo industry continually grows and changes.
It’s the same with Altoona. Altoona is continually growing and changing to meet the demands of an expanding population. Julie, our two daughters, Sarah and Katy, and I moved to Altoona from Des Moines in 1997. We moved here because of the Southeast Polk school district and the conveniences of a smaller town. Altoona had a rural Iowa town feel and Des Moines was a short distance away which made it easy to travel to for business, entertainment and more fine dining options. Our businesses took off here in Altoona also. Julie’s marketing company gained clients and I began working more closely with businesses here in Altoona.
As you all likely experience day-to-day, you can see Altoona is still growing today at a comfortable rate. The rural atmosphere has turned into a feeling of a city suburb. People no longer only head west to go shopping or enjoy a nice meal. With the growth of many vacant lots and farm fields surrounding Altoona transforming into shopping centers, outlet stores, hotels, restaurants, parks and bike paths, the attraction of Altoona has grown.
In 2003 I did aerial photos, the old-fashioned way from an airplane, around the Altoona area. In the past few months, I’ve taken drone photos of the same areas. In the photos you can see the areas that have changed and added businesses, convenience stores, housing, hotels, fitness clubs, restaurants and more. The addition of the Outlets of Des Moines Stores, Bass Pro and hotels in the NW area of Altoona has added more businesses and growth to an area that was a field in 2003. And improvements have been made to our city’s security and administration departments to ensure they are finally all in one location.
Julie and I feel blessed to be part of this growing community and encourage you to “stay local” whenever possible. We have great amenities with a smaller community feel.
DID YOU KNOW? I partnered with the Chamber of Commerce on this promotional video. https://www.facebook.com/altoonachamber/videos/2892392237498813/
Intersection of 1st Ave and I-80 taken in 2003. Following photo taken in 2018 showing new industrial park and added businesses. Notice the intersection of I-80 was redone, also.
Triangular area south of Wal-Mart in 2003. Bottom photo with Target, Staples and Lowes. Additional businesses and restaurants along 8th street.
Hy-Vee’s old store in 2003. Bottom photo with new Hy-Vee store and gas station along with businesses and apartments. Notice the pond and trail in 2018 photo behind Hy-Vee.
New Altoona City Hall and Police Department, finished in 2018
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