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- Spring Home & Lawn 2015
"If you end up picking something that you love to do as your career, it's not work," said Duane Rieder, a former St. Marys native who now resides in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughters.
These words particularly hold true for Rieder's career, which has allowed him to combine his love of photography, baseball, and winemaking.
Rieder has been operating a commercial photography business, Rieder Photography, in Pittsburgh for over 20 years, taking photos of everything from sports to travel to still life to portraits. A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, his website, www.riederphotography.com, showcases an impressive portfolio of photographs of athletes such as Troy Polamalu, Keyshawn Johnson, Maxime Talbot, Neal Walker, and Marc Andre-Fleury and location shots from Estes Park, Colo.; North Shore, Hawaii; Gettysburg; and Palermo, Italy.
Rieder remarked that the most interesting aspects of his job are the people he gets to meet and the places he is able to visit. In particular, he noted that he had the opportunity a few years ago to create a book of photographs of Pittsburgh that was given to heads of state when Pittsburgh hosted the G-20 Summit in 2009.
"The G-20 Summit was here and I made a panoramic photographic book of Pittsburgh and made 34 of them for [President Barack Obama] to give to all the heads of state. So everyone around the world has my book," Rieder said. "I got to meet the president and hang out with him for about an hour or so."
Copies of the book are also available on Rieder's website.
He noted that one of his most interesting shoots was taking photographs on the set of the television show "Junkyard Wars" in Los Angles, Calif., for Discovery Channel.
"It was a pretty amazing week going to Los Angeles and shooting on the set of 'Junkyard Wars,'" Rieder said.
He is also currently working on a baseball-related project featuring portraits of many of the sport's big-name players.
"I've been shooting portraits of players since 1992 and I started compiling them and putting them in a book. I self-published a book right now called 'Portraits of a Pastime,'" Rieder said.
He added that he still hopes to find a publisher for the book and recently sent out copies to various companies.
"I've been shooting old-fashioned sepia-toned portraits of players and I've shot almost everybody in the last 20 years, from A-Rod to Mark McGwire to Sammy Sosa to Ozzie Smith. I've shot all the Hall of Famers from the last 20 years. It's a pretty cool collection of photographs," Rieder said.
Rieder explained that his love of baseball first began to develop when he was growing up in St. Marys and playing baseball in the Stackpole parking lot. The son of Jack Rieder and Diane Rinella, Duane grew up living on Erie Avenue with his mother, and he and his four siblings would get together with four other boys who lived nearby and play baseball whenever possible.
"That's all we did was play baseball every day, all summer long, even through the night because the parking lot was lighted," Rieder said. "I became a Pirate fanatic and a Roberto Clemente fan there."
Rieder, who attended St. Marys public schools, said his family moved to DuBois when he was in ninth grade. Though he does not make it back to St. Marys very often, he still holds fond memories of the area, noting that it would be "cool" to have a St. Marys jersey hanging in The Clemente Museum, of which he is the owner and curator. The museum and his photography studio are both located in Engine House No. 25, a renovated firehouse located in Lawrenceville.
"The rural area where the firehouse is located is called Lawrenceville and I have an old jersey from the Lawrenceville baseball team hanging downstairs," Rieder said. "[People always ask] 'Oh, did Clemente play for Lawrenceville?' No, but we're in Lawrenceville and I just thought it was cool. It would be neat to have something from St. Marys here because it's where I became a baseball freak."
Rieder became acquainted with the Clemente family when he put together a calendar on Roberto Clemente in 1994. The museum showcases many items that they have personally made available. More information on the museum can be found at www.clementemuseum.com.
Rieder also has a winemaking business, Engine House 25 Wines, and sends out bottles of wine as promotional items for prospective clients of his photography studio. He was able to combine his love of photography and Roberto Clemente with that business and offers a flavor of wine named after Clemente.
"I have a wine that we licensed with the Clemente family that we sell here," Rieder said.
Though his three business ventures keep him busy, Rieder noted that his biggest challenge when it comes to his photography studio is finding clients.
"Pittsburgh is relatively a small city compared to New York or L.A. or Chicago, so to get decent work is a challenge. We're constantly trying to figure out how we're going to get the next job and that's how we started sending the bottles of wine out around the country with my photographs on them," Rieder said. "We're constantly having to do a promo or send people different portfolios and different things to get their attention. Everybody else is doing it, so you have to constantly work from that angle."