North Dakota couple buys Naef photo studio

The Naef Studio in LeMars which has its roots in the early days of the community has been sold by Mrs. LaFern Naef to Christopher B. Becker and his wife, Barbara.

“The sale was effective June 1, 1978,” Mrs. Naef said today, ending 26 years of her business in LeMars. Christopher and Barbara have changed the name to Christopher Portraits. The location in the Naef building at 125 1st St. NW will not be changed and personnel will remain the same.

Mrs. Naef and her husband, the late Harold Naef, bought the business in March 1952.

Mrs. Naef said she began her photography career 42 years ago in 1936 as an apprentice at the Myhre Studio in Laverne, Minn.  After working at the studio a short time, she was sent to the Winona School of Professional Photography Assn. of America.  “It’s the finest school of its kind,” Mrs. Naef commented. In addition, she also has attended the Eastman School of Photography and numerous other photography schools.

Christopher Portraits will become the modern counterpart of the Dabb Studio which opened in LeMars in 1880.  The Dabb Studio remained at 22 ½ Central Ave. NW for many years, but changed hands many times.  Successive owners were Gaspar, Dickensheets, Kirkham, Ward, Richards, then Ward again and in 1952 it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Naef. 

Harold Naef died in 1958, leaving the photography studio to be operated by his wife, LaFern.  Mrs. Naef has operated the business as sole owner since.  The studio remained on Central Ave. until 1965 when the new Naef building was constructed. Mrs. Naef moved her equipment to the large modern studio, which features a large skylight, providing natural daylight for beautiful photography.

Naef’s have featured black and white, direct color and oil painting photography, plus commercial, candid and reproduction photography. 

Christopher Portraits will continue the high standard of excellence, Mrs. Naef said.

~Source: LeMars Daily Sentinel, LeMars, Iowa, June 1978