Michigan Native Recalls Quaint Park City | ParkRecord.com

Michigan Native Recalls Quaint Park City

Steve Phillips, Park Record contributing writer

Connie Springgate photographs beautifully. The Coalville resident and her husband, Richard, own Springgate Photography, a well-respected architectural photography firm focused on the Park City area. Her eye for interior design and composition blends with her husband’s shooting skills to create breathtaking shots. "I love my job, working with my husband," she says. "He’s the photographer and I’m the ‘stylist.’ I’m also the bookkeeper and office secretary," she laughs. Their photographs have graced the covers and enriched the pages of magazines all over the country, including Park City Magazine, Mountain Express Magazine, Mountain Living Magazine and Western Art and Architecture magazine. Their work has also been featured for the last 10 years in the annual Park City Luxury Home Tour.

Born in Flint, Michigan to Donna and Jerry Brown, she’s one of five daughters (no sons). Growing up there, she and her identical twin, Kim, took great delight in tricking their friends and teachers by switching places In school, she was on both the swim and track teams. She cherishes memories of YWCA summer camp and summer boating with her family. She adds she and her twin sister remain best friends to this day.

As a teenager, she moved with her family to Kwajalein Island on the remote Marshall Island chain in the South Pacific. While teaching swimming there, she met and married her first husband. She has a grown son, Kevin, who lives in North Carolina.

The fledgling family moved to Salt Lake City in 1975, where her husband had lived as a teenager. In 1978 they built one of the first homes in the Prospector area. Park City was a far different place then and they reveled in the small town atmosphere.

When the marriage ended Springgate left Park City, eventually moving to Seattle, Washington in 1987 with her current husband. There they continued developing their architectural photography business. Both avid sailors and scuba divers, they enjoyed extended vacations on their ocean-going sailboat. "We would take five months off each winter and sail in the Mexican Caribbean or the Guatemala and Honduras coasts," says Springgate. Back home in Seattle, summer work was often interrupted by epic, self-supported bicycle trips of 1,000 miles or more across the U.S. and Canada.

In 1998 the couple moved back to Park City, where they found abundant work as growth in the area burgeoned ahead of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The town had changed during her absence, no longer the small town Springgate remembered. But business was good and Springgate Photography thrived.

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Seeking a more relaxed lifestyle, they downsized and moved to Coalville in 2010. They enjoy leisurely evenings on their deck, a stone’s throw from the flowing waters of Chalk Creek. "I love it here," says Springgate. "It’s peaceful, there’s not much traffic and the people are friendly. We’re still close to Park City to come over for the outdoor concerts and great restaurants." She’s quick to add that the Coalville Polar King is "fabulous."

Springgate is a great cook in her own right, always eager to share her recipes. To that end she wrote and self-published a cookbook a few years ago titled Cooking With Connie.

In the last two years Springgate has become more involved in the time intensive, post-production aspects of modern architectural photography. "There is so much to know. I really enjoy seeing images blossom into what we envisioned when we styled and photographed them," she says.

The winter months still offer a welcome break from the often hectic pace of photography during spring and summer. Though their sailing years are behind them, Springgate says they’re looking forward to relaxing on the beach in San Carlos, Mexico this winter. "That’s when I get caught up on my reading," she says.

VITAL STATISTICS:

  • Favorite activities: hiking, swimming, bicycling, cooking, attending Mountain Town Music outdoor concerts and films at the Park City Film Series
  • Favorite foods: Thai, Japanese, Indian, Greek, Italian, southern U.S.
  • Favorite reading: spy thrillers, mystery, adventure, steamy romances
  • Favorite music/performers: unplugged guitar, ballads, love songs / Josh Groben, Michael Buble, Sarah McLaughlin, Bruno Mars and old Simon & Garfunkel
  • Bucket list: travel to Himalayas, Spain, New Zealand, Austria, Alaska; more cooking classes