History 1891-2016


1891 E.J. McDermand opened a Photography Studio at 211 East Main Street in Zeeland (next to where Don's Flowers is today).

1893 E.J. McDermand sold the Studio to his apprentice, William Van Koevering and McDermand moved to back to Tennessee because he was homesick.

1902 the Van Koevering family built a new residence and photography gallery at 52 East Main Street (where the studio is presently located) and moved the Photography Operation there.

1908 Mr. E.J. McDermand moved back to Zeeland and reacquired his Photography Studio Operation.

1926 Nicholas deVries, who had been a photographer in the Netherlands, immigrated to the United States and was sponsored to work at Story & Clark piano factory in Grand Haven.

1927 Nicholas deVries began working for E.J. McDermand as a color artist and negative retoucher.

1938 Mr. E.J. McDermand Died and Nicholas continued working for Mrs. McDermand. 

1940 Mrs. McDermand Died.

1940 Mr. Nicholas deVries made a proposal to the McDermand heirs to purchase the business which they rejected and made the Receptionist, Jennie Karsten the General Manager and with the help of two unknown photographers, kept the business going while Nicholas deVries went to work with the civil Service as a commercial photographer at the Erie Proving Ground in Ohio.

1941 In December while Nicholas deVries was visiting his family, who he had left in Zeeland, he was able to convince the McDermand family heirs (Vern McDermand & Florence Wilson) to sell the studio to him.

1942 Nicholas deVries rebuilt and expanded the photography business allowing for additional family members to join the operation.

1947 John F. deVries (youngest son of Nicholas) started to learn the family craft from his father.

1954 Following Army Service during the Korean conflict, John deVries joined his father, Nicholas, in a partnership.

1957 After a brief illness, Nicholas deVries died, and John took full possession of the Photography Studio.

1973 Following the completion of his business education at Dordt College, in Iowa, John’s son Nicholas deVries began working full time for his father.

1975 Saw the Sole Proprietorship business become a corporation to allow ownership by Nicholas deVries.

1978 Began the expansion of deVries Studio with the purchase of Bulford Studio, 50 East 8th Street, Downtown Holland (the 2nd oldest Studio in Ottawa County - originally Winslow Portrait Studio, 1928).

1978 With the growth of deVries Studio, John’s son Chris deVries also became an owner of the studios. 

1979 Bulford Studio was renamed "Heritage Studio" and continued with great growth in the Holland Area.

1979 deVries Studio purchased Joel's Studio (on River Avenue), renamed it "JPG" (Joel's PhotoGraphics) and moved it to a 6,000 square foot facility at 11223 E. Lakewood Blvd. to do commercial photography This also allowed John deVries to move into corporate management to administer the growing operation.

1981 deVries Studio, branched out to downtown Otsego, Michigan with the purchase of Davis Studio (owned by Russ Culver) and renamed it deVries Gallery.

1983 deVries Gallery was sold to the photographer they employed, Joseph Sherman who has now moved it to Plainwell and renamed the Studio, Photographic Artistry.

1985 Thanksgiving weekend saw an arsonist burn the Zeeland studio to the ground. Fortunately their in-house color lab was located at their commercial studio at the time and all the orders in process were saved.

1986 The Zeeland studio was rebuilt and opened August 1st.

1990 Saw the retirement of John F. deVries and a return to the roots of portraiture. deVries’ sold their commercial Studio, JPG to their head photographer, Tim Priest who moved it to Grand Rapids.

1990 deVries renamed their “Heritage Studio” in Holland to the deVries name.

1994 deVries renamed their Color Printing & Processing Lab "Center Color Lab".

1996 The color lab was sold to Mike and Lisa Smith who renamed it “West Michigan Photo Works” which is now relocated to 160 S. Waverly Road in Holland.

2002 Began the involvement of the 4th generation of deVries’. Chris deVries son began his work as a digital retoucher and photographer.

2004 John F. deVries died on October 22

2012 Because the downtown Holland studio was in need of more room and the building was in the process of being sold and an offer from the new owner was beneficial to both, deVries decided to move their smaller Holland Studio into their much larger facility in Zeeland.

2016 Carmel Brown begins to continue the legacy of high quality photography. Carmel has worked and trained with the Chris and Nick for 8 years and is proud to have this oportunity

. . . the history continues.

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A portrait studio that specializes in families, weddings, children and high school seniors. deVries has been serving the Holland and Zeeland area for over 70 years with classic and contemporary styles.