“It’s a collective effort and it takes a village.”

Mark Trembley fondly remembers setting a Junior Achievement national selling record when he was a kid growing up in Massachusetts. Now, as a semi-retired photographer living in Fountain Hills, he’s equally fond of the opportunities local nonprofit groups provide area children and the way his talent serves them through the Fountain Hills Community Foundation.

“I think our nonprofit organizations give our kids that something extra they need to be successful,” he said. “Our donations allow them to keep going right here in town.”

Mark has donated his photography talents to Flutter at the Fountain every year since the fundraiser’s inception in 2020. He helps choose the background for the butterflies, controls the lighting, then meticulously photographs the front and back of each work of art to maximize its beauty.

“When I was first asked to photograph the butterflies, I had a lot of fun doing that,” he said, “To see them go from a blank stainless-steel plate to the finished piece is really impressive. There’s a huge amount of effort that goes into transforming them.”

His accomplished career began as a hobby photographing drag races when he was young, then grew into a money-making business after a friend convinced him to take his wedding photographs. After moving to Fountain Hills in 1997, he opened a portrait studio on the corner of Palisades and La Montana Drive. By his estimate, he photographed 1500 weddings all around the country before a fire destroyed his studio in 2004. In addition, he was a photographer for the racing teams sponsored by CSK Auto (now O’Reilly Auto Parts). A few of his favorite images are displayed in his home.

Today, Mark’s portrait photography business is part-time, specializing in headshots for area professionals, graduating seniors, and families wanting to capture that special moment. In addition to volunteering his photography skills to the FHCF, he also acts as photographer for the Arizona rock band, Wysdomb, for which his wife, Debbie Schilling, is lead singer.

The long-time Fountain Hills resident says he enjoys being part of a talented pool of people who are passionate about contributing to the betterment of Fountain Hills.

“I’m very proud of what I do, and I enjoy doing it,” he said. “I’m always taken aback by the promotional materials that have my images on it. It warms my heart. Whether you can give a lot or give a little, it doesn’t matter. It’s a collective effort and it takes a village.”