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I wanna go back: Back in Time Photos launches in rural Dickinson

Alicia Epps, left, and her mom, Lori Oakland, pose in front of their mobile photo studio at their farm in rural Dickinson on Monday evening.

When Lori and Darryl Oakland moved onto their farm near the Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport, there was a lot of cleaning to do.

The previous owner had collected items from auction and rummage sales throughout the years. An old granary and another out building were filled with the owner's haul.

As the Oaklands were cleaning out the buildings, Lori saw some potential in the granary and wanted to do something cool with it.

When Lori and Darryl were down in Deadwood, S.D., had their photographs taken at one of the old-time photo stores. While the experience was fun, something was missing.

"We were sitting there, and people were walking through and you're trying to be all sexy and people are standing around," Lori said.

The fate of the granary was decided.

Back in Time Photos was born as Lori and Darryl, along with their daughter Alicia Epps, started searching for props and costumes to turn the small shed into a saloon, a jail, a bank and a powder room, with an old cast-iron tub that came from a house in Dickinson.

"And then, since mom and Darryl have the animals, we thought it would be fun -- they would be able to be western from the get-go," Alicia said. "They would feel more western coming right up the driveway."

The idea was to give more personal service than the stores in tourist towns and make getting the photographs taken an event.

"You're here with your photographer and nobody else is scheduled at that time -- just you," Lori said.

The studio will be open year-round, but they also created a trailer to take to festivals in cities where the service isn't available, like downtown Dickinson's Alive at 5 street festivals on Thursday nights.

"We're looking at setting it up at the venues and stuff, and maybe doing some corporate Christmas parties or family reunions or anything like that," Alicia said.

Darryl built the sets inside the studio and the trio has been looking for props and costumes on their travels and online throughout the winter.

Back in Time Photos offers a few different packages, including a Mother's Day special going through Saturday, and a Girl's Night Out package, geared toward bachelorette parties and other girls-only events.

"I think it's the perfect gift for someone who has everything," Lori said.

Look for their trailer at festivals this summer, call and book an appointment at 406-396-0561 or 406-240-9908 or visit their website at The studio is located near the Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport at 11225 42 St. SW in rural Dickinson.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206