Commercial Photography Food, Architecture, Product, Business Headshots

Bike Rack Beer

There are many hidden gems in NW Arkansas, the more you look, the more you'll find. There are all types of products being manufactured or distributed right here in your back yard. Every company has a budget, we can only imagine what Anheuser Busch, Revlon or Nike spends on marketing much less photography in a year. As Ivin Meisner said "Why accept mediocrity when excellence is an option".

Wouldn't it be great if local companies could have a greater level of commercial photography that would compete nationally? My goal has always to offer the highest level of photographic images, whether portraiture or marketing photography. Over the next several months, I'll be taking on internal challenges to prove that for commercial photography by going beyond the norm. One such project involved Bike Rack Beer. I had a vision and this is the result. I also added a 'behind-the-scenes' to show what was involved technical side of the final result featuring this product photography image. As a commercial product photographer, I am constantly expanding the level of creativity and stretching my vision. Wouldn't this be great for a national ad campaign?

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House of Webster

I am constantly amazed at the 'hidden gems' of NW Arkansas and I keep finding them everywhere. During a recent photographic project for the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, I found out about Field Agent and B-Unlimited, I never knew what they did but was impressed to see both and learn more.

House of Webster in Rogers is one such impressive company. They started in 1934 by Roy and Evelynn Webster who sold baked goods. The original house is in the middle of the manufacturing facility with the plant being built around it. They now sell jelly, preserves, biscuit & pancake mix, syrups, toppings, etc. While they have a gift shop beside the manufacturing facility, they sell quite a lot on line and many companies purchase gift assortments in bulk over the holidays for their staff and the companies keep coming back, a great testimony to the great products they provide. The more I tell people about House of Webster, the more I hear how people love the jellies!

Scroll down for the 'behind-the-scenes' images and chef Will West helping style some of the food. A special thanks to Catherine Snelgrove for orchestrating the products in such an organized manner to insure all photos had the right contents. As you can guess, I gained some weight this week with some of the product left behind and it is GOOD! You must try them out either on line or go by their House of Webster store in Rogers!

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The First, the Present & the Memories in Between

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Memories are a POWERFUL thing, it can lift us up, bring us down, make us thankful or learn from mistakes. I was recently working in the shop with walnut wood and the smell triggered memories of my father and I making an entertainment center when i was 16, it's like I was there. The senses of sight, touch and sound are just as impactful.

Recently I was listening to the 70's music on iHeart Radio, wow did it ever take me back to a simpler time, you know the feeling. It's amazing when you hear a song and it unlocks memories and triggers emotions from times you thought you had forgotten, it's a powerful thing. Not long after that, I was thinking, 'what ever happened to my first camera?', honestly, i have no idea, but i had to look on eBay and found the exact model in pristine condition, an Olympus OM10. I purchased a camera exactly like this in 1979 to photograph sporting events for my local hometown newspaper. As soon as I got it, yep, I looked through the viewfinder and, more powerful than any song, a flood of memories came back as I saw the meter and heard the click of the camera and cranked the film advance. Then I looked at my current camera and thought of millions of images I've been blessed to take over the last 35 + years, the people the camera has put me in front of and the number of cameras I've had. So I had to take this photo of the two cameras, the first and the present.

I calculated I've had right at 20 different cameras between, some were very large as the second photo shows (a copy of a self portrait), the largest was a Mamiya RB67 with a 100-200 zoom lens. A few others were Hasselblad that I used at many proms, graduations and weddings and put thousands of rolls of film through them all. Wow how times and technology have changes… but thankful my memories the cameras have given me have never changed.

Business Headshot Tips

Everyone needs a good quality headshot, but what defines a great headshot.


Lets first answer the question of the purpose of a headshot
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1. Shows the face behind the business. This is pretty simple but important so the client can visualize you while talking. This gives your business a personal touch, people like to put a face behind the name, it's a step in making a relationship.

2. To show that you are approachable. Being approachable is crucial in any headshot when you're representing a business, when a prospect can feel connected and feel that they can easily do business with you through a headshot, that quickly turns into profits and more referrals. This is achieved in the posing and expression.

3. A quality headshot will compliment your biography page. While prospects are reading about your history and accomplishments, they will relate this information to your portrait.

4. It will make your website look more professional. Most businesses invest heavily into their web site, it is the 'billboard' for your business, a professional headshot is required.

5. It is useful for Branding and Marketing assets. A headshot is not limited to a website, it is vital in LinkedIn as well as printed materials whether business cards, brochures or even billboards.

So now you are ready for your headshot, here are some Tips:

1- Don't use an old photo of yourself, when you were younger, we all want to look younger, but you want a headshot that shows what you look like now. Anything else is misleading about your age and you want to be honest.
2- The average shelf life of a headshot is about every two years.
3- I always ask the client what type/color background they want. It's best, when applicable, to tie in the background color with the marketing colors or type of business. Background colors can also have a psychological effect, for example, a white background can denote clean, which would be good for doctors, black would denote a more dramatic image.
4- Solid colors work best, ladies should avoid sleeveless outfits, but 1/4 sleeves are ok. Men should be clean shaven. The type of outfit will be reflective of the type of business, a plumber will not need to wear a suit and tie.
5- Since the images can be used on web and print, make sure to get a large resolution file in addition to web resolution.

Business portraits can be in studio….

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Or on location….

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Legacy Bank CEO

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The great leaders we have in NW Arkansas is impressive to say the least. Whether from those small business owners who have excelled to the large corporate CEOs. I know you're tired of me saying this, but I'm truly blessed to have a job where I get to meet these great people. You never know who you'll meet out and about in NWA, they're people just like you and I.

Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph Patrick Swope, who was promoted to CEO of Legacy Bank. In the brief time I had to speak with him, I could tell he was humble and had true concern and dedication for the bank and his new role. I make an effort to listen when great leaders, such as Patrick, speak, you never know where they'll drop 'pearls of wisdom' that could enhance or change your life.

PS: When visiting Legacy Bank web site, I have the honor to have created the banner images on the front page :)

Dr Rosie

I look forward to all my photography sessions. I get to meet great people who are passionate about what they do and have a goal to excel in their industry, that is why they come to Branch Photography for their images. Many times I have the opportunity to collaborate with the client to get the end result they are looking for. Dr Rosie Speck is just that person.

Rosie is one of those people that, after chatting with her, you're thankful to know her. She works closely with people all over the world, diagnosing English as a second language problems and prescribing remedies (to borrow her words). She gives group sessions and webinars to help more of her clients all over the world with their English. Imagine you speak a language other than English and have been given a great job opportunity, but everyone speaks English. Words and phrases, and general 1-2-1 interaction, can be greatly different from your country of origin. This is where Dr Rosie steps in to help make a transition. She has a huge heart for helping others, this is quickly apparent when getting to know others, which makes her even better at what she does.

It takes a lot of thought and courage to rebrand a business, Rosie has done just that with a theme that will be memorable and tie into what she does. Visit her web site at: http://drrosie.org/

Here are a couple of the images created for her business brand…


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Pinnacle Counseling

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Developing relationships is important in any business. Over the past 6 years, I've had the honor to have a continuing relationship with Gary and Sharron Nelson at Pinnacle Counseling. When I first started creating their photos back in 2011, they were increasing their advertising and branding efforts, over time they have increase their staff and patient base. The first reason is because of who they are, they are very kind, receptive and understanding counselors, it's their work and helping of others that has built the service they offer. The other reason is they appreciate quality, not only in the services they provide but also in their marketing. The website is clean and informative with quality images that are consistent and blend together.

When I have photo projects with them, I always have time during set up to visit with Gary. He's an easy gentleman to talk to, genuinely interested and concerned for others, his wife is the same. If you have the need for a counselor for any reason, you'll be glad you contacted Pinnacle Counseling.

Alan Fortenberry Magazine Shoot

Alan Fortenberry is CEO of Beaver Water District. I've had the opportunity to photograph many projects for BWD over the years. This shoot was for a national engineering magazine. I always walk away from BWD more educated about the work that goes into making the water for NWA clean and safe to drink. Just so happens that this day I was able to view the bottom of one of the Sedimentation Basins (bottom image). You can see one full in the background of one of Alan's photos, the purpose of this is rid the water of sediment and done so with he 'paddles' or boards that slowly work across the bottom, pulling the sediment towards the middle of the long pool, then that is transported out to another container. This is just one of the several stages to make the water clean. Normally it's hard to see the boards, this particular day they were cleaning out the bottom and examining for any needed repairs.
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Langman Estate Vineyard and Winery

Style and sophistication, that's the image given to this bottle of fine wine brought in by Jim Langman with Langman Estate Vineyard and Winery.  I learned so much from Jim about how to enjoy a fine wine, how to let it breathe, wine legs and how to let it roll around the palette. He will be having an unveiling and wine tasting May 20, 2017, at Two25 Gallery and Wine Bar in Bentonville. Jim would appreciate your attendance to introduce you to his fine wine selection. He was gracious to give me a bottle, it was great!

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La Huerta Restaurant

I love food photography, but it makes me hungry!  The best part of that is that I mostly get to take the 'subjects' home :)  More than that, I like helping restaurants promote their food and get clients in. These images were created on location for La Huerta in Fayetteville, but La Huerta has several other locations all within the same family. The owner admitted to taking his original photos for his menu with his iPhone and said it was a step up from no photos on the menu at all, but when my images got on their menu it helped sales even more. When I do a food shoot, I want the images to make people hungry. That is my goal, because that's what the restaurant WANTS! Hungry yet?

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La Huerta Restaurant

I love food photography, but it makes me hungry!  The best part of that is that I mostly get to take the 'subjects' home :)  More than that, I like helping restaurants promote their food and get clients in. These images were created on location for La Huerta in Fayetteville, but La Huerta has several other locations all within the same family. The owner admitted to taking his original photos for his menu with his iPhone and said it was a step up from no photos on the menu at all, but when my images got on their menu it helped sales even more. When I do a food shoot, I want the images to make people hungry. That is my goal, because that's what the restaurant WANTS! Hungry yet?

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Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District is responsible for distributing water to Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville and all surrounding cities in NW Arkansas. Having had the opportunity to work closely with BWD in their marketing over the past year, I’ve been privileged to see ‘behind the scenes’ at how much work & dedication goes in to making the water clean. Drawing from the vast supply of water from Beaver Lake, they are consistent and relentless in attaining clean pure drinking water. The Beaver Water District facility is more massive and impressive than you can imagine, I encourage you to visit to see the scale model and map in their lobby to get a better understanding of what goes into providing you the cleanest water possible.


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Legacy Bank - Springdale AR

Legacy Bank asked me to create several images for their 2016 marketing campaign. These images included several scenes around NW Arkansas as well as 5 of their bank locations. I always enjoy the twilight architectural images, they take a LOT longer but they contain so much of a WOW factor. That WOW factor translates into more attention to the marketing and advertising which increases the effectiveness of the advertising. One bank in particular in Springdale, their main branch, was a challenge but at the same time, a challenge I enjoyed and they really appreciated.

The difference is amazing! The goal is to create an image void of obstructions to completely focus on the building, the primary focus of the shoot.
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See the progression of how this image took shape through MANY photos and photoshop talent -

Tyson World HQ - Discovery Building

I have always admired the architecture of the Tyson World Headquarters Discovery Building, located in Springdale Arkansas. I commend the contractors and architects for the building and design, I know Tyson is very proud of this addition to their world headquarters campus. That being said, I’ve been wanting to photograph it for some time. While I have photographed it during the day for Celebrate Arkansas Magazine, I wanted to get an image at night where the building really stands out. After a few emails to the right people, I managed to get permission and notify security what I would be doing. I would never attempt to photograph such a property at suspicious times of day without their knowledge.

I’m thrilled with the final image, all areas of the image are properly displayed with correct colors. I’m looking forward to seeing Tyson use this image world wide.

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Hunt Tower

The Hunt Tower in Rogers Arkansas was recently completed and, as the tallest building in NWA it is very impressive. It stands at 10 stories with 230,000 sf and has many tenants quickly wanting in to enjoy this space.

As impressive as it is, I wanted to photograph it as soon as possible. I went one night and it couldn’t have been a more perfect an evening (except for the one car I had to remove from the image, but that’s ok). After that night, I spent some considerable time making sure every element was taken care of with no distractions.

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Ice Cream at Spark Cafe'

I always enjoy my shoots with Celebrate Arkansas magazine, especially when food is involved… ok, and I get to eat it.  I, recently, photographed ice cream, among other things, at Spark Cafe’ in Bentonville, next door and adjoining the Walmart 5-10 museum.  I’m sad to say, I’ve never been there, but I’m so glad I had the chance, I WILL be back, the ice cream was GREAT.  The cafe’ has a very cool retro feel in every part, from the table tops, straw dispensers and wall decor.  I have been through the museum several years ago, but it’s always interesting to see the items in the 5-10 store.  If you’re around Bentonville, take the time to stop in.

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Celebrate Arkansas magazine - Walton Arts Center

I have had the honor to photograph many covers for Celebrate Arkansas over the past several years, one of my favorite shoots is for the February issue featuring Walton Arts Center and their upcoming Masquerade Ball. This was my fourth year to create the cover/content images for this event. This year was especially great since the new renovation has been completed. It was particularly hard for me to keep it quite on showing the images this year since the shoot was in December and the photo wasn’t being released until February issue. Fayetteville and NWA has always been proud of the Walton Arts Center, it’s shows and great work and now NWA is boasting of a beautiful facility that can be interactive with the thousands of people visiting Dickson St. NWA is proud of it’s many philanthropist who graciously give to the arts and the city of Fayetteville.

You can see below the cover for 2016 in construction vs the completed venue in 2017.

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Walmart Museum Cover - Celebrate Arkansas

The first week of December I had the opportunity to photograph these three ladies on the roof of the Walmart Museum. Due to these ladies extreme schedules, the shoot took place at 7am, setting up at 6:30. It was very cold with frost on the roof, but it turned out great! While I was setting up in near darkness, it was as if someone bumped up the dim switch when the sun made a brief appearance. Just as the sunrise was taking place the ladies were all ready and we captured this image!

This particular shoot was a blessing for two reasons. First, these ladies, who all work for Walmart Home Office, have very busy schedules in addition to their travels. They were all able to make it at this time. Second, which adds to the first, it had been raining for 5 straight days leading up to this shoot, then this morning, the skies cleared making available perfect conditions for this portrait for the January 2016 cover.
Check out the digital copy here!
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