Commercial Photography Food, Architecture, Product, Business Headshots

U/Ark Tyson Agri Center

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A few months ago I was topping a hill in Fayetteville on the way to a session. From this hill you can see a long distance to the west, the view always provides a great sunset. This day a building caught my eye that I'd never seen before, it had to be about 2-3 miles away. A few days later I was curious and started driving in that direction. What I found was an incredible architecture near the University of Arkansas agricultural and animal science areas. At that time it had the outer beams and no interior finished and I thought, 'how cool would it be to photograph that building'.

Fast forward a few months and in August that became reality. Nabholz construction contacted me to photograph three recently completed constructions. One of them was this building, the University of Arkansas Don Tyson Agri Science Center. I went out late one afternoon to capture a series of images to compile to form the one above. My goal was to accentuate the facility in all it's architectural beauty, eliminating any distractions, large or small, to draw the eye to the main subject. You can see the normal view below, this is what 'most' photographers would see and provide, not me.

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Longhorn Restaurant - Branson

Do you ever look on line for a restaurant to go to? Do you ignore the photos and go straight to the menu? Chances are very high that all the photos of food and the restaurant itself catch your eye and have a great influence on whether you do business with them. The architecture images can attract you just as the food photos.

I had the opportunity to photograph the Longhorn Restaurant in Branson MO for Commercial Realty. I ran into some challenges that forced me to work quickly to allow new staff to come in for training since it was not open yet. It's challenges that make us think quickly and how we react can make or break the job or customer satisfaction. I arrived on location at 7:30 am, since I was 30 minutes early, I took the opportunity to photograph the exterior first since the lighting was nice rather than wait until after I completed the interiors. It was a good thing I did, an hour later, an entire paint crew was out front putting on the finishing touches. When I got inside I noticed the dining area was set for training. After discussions with the GM and calling Commercial Realty, they asked that I photograph everything on the shot list except the dining room. At this point I had 30 minutes to capture three angles before training started, I was proud to say I completed the job as requested and did not interfere with their work.

I always love photographing architecture at dusk because the dark scene forces your eye on the building without distractions, but I really like the final image of the exterior. Look at the "Normal" view (as anyone would photograph it) and the final image where I took the image to another image, forcing your view to the building with little to no distractions.

I've photographed many properties for Commercial Realty and look forward to many more, helping their marketing and success.


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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.

Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Diplomats

I've been a member of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce for a few years now. I've been involved in more networking and going to chamber events. When Shana at the chamber asked if I would be interested in being a Diplomat, while I was honored, I was a little hesitant, not knowing what was involved. After asking around, I'm glad I did. For those who do not know what a chamber diplomat is, they're a volunteer representative of the chamber who attends chamber events (morning breakfasts, after hours, ribbon cuttings, special events and meals on wheels). Since I've been one only 7 months, I've really enjoyed getting to know my fellow diplomats and especially being a part of the community. Being able to see the new businesses and get to know about them is a blessing.

I've tried to attend as many events as possible to be a part, as a result, I've been one of four selected as Diplomat of the Month for the past 3 months. If you want to be a part of the community, join your chamber and get involved, you'll be glad you did.

Diplomats of the Month, June 2017b

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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Rogers Chamber Annual Banquet '17

Photographing the Rogers Chamber of Commerce Annual Event was 'business as usual' throughout the evening, little did I know what a great keynote was waiting. Nick Hobbs did an excellent job interviewing John Roberts, it was very informative, entertaining and motivational. Nick announced he had a surprise speaker, it was Johnelle Hunt, widow of Johnnie Hunt (JB Hunt). You immediately love her, she's so down to earth, sweet, caring and approachable.

After a couple of minutes Nick asked Johnelle about how she and Johnnie got started, she immediately had my full attention. She gave their history of how they got started with the rice hulls business which I didn't know about. She went on to talk about their struggles and how optimistic Johnnie was, and very humble about her role even though we know she as a great support and very hard worker, just as she is today. I was inspired and motivated by the story she shared and how persistent optimism can pay off. I was further enriched by how they both always show gratitude for everyone that works with them, and that's a lot, and also their morality with professional values.

The day after the banquet, I was watching the movie "Founder" about McDonald's 'founder' Ray Kroc, and thought they really should make a movie about Johnnie and Johnelle Hunt, it would make a much better inspirational movie! There is a book "J.B. Hunt: The Long Haul to Success" that I am looking forward to reading more.
Rogers Lowell Chamber Annual BanquetJB Hunt PhotographyJohnelle HuntRogers Event Photographer

Ruth's Chris Wine Room

While at Ruth’s Chris photographing food and the dining room below, I was asked to also photograph the wine room.   This room is located in the middle of the large dining room with “walls” of enclosed wine racks.   While it is a very nice intimate room for a small group, it is also dark for photography.   This may have been a challenge, but also made it more interesting and fun.   Just as with the dining room, but in much tighter quarters, I took over 50 images individually lighting portions of the room (in fact, you can see me with the flash in the normal view image).  Forty nine of these images were combined to create the final image below.   As you can see, the contrast between areas of light and dark excite the visual senses and make you want to look at it longer, exploring the space.
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Outdoor Kitchen and Gathering Area

Photographing exterior structures can be simple or very complicated, all depends on the structure.   I recently had the opportunity to photograph several locations for The Grey Barn.  One of the locations was a beautiful outdoor covered kitchen.  The outdoor kitchen was also a gathering area, very comfortable with fireplace and big screen tv.  When I arrived, I was very impressed, but then thought, through the camera, this will not be as impressive as it actually is, so I had to take it to the next level.  My goal is to take the eye deeper into the image to not only make the viewer desire a place like this or be there, but to also admire all the areas within the structure.   As you can see from the first photo taken, which would be the image some other photographers would accept, to the image with ten other images combined, the mood has drastically changed.  The Final image is more desirable, visually exciting and evokes emotion of a calm relaxing area that would be a place anyone would love to be.

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Crabby's Seafood Bar & Grill

I’ve always heard great things about Crabby’s Restaurant in Rogers and I recently had the honor to photograph it.  It’s a great restaurant, place to gather after work with friends and I wanted to portray it that way.   I wanted to give an excitement and thrill to the eyes that stimulated the brain and took you INTO the image.  Let me put it this way, if you love roller coasters how would you feel about a flat rollercoaster with a few bumps here and there?  One that got up to speed and then let you just coast into the finish, would you be exited?  Would your heart race?  Would you want to get on and ride again?  Well, speaking from experience, and one who loves the thrill of rollercoasters, I would be very disappointed!
The same applies to commercial images.  My goal is to get the view EXCITED about the image, to take the eyes on a visual rollercoaster with excitement that makes them want to stay on the ride.  A ride full of peaks and valleys tall and low (highlights, shadows with great contrast) that excite the visual senses and the brain.  This kind of image sticks in the mind and remembers that ride and where it was, to want to go back again.  The highlighted areas draw the eye to many points throughout the image, makes the viewer examine the photo, become involved and ENJOY THE RIDE!
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Walton Arts Center Interior Renovation

This week I’ll feature some of the interior photos of the Walton Arts Center Renovation. The new facility is incredible to say the least, I know I bragged about it previously, but it’s worth saying again. The lobby is jaw dropping when you walk in. The JB Hunt staircase is encased in beautiful wood and frames the East side of the lobby and can be viewed from outside at any angle. The spacious area gives so much room for many events or extra space for performances. The center piece of the room is the gorgeous chandelier the demands your attention, even if you’re driving down Dickson St.

The Walmart Lobby entrance, on West St, showcases a lighting system that transitions to several colors, always giving the interior a different feel. They can program the lights to show colors based on the performance.

Just like all commercial photography I create, I take them personal. By personal I mean I put myself in my client’s shoes and take on the role of owner and look at it from my perspective as a potential client. First, how would I want my architectural photography to look or be perceived. Secondly, I look at it from a client’s point of view and what would it take to get my attention if I were to see it in advertising. According to my activity on my phone/watch, I walked about 5 miles photographing the interior. You may think, ‘how did you walk so much inside a building just taking pictures?’. To give you a brief idea, I’ve made “progression” photos that show a sampling of what goes into creating some of the interior photos, the Youtube link is below some of the photos below, please take a few seconds to watch, like and subscribe.


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How this Interior photograph was created


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Walton Arts Center Exterior Renovation

It may seem I’ve spent a lot of time at the Walton Arts Center lately, well, you’d be right, but every minute was a pleasure. To be a part, in my small way, of something so great for NWA and Fayetteville, was such an honor. Part of being a photographer is the privilege to go and see things that I would normally not have the opportunity. The Walton Arts Center took on a huge task in 2016 of renovating the facility to give more people the opportunity to be a part of it’s shows and events. One way they did this was to expand the front ‘lobby’ considerably with large window walls so that not only could the people inside enjoy the view but that the people enjoying Dickson St could be a part of the events by simply passing by.

Twilight photography is my favorite for architecture. It takes considerable more time but so worth it and rewarding with the results for the client and myself. The building pops and gives a surreal feel through transforming the reality of what is normally scene. The colors are more vivid the contrast of the interior against a dark sky gives for a very inviting feel. This accomplishes the goal of making the viewer want to visit the location and be a part.

Now for the technical side. This particular twilight photo of the exterior was one of my favorites but also the most time consuming. I have included below a “normal” view (what it looks like in normal view) compared to my finished image compiled of several photographs and eliminating distractions, how ever minor they may be. Remember those pictures in the paper that challenged you to find how man differences you could find? Just to name a few things, reflections on glass walls, proper color temperature of building and sidewalk, replacing bare trees and grass, images showing proper exposure of interior, cleaning shadows and marks on sidewalk and sky background properly exposed. To say those things in one sentence is easy, but many hours of dedication were put into the final image. I enjoyed the process because I knew what the final image would represent and be viewed and enjoyed by thousands of people across the country.

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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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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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Farmington Basketball Arena and Performing Arts

Given the opportunity to take something that has the potential to look great, while in it’s present form is ordinary and blah, is a great challenge to me.  This facility was completed in December and while landscaping was done, it was too early in the year for the colors to come out.  As you can see from the “Normal Photo” and “Branch Photo”, there is a HUGE difference.  Many hours of work and talent went in to it AFTER the proper photos were taken.
This is a list of most of what was done:
  • Added in sky
  • Added grass to all parts where was brown, very difficult to add and make look real, especially in small areas.
  • Put in Flag from different photo
  • Added trees on left and right sides.
  • Cleaned concrete in foreground
  • Cleaned and darkened blacktop
  • Cleaned all curbs
  • Added building lights from other photos
  • Added street lights from other photos
  • Added light and shadows below street lights
  • Added windows from other photos to show interior
  • Added front of building from another photo that was brighter
  • Lightened light siding on front of building to ad contrast to “CARDINALS”
  • Brightened and added red to “CARDINALS” sign in front to make it stand out.
  • Removed garbage cans from under awning on left
  • Removed pipes at front
  • Removed water pipes to right of image on ground
  • Cleaned concrete at base of street light poles
This is most of what was done.  But to do this took years of practice and knowledge of how to get the proper photos in the first place, before taking it in to photoshop.
If your business or company needs great quality imour facility, inside or out, call me at 973-0012, you’ll be glad you did.

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Ruth's Chris Dining Room

I had the opportunity to not only create some yummy food photography but also dining room and wine room images for Ruth’s Chris steak house in Rogers this week.  If you haven’t been there, well you really should – great food, you know that the atmosphere is very warm, upscale and inviting with darker lights to create the proper ambiance.   This is a challenge to photograph, it requires more than just a shot or two.
I’m VERY picky on how I portray the images for my clients.  I want them to excite the eyes and mind of the viewer to want to go into the photograph and BE there.  NOTHING is half way done. In the first image you’ll see the before as you might see the room with a photo from someone else, just a point and shoot.  Very boring, visually.  The next one, while has a photoshop work done, would not look like that without the 130 photographs it took to make it, but only 110 were actually used.   That’s right 110 photographs were used to create one photo.   This was done to light specific areas of the room to entice and excite the eye to move around the room and explore the depth.
It’s my goal when photographing a scene such as this to draw the viewer in to gain visual time for my client and increase their business through photography.
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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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Courtyard by Marriott - Front View

A month ago, I posted the previous blog about the photos created for the Marriott, except for the exterior. Since the hotel is so busy it took some time to get a night where they could block off the appropriate parking spaces so cars would not be in the way. I couple of weeks ago I got to finish the project. At first I wondered how we would take out the cones and still keep people from parking there while I was taking the images for over an hour. Then I figured, why try, just do it in photoshop. As you can see the images turned out great! The parking lot was cleaned up, obstructions and distractions removed to make the hotel shine!

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Courtyard by Marriott - Fayetteville

Photographing the Courtyard by Marriott in Fayetteville was an honor. An honor to help them nationally promote their new renovations! To be a part of helping a national corporation market themselves to help them grow and gain recognition with their clients, is something I take seriously. This shoot was exciting, full of a variety of lighting techniques to draw out the rooms natural beauty, comfort and spaciousness.

I am very thankful to the staff that helped coordinate all aspects of this day to insure everything was perfect.

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Voted Very Best Commercial Photographer by Celebrate Magazine

Branch Photography has been voted Very Best Commercial Photographer in Arkansas and NW Arkansas by the readers of Celebrate Arkansas magazine again for 2016!  This is the third year we have received this award from the readers of Celebrate Arkansas and just as proud to be recognized.  Thank you to all who voted and value quality photographic creations, specifically the images Branch creates!

Voted Very Best Photographer 2016Voted Very Best Photographer 2015Very Best Photographer 2014