Commercial Photography Food, Architecture, Product, Business Headshots

Newks Eatery

Does accuracy and detail matter to your business? Do you provide your clients with what they order or something close? Do you want your clients happy with the extra detail you put into your service/product? I would hope the answers would all be a resounding YES!

With an architectural photography client, who needs images created of the interior or exterior of their facility, I ask several questions, such as… who are the photos for? What do you want to emphasize? Is there a portion of the facility you want shown over others?

It's my job to make their area shine with pride. I first walk the area for the best composition, I may do several angles to make sure all areas are displayed. I also made sure all tables and chairs were straight. This is where it gets more complicated and I have to visualize what I want the final image to look like. See the images below, the "Normal View" is what the camera sees at the first photo taken, the other is after over 30 images are taken and composited for final image. The tables and floor are properly showcased so your eyes are excited to dance around the photo, thus holding the viewer's attention In addition, proper colors are held true. For example, notice the ceiling's true color is black, but in the original it has a blue cast, which is from the blue sky outdoors. I made sure all vertical lines were vertical rather than leaning because of camera tilt. It's these subtle things that the eye picks up and tells the brain "something isn't right here". Question: Which restaurant photo would you rather go to?

I'm always appreciative of my long time clients, one of which is Commercial Realty / Been Kemp Construction. I've said before but it still holds true, these clients give me the opportunity to see more new locations and meet great people than most people. This location is the new Newks Eatery in Siloam Springs, in the strip center across from Walmart. There is another location in Fayetteville off Joyce in front of Home Depot. I've had the opportunity to eat at Newks and the food is great, if you're in the area, drop in and check them out.

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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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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.

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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See how this image came to be what it is through over 50 photographs and photoshop work -

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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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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