Corrie Lane Benefit Photo Shoot – Day 1

The citizens of Hope, Arkansas and surrounding communities came together last Saturday to help a local family.  P.S. Photography held a special day-long photo shoot for Corrie Lane and his family.  Corrie is fighting cancer and the people of this area really stepped up.  They donated $950 dollars on the first day alone.  Because of the great response from the community, we added a second day, which will be held on Saturday February 12th.  It took less than two days for every session to be booked!  We will have two photographers and 30 sessions.  ALL of the money collected will be donated to the family.  It’s amazing to see the generosity of people when someone is in need.  I’m really proud of everyone that came out and supported this event.  Thank you!

Here are some of the portraits that were taken on Day 1.

We want to say a special “thank you” to Greening-Ellis Insurance of Hope for allowing us to use their building as our staging area.

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Mentoring Session with Mandy

I had the great honor of conducting a mentoring session with my friend Mandy today in Hope, Arkansas.  We did a lot of talking before we started shooting and it really made me reach way back in my brain to try and remember some of the stuff she was asking!  A lot of the basic camera functions have become so automatic that it was nice to actually re-think some things and talk about why I do what I do.  Mandy caught on fast and took a lot of notes so I think she is on her way!  We hope to get together soon and try some new things.

Our model for the day was our friend Andria.  She has helped us many times and is a great model.  I never get tired of taking her picture.  She is a perfect model, even though she doesn’t think so!  I spent most of my time talking to Mandy about her shots, but I did shoot a few myself when I had the chance.

Those eyes could melt an iceberg!

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Who is my competition?

There is a subject that has been on my mind for a while so I wanted to blog about it.  It’s about business, sharing, building relationships and making friends.  The general attitude in any business is that other, similar businesses are the enemy.  In some cases this is true.  In Hope, Arkansas, if you open a watermelon stand next to another guy with a watermelon stand there might be some trouble.  But in a service type business this really isn’t/shouldn’t be the case.  There are many examples I can give but for the sake of this conversation I’m going to talk about what I know, the photography industry. 

This isn’t going to make any sense at first, but in the photography industry you really don’t have any competition.  Some will say, “How can you say that there is no competition?  There is a photographer right down the street, or in the next town over,  that you are competing with for clients!”  Really?  Ok, I’ll agree that there are people out there hiring photographers other than me.  I’m not getting all the business.  They are going to other photographers for their family portraits, weddings, baby pictures, etc., that’s true.  But let’s look at it for what it is.  A potential client can go anywhere and get someone that can take great pictures, get the same products, get someone better than me. They can get that ANYWHERE. They can never go anywhere else and get ME.  They don’t walk up to me, call me, email me, whatever, and ask me if I can take great pictures.  They already expect that.  That’s a given when they contact me.  So what are they actually buying when they hire me?  What is the one thing that is unique about my business?  ME.  That’s it.  Me.  That’s the one thing that I have that “Worlds Greatest Photography, Inc.” doesn’t have.  “People don’t pay you for how good you are at what you do, people pay you for how good you are at who you are.” 

So, with that being said, do I really have any competition?  No.  I don’t.

If you believe in your heart and soul that other photographers in your area are the enemy, or competition, then I feel you are missing out on a great opportunity.  Photographer David Jay said “If you truly make your business about helping other people, you will always have plenty of work”.  That is so true.  Helping other people not only means helping your clients get great pictures, but it also means helping each other to become the best THEM they can be.  Jay also quotes Dale Carnegie who said “You will go further in two months by becoming genuinely interested in just two other people than you will in two years trying to get other people interested in you”.  I think back to all the photographers that helped me along the way.  I still have a long way to go in my photography and my business, but I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without the help of others.  They gave of their time and talents to help another photographer, and in turn that helps the industry as well.  If we all kept to ourselves and shared nothing, where would our industry be?

Please remember that the best things in life are free.  It’s free to share.  It’s free to give.  It’s free to love.  It’s free to make friends.  Don’t miss out on an opportunity to do this.  I believe if you fail to do this, over time your business will also fail.  Now let’s get out there and start building relationships and friendships, even with the photographer down the street.  It will be the best business decision you will ever make.

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Haley & Justin engagement shoot!

Haley, Justin and I spent a few hours at Garvin Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas last Saturday and had a great time.  It was a little cool, but they fought through it!  It’s about a mile and a half around the entire Gardens, so that helped keep our blood flowing.  They had all their Christmas lights up and by the time we left most of them were starting to come on.  If you haven’t been to there during Christmas you need to go.  It’s an amazing thing to see!

Garvin Gardens sits on a 210-acre wooded peninsula on Lake Hamilton and is a world-class botanical garden.  Construction on what is now visible in the Gardens began in 2000 with a much-celebrated grand opening held in April 2002.

Haley and Justin made the Gardens look even better!

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Martin-Richardson Wedding

Last Saturday we were honored to shoot Brandi & Brock’s wedding.  It was at a beautiful location in Emmet, Arkansas.  Outside weddings have become my favorite!  The Clary’s really know how to put on a wedding.  The wedding site was under some huge pine trees with the sun sneaking in and out through them which made it a fun shoot for us.  They have big families and we were treated like we were one of them!  We hope you enjoy this peak at some of the pictures.

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Should we see each other before the wedding?

This is a question that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.  Half of our brides do, half don’t.  When I was married (long ago and in a land far, far away) my wife and I didn’t see each other before the wedding.  Really it wasn’t even a question.  Back then, you just didn’t.  Period.

Today it’s much different.  Most couples that don’t see each other before the wedding feel that it makes the moment of the bride walking down the aisle much more special.  I can’t argue with that.  It’s a special moment.  Seeing your bride for the first time in her dress, coming down the aisle to become your wife.  Special stuff.  The downside?  After the ceremony you have hundreds of guests sitting around in the reception area waiting for the couple to finish taking all the pictures.  Some will wait around, some won’t.  Plus, the couple has just gone through the most special, emotional moment of their lives and are ready to get to the reception and finally relax a little bit.  And make no mistake about it, the professional wedding pictures take time.

How about another option?  How about a special moment at the beginning of the day?  We have done this a number of times at weddings we have shot.  After the bride and groom are both dressed and ready to go, we clear the church/venue and take the groom to the alter.  He turns his back to the door and waits with his future wife’s bouquet.  We will bring the bride in and have her walk down the aisle to him.  He will turn around at whatever moment he chooses and see his bride for the first time.  We take a few shots of this special moment and then exit the area.  The couple will then spend as much time as they want alone, together, soaking in the emotion of what’s taking place.

The plus side to this is that from this point on (until the ceremony) the couple is much more relaxed and we get all of the wedding pictures taken.  After the ceremony is over, the couple goes straight to the reception and the party begins!

I hope this helps if you are trying to plan your wedding.  Trust me, the moment is just as special either way you go.  It’s nice to have choices though.

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Kristol & Chad’s big day!

It was a really hot day in Hope, Arkansas yesterday!  But the weather didn’t stop anyone from having a great day at the New Hope Baptist Church.  Kristol and Chad have waited their whole lives for this day and it was, in my opinion, perfect.  Early in the day all the talk was about the Hogs last minute win over Georgia (which was awesome) but soon all the wedding day activities kicked into gear.  Beautiful cake, flowers and people quickly filled the church.  We were honored to be a part of it.

A perfect setting...

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The P.S. Local Business Spotlight – Vol. 1 – HOPE FLORAL

We have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and personable vendors and wedding consultants in the wedding industry. We love to refer our clients to professionals we have worked with who we truly believe will do an amazing job for them. Our first ever installement of the Local Business Spotlight is on one of our favorite local businesses, as well as our friends!

Today meet Wendel McCorkle and Bitsy Carter of Hope Floral. We have shot a number of weddings while working along side of Wendel, who is also a fantastic wedding coordinator, and his daughter Bitsy.

Wendel McCorkle

Wendel’s favorite part of the business is dealing with the brides that come in to talk to them about the flowers for their wedding. “I love it when a plan comes together” says Wendel. “We spend so much time, over several months, with our brides that we begin to feel like we’re part of the family”. A lot of them are like family. Wendel was born and raised in Hope and even taught some of the brides when he was teaching in the school system. That makes it extra special when he is asked by one of them to help design their wedding.

Bitsy works very hard to stay current on the business side of things as well as marketing. She attends a lot of classes and loves to network with other florists in the state through the Arkansas Florist Association, where she is on the board (Wendel was also President in 2009). “We listen to our customers and try not to bog them down with all the details. We try to show them as many options as we can for the colors they are wanting. Brides are pretty smart about what they want”, says Bitsy.

Look at all the awards!

Wendel and his wife Kay started out in the florist business in 1983 when they purchased a wedding shop called Forever Yours in Hope, Arkansas. A few years later, Forever Yours merged with Hope Floral and the Hope Floral we know today was born. Wendel was an educator and principle for many years in Hope and Spring Hill, but decided to devote all of his energy to making Hope Floral the best business possible and retired from the education business. It is a business that has changed a lot since Wendel and Kay were married in 1975. Wendel recalls that the flowers they had at their wedding consisted of bronze mums, orange roses and lot’s of other fall colors. A far cry from all the floral choices that brides have today.

Bitsy started working as soon as Wendel bought the business. She loved it so much (and had a great eye for design), that when she graduated from college she came back to Hope to work in the family business. That decision has paid off. Bitsy was voted Arkansas Floral Designer of the Year for 2010! In her “free time”, Bitsy serves as the President of the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, is married to husband Anthony and has a 10 year old son, Nate, who’s becoming a pretty good designer himself according to Bitsy. Oh, and she also finds time to play the piano at the First United Methodist Church, as well as a number of weddings and funerals every year.

Bitsy Carter, Arkansas Floral Designer of the Year!

Along with Wendel, Kay and Bitsy, you can also get lots of help at Hope Floral from employees Susan O’Bryant and Tara Chambless. Hope Floral is located at 501 South Main Street in Hope, Arkansas. Stop by or call them anytime at 870-777-6667 or 800-950-9205.  Also, check out their cool website at

Susan O'Bryant, Wendel McCorkle, Bitsy Carter

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P.S. Photography has launched our new website and blog!

We are really proud to share our new website and blog with all of you!  We looking forward to sharing all of the exciting stuff going on with Powell-Steed Photography as well as our lives.  Thanks for stopping by!

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