2015- A year of changes for this Arkansas Photographer

On this last day of the year, I thought I would make my final blog post a reflection on the changes in my photography business. There were a lot of phone calls, emails, photo shoots, miles traveled and friends made along the way. My regular photography clients expanded from Northwest Arkansas into Little Rock and I put a lot of miles on my car with regular trips down south. Luckily I found podcasts this year to keep my self entertained and hopefully a little bit enlightened. I think I can officially call myself a binge-listener.

 (Beth Hall)

Let’s start with the biggest change…  I decided to stop photographing sports. This was probably one of the hardest career decisions I’ve made because I absolutely loved being a sports photographer. For the last almost 15 years, I shot sports for the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette, the Associated Press, USA Today Sports Images, the University of Arkansas Athletic Department and numerous colleges, universities and newspapers throughout the county. I stayed really busy and absolutely loved working for wire agencies because I loved seeing how my images were used through out the year. I’m going to admit it, I had a google alert set on my name and I looked forward to receiving the email each day to track down where photos were used.

 (Beth Hall)

So, why did I quit? I basically got really organized with my accounting and realized that time vs. money vs. investment wasn’t worth it for my business. I spent three years watching the numbers go down and I realized just how few commercial photography jobs it would take to replace that income. I also knew that I could take the time spent photographing games, and all of the editing time, and put it into promoting my business get more of the work I desired to shoot.

Photographing a football game would require me to arrive 3 hours before kickoff, shoot for 4 hours, and then edit on site for another 2 hours following the game to put up 20-25 images of peak action. In the days following, I would then spend probably another 2-4 hours editing, color-correcting and putting cutlines on anywhere between another 50-125 images. Each game took up easily 10-12 hours of my week, and it took a lot of juggling to keep up with my work and my 9-year-old son. Work wise, it just made sense. What I didn’t realize is that quitting also made sense life-wise. I didn’t realize just how much time I would gain to spend with friends and family. I even went to several football games this year, though I’m still not quite comfortable “calling the hogs.” I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get rid of the media mentality of not favoring a team.

My most received question of 2015 was, “What are you doing now that you’re not shooting sports?”

This was such a great question because it made me realize that most people only knew me as a sports photographer… and that wasn’t good for everything else that I shoot. So, I spent 2015 working on promoting my work as a food photographer, commercial photographer and a editorial photographer. I made a lot of new connections, new clients and gained some new work this year, and I am hoping to continue pushing in those areas again in 2016.

I love photographing food; I absolutely love it. I have photographed food for magazines in Northwest Arkansas for several years now, but this year I jumped into the world of commercial food photography. I had such a great time putting together a team and working with an amazingly talented local food stylist on a recent shoot for product packaging. Those packages should roll out after the first of the year, and I can’t wait to share the look of the final product.

Food photography at James at the Mill in Johnson, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)George's Chicken boneless skinless thighs prepared with as an Asian Glazed filet for retail packaging. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)George's Chicken drumsticks for retail packaging. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)Food photography at James at the Mill in Johnson, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Food photography at James at the Mill in Johnson, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Food photography at James at the Mill in Johnson, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)One pan meals for Savvy Kids Magazine in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)

Food photo shoot of raw cacoa beans in a burlap sack. (Beth Hall)

I would have to say my busiest area of work is portraits. I’m not really sure when it happened, but it became one of my strong suits. My portrait work began with shooting for magazines and newspapers, but it has expanded more and more into the world of commercial photography. My work is being used for promotional materials, marketing, advertising and websites. 2015 was a year of portraits of mothers, gardeners, musicians, college deans, executive portraits, gardeners, business owners, employees, chefs, outdoor enthusiasts, actors, lawyers, architects, and creatives.  Each person was unique with their own story to tell, and I walked away with a little bit richer of a life for listening.

 

Portrait of the University of Arkansas dean of Architecture, Peter MacKeith, on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, in the Steven L Anderson Design Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)Portrait of Morgan with her family in North Little Rock, Arkansas, for Savvy Magazine. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall) ((C) Beth Hall 2015) (Beth Hall) ((C) Beth Hall 2015) ((C) Beth Hall 2015) (Beth Hall)Kim Lacy outside the Ronald McDonald house for Savvy Kids Magazine in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)The Pizzeria for Savvy Kids on Saturday, August 15, 2015, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)The Pizzeria for Savvy Kids on Saturday, August 15, 2015, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)Portrait of Chuck Maxwell with OORC (Ozark Off Road Cyclists) at Mount Kessler in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)2015-2016 Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball team. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)Portrait of Cameron Smith with Cameron Smith for AY Magazine's powerful men. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)Brent Robinson poses for a photo in a conference room on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Fayetteville, Ark.. (Beth Hall)Ramsay Ball, principal with Colliers International, stands in the Chancellor Hotel on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)Environmental portrait of Ellen Brune at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) ((C) Beth Hall 2015)

Environmental portraits and head shots of Core Architects in Rogers, Arkansas (Beth Hall)Environmental portrait of Sara with Hare Wynn in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)Lallah Lee Ostergren, “An Original Earth Mother,” and her farm in Dennard, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)Portrait photography of P. Allen Smith on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at Moss Mountain Farm in Roland, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)Jennifer and Dayton Mullen stand on a path outside Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on Friday, January 23, 2015, in Bentonville, Ark. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)

 ((C) Beth Hall 2015)

Although I am not really an event photographer, I do shoot events for corporate clients, editorial assignments or advertising. I always have fun trying to capture the moments and also create images that can be used to advertise and promote an event for the following year. Photographing an event is kind of like being a fly on the wall… I’m not a participant, but I get to witness almost everything. I really enjoy watching people and anticipating the moments that make great photographs.

Annual Wal-Mart Stores Inc., shareholder's meeting at Bud Walton Arena on Friday, June 4, 2015, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall(C) 2015) (Beth Hall(C) 2015) ((C) Beth Hall 2015)Artosphere Trail Series at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. (Beth Hall)Meeting for Uncommon Communities at Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on August 28-29, 2015. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)farmers market in spring of 2015. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)Artosphere Trail Series at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. (Beth Hall)Garden to Blog on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Little Rock Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)Garden to Blog on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Little Rock Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)

farmers market in spring of 2015. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)farmers market in spring of 2015. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)

2015 also brought a lot more work in product photography. Majority of that work has been on location, and I like to call it environmental product photography since I am photographing products in locations where they might be used by a consumer. I have had so much fun during the shoots because I get to tap into my creative side and work with stylists to create a final product. It can sometimes be really slow work, but the outcome is worth it. I look forward to shooting more products and hopefully expanding my client list in this area of photography in 2016.

Spring 2015 photo shoot for Everthine Home (Beth Hall)Product photography for IO Metro (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)ecommerce for P. Allen Smith (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Product photography for IO Metro (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith. (Beth Hall)P. Allen Smith (Beth Hall)ecommerce for P. Allen Smith (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Spring 2015 photo shoot for Everthine Home (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)P. Allen Smith (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Product photography for IO Metro (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Food photo shoot of raw cacoa beans in a burlap sack. (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith. ((C) Beth Hall 2015)Spring 2015 photo shoot for Everthine Home (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Product photography for Ever Thine Home in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) (Beth Hall)Product photography for Ever Thine Home in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Product photography for Ever Thine Home in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)P. Allen Smith (Beth Hall)Product photography for P. Allen Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Product photography for Ever Thine Home in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Beth Hall) ((C) Beth Hall 2015)Spring 2015 photo shoot for Everthine Home (Beth Hall)Spring 2015 photo shoot for Everthine Home (Beth Hall)ecommerce for P. Allen Smith (Beth Hall)

 

This was not as big of a year for interior photography as it has been in the past, which is a little disappointing because it’s another area of work that I really enjoy. For as long as I can remember, I have looked at myself each year and looked for ways to improve. Whether it’s learning to drink my coffee without sugar, or working on my patience with my child, I am always trying to better myself… this goes for the same for my business. Hopefully by this time next year I will have more images to show in this category of photography.

 

 (Beth Hall(C) 2015)

 ((C) Beth Hall 2015)

 (Beth Hall)

 (Beth Hall)

Interior photography of a home designed by Casey Roark Designs in Northwest Arkansas. (Beth Hall)

Photos for editorial and advertising usage taken at Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Beth Hall (Beth Hall)

Photography of Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Photography of Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Photography of Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)Photography of Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Beth Hall)

 

 ((C) Beth Hall 2015)

So that pretty much sums of 2015 for Beth Hall Photography… well, except for all of the fun! A huge thank you to my clients, mentors, assistants, stylists, friends and family. I wouldn’t be anything without every single one of you. Happy 2016!!!

 

4 Comments

  1. Dustye

    You are an amazing writer and GREAT photography!
    This is just another reason to love you!

    • Beth Hall

      I love you too Dustye. I look forward to working with you again next year!

  2. Stephanie Swann

    Happiest of New Year to you Beth! I am so proud of you and your fantastic works of art. Love you!
    Aunt Steph

  3. Wesley

    Awesome work! Beautiful photography! Can’t wait to see what you have accomplished at the end of 2016. Love you also

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