What's up in the world of Steely Joe

adventures in photography and other stuff

Leave a comment

The beautiful Hollis Family

My last post was about Anita and Kenny’s wedding, and this one is about their first family portrait session, which we did the day after the wedding. The ground was pretty wet, and there was a little snow still on the ground in some places, but the weather was fantastic! This family was so much fun to work with and I am looking forward to doing some senior portraits for them in the near future. It was hard to decided which images to post from this session, I had so many favorites!


The Hollis crew. This session was done at Reed's Bridge Park in Jacksonville.

These girls are so photogenic, it makes my job really easy 🙂

The men folk lookin cool.

This was one of those candid shots that I really like.

The lens flare in this picture is perfect. And that barn - man I wish I had it here in Northwest Arkansas!

Family Hug!



Anita & Kenny’s Country Wedding

Anita and Kenny were married 12th at Beryl Baptist Church in Villonia, AR.  The reception was originally going to be a bbq/bonfire, but the crazy huge snowstorm that rolled in earlier in the week put a serious damper on any outdoor activities. But everyone still had a great time! This couple is so fun and unique, and are busy working on fixing up their spread in the country. The weather was great the day after the wedding, so we met up for a family portrait session. Stay tuned for a blog post on that session coming soon.


The bride got ready with help from lots of friends and relatives.

Detail of the bride's dress

The bride and groom in the sanctuary at Beryl Baptist church.

The two smallest members of the bridal party were just too cute! They were having quite a conversation during the group portraits.

Anita and Kenny

Whew - weddings are hard work, and Kenny is worn out 🙂


Anita is actually a distant relative of mine, and my dad officiated the ceremony. Since Anita is a cop and Kenny is in the Air Force, they encouraged attendees to wear their uniforms.


I'm sure I am going to catch heck for posting this pic of my favorite cop busting up laughing, but I don't care because it makes me smile!




Leave a comment

The fabulous flying Dolphins of the DRC

Here in Northwest Arkansas, we are having another snow day. I had my hubby take my Subaru to work, but that leaves me stranded! Oh well, it’s a good time to catch up on things that need doing around the house. Or better still, a good day to look through the pictures we took on our Florida Keys trip back in the fall and think sunny thoughts. So here to send a little sunny cheer your way are some pictures I took of the dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida.


A dolphin practicing his flips at the DRC


This facility uses the dolphins to study psychology and behavioral traits, as well as serving as a rest and rehab center for dolphins that need it. Ever wonder where the dolphins at Sea World go for vacation? The DRC, of course! We were lucky to be there during an exercise and training run, so we got to see some great jumps and flips.

Good hang time on this jump


I asked why the dolphins don't jump over the fence, since they can jump so high. It's because they want to stay!



Playing ball with dolphins is really fun!

One of the dolphins checking us out. The workers say "people watching" is one of the dolphin's favorite activity.

A coordinated short jump. One of the dolphins in this picture was really pregnant, so she was not allowed to do big showy moves.

The dolphins are trained to roll over on command, and sometimes get a belly rub as a reward.

I absoultely adore sea animals, and if I could have squeezed the money out of our vacation budget I would have done the "trainer for a day" option. But the "meet a dolphin" option is an affordable way to be able to interact with the dolphins. You get to shake flippers, and rub their backs. The dolphins also paint when they feel like it, and you can help them paint you a t-shirt! Image courtesy of the DRC.

We also visited the Turtle hospital just down the road, and I will post some images from there in a future post.  We took this vacation after shooting a destination wedding in Miami. You can see some of my favorite images in my Fave 50 Facebook gallery.


Leave a comment

Drawing winners announced!

Wow, the NWAbride Premier Showcase was a huge success with record attendance! We really enjoyed meeting all the wonderful brides and their friends and families. And I was really happy with how the booth looked with our new updates.  You can see a little video from the show over on my Facebook page.

The Fashionista Portrait Party giveaway was really popular – with way more entries than I was expecting.  I had no idea when I asked people to write why they should win that I would get such funny, touching, and wonderful responses! There was no way I could pick just one, so here is what I decided to do: I drew ONE winner at random, and then picked out TWO more based on their responses.

Congratulations to: the random drawing winner, Toni Guist.

The winners based on what they wrote: Wendi Park, and Ellen Heimbach.

Didn’t win but still want to? Have your friends vote for you over on my Facebook page! Come post something on the wall, and whoever gets the most “likes” and comments on their post will also win a session! Contest will end February 4th – so get to it!

Leave a comment

Why should you go to a Bridal Fair?

For people planning a wedding, the task of hunting down inspiration and then the vendors to pull off your ideas can be pretty daunting. The internet is a great resource for wedding planning (and one I used pretty heavily for my own wedding) but nothing beats the experience you get when visiting with wedding vendors in person. However, unless you have an unlimited budget of time, you can’t just go from shop to shop all around town to visit each one – that would take forever! But what if there were a place where you could get a glimpse into the best wedding vendor’s shops, check out their style, sample the products and talk to real people all in one place? Well that is what Bridal shows are for! These shows go out of their way to make the bride feel special, and you will be surrounded by people who want to hear all about your wedding and give you lots of free samples and valuable info.  Even if you’ve already chosen you vendors, the cost of admission is worth it just for the experience – and it makes a great girls day out with your mom or bridesmaids.

Want to get in on the fun? The largest bridal show of the year for Northwest Arkansas is this Saturday, January 15th at the Springdale Convention Center. I will be there with some sweet treats, drawings and booking incentives so come by and see me at the NWAbride Premier Showcase!

Look for my very colorful new sign at the bridal show!

Leave a comment

Happy New Year From Steely Joe!

As the year comes to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of my wonderful clients who made this year so fun. An especially big “thank you” to all my brides and grooms who gave me the honor of being a part of their weddings. You all re-affirmed how much I love being a photographer!


My fabulous 2010 brides and grooms. Getting married? I would love to meet you in the new year!


Steely Joe will keep the momentum going in 2011 with the NWAbride Premier Showcase in January, and my first wedding of the new year in February. Also, I am having an awesome sale on my Friends and Fashion Portrait Parties – just $100 for the most unique and fun party idea ever, but only till the end of January! It would be a great way to spend a chilly winters afternoon/evening with your girlfriends or for a bachelorette party! More details on my website.

Happy New Year Everyone, and thanks again for a great year!

Leave a comment

Merry Christmas Everybody!


Some of the decorations around the house and Ponyo in front of the tree.

Well, I am almost done getting everything ready for tomorrow, so I thought I would take a few minutes to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from me, Ed, and the four-legged kids – Bella and Ponyo. I am so excited for our big family get-together and we will be up very early tomorrow morning to get started on the fun! Be sure to take some time to enjoy being around those you love and focus on them and not on all the other silliness and stress that gets mixed in this time of year. And in case this is my last blog post of the year – Happy New Year, too!


Leave a comment

Allison’s Newborn session

Baby Allison came to the studio for her newborn session at about 2 weeks old. She is a very pretty baby with a very full head of hair! I met her mom through W.I.N. (women in networking) where she was the winning bidder on my silent auction package. I usually don’t do a lot of baby photography, so this was a fun (and challenging) departure from brides and teens! Here are a few images from the shoot:


Awww, look at her looking up at her daddy.

Allison and her mommy.

Perfect little baby feet

since it was the Christmas season, we had to get of few of her in her new Christmas dress.

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season so far! Only a week to go till Christmas and I am really looking forward to seeing my family next weekend! Between shopping trips and everything on your “to do” list, make sure to take some time to enjoy the season before its gone.



Leave a comment

Christmas Portrait Time!

Make your holiday cards and letters stand out with beautiful family portraits - like this one of the fabulous Baker family!

Thinking about the Christmas cards and gifts for this year? Now is the time to get your Christmas Portraits done, and I have a great deal for you!

Check out my Winter Portrait Special:Includes a one hour session either on location or in studio.Your images will be uploaded to a password-protected online album where you can order professional prints, approve book layouts, and share your images with friends and family.Choose either a set of 25 folded cards, or 50 flat cards custom designed with your favorite image (envelopes included), OR a print package including 2 8x10s, 4 5x7s and 12 wallet prints.

I also have all kinds of cool products that you can order from your images for gifts that really stand out!

Pictures with Santa


Santa will be in West Fork this Saturday!

Also, do you want to have your child’s picture taken with the best Santa in the state? Stop by “Breakfast with Santa” at the West Fork Community Center this Saturday! It’s an annual fundraiser for the Friends of the Library. Have your picture printed on-site, or buy a CD and make all the prints you want! WAY better than a shopping mall experience – come eat a hearty breakfast, let the kids meet Santa and help a good cause all at the same time.

Leave a comment

Friends and Fashion Portrait Party

Wow, did I ever have fun a few weekends ago hosting a Portrait Party at my studio! It has taken me a while to do a blog post because I couldn’t decide which pictures to post – I have so many favorites! What is a portrait party you may ask? Only the most super-fun party idea ever: 2-3 hours with your friends rummaging around in the prop room, dressing up in your favorite outfits with accessories from the studio, and getting awesome portraits of you and your friends. Here are some of my favorites from the session:

Nothing says fashion model like a big floor fan and sheer scarves!

Such lovely young ladies.

We laughed so much during the party my gut was sore afterwords!

We get lots of fun and silly shots, but also make sure to get some nice ones too.

We made saris out of fabric from the prop room for a very unique image.

I was trying to have an equal number of images of each girl in this post, but I really love this shot and just had to include it!

I can’t wait to do another portrait party! They work for many age groups including bachelorette and teens and can be customized to a theme of your choice. I am so glad I had the chance to spend an afternoon with these awesome ladies 🙂