Melanie Ewing, Owner/Photographer
Melanie is a 16 year veteran of photography. Her Russellville, AR based studio, Ewing Photography, photographs nearly 2,000 children and countless families and high school seniors every year. She is known for her ability and patience for photographing children and newborns.
Melanie received her first camera when she was just 8 years old. While spending the summer with her dad and step mom in Washington state, they went on a trip to visit the San Diego Zoo. Her step mom gave her a 110 camera while on that trip. Melanie put the wrist strap around her wrist and carried it everywhere she went. She took hundreds of pictures on that trip and continued to take hundreds more after she returned to Arkansas at the end of the summer. Several years later, she found herself at home again with a camera, but this time it was around her neck… it was during high school when she took Photography and Annual Staff. She began a love for both photography, dark room, and layout during her junior and senior year. After high school, she married and moved to Alaska where she attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks – Kuskokwim Community Campus in Bethel, Alaska. Here, she again found fulfillment with photography, news writing and layout. She was the very first editor of the very first Kuskokwim Community Campus Newspaper. She enjoyed her time on the Kuskokwim Campus and shared many personal accomplishments while there. She completed an Anthology of Writing comprised of several students poetry and short stories, and she completed her own Anthology of Writing comprised of her own poetry and short stories.
It was during this time also that she and her step-grandmother would write short stories back and forth to each other for critiques. (There was no internet, so everything was through the mail.) About 15 years later, she finally helped her grandmother accomplish a life long goal of putting together a book of her short stories. Her grandmother was a remarkable Woman of God and had been writing stories and poetry for 70 years. Finally in 2009, the two of them were able to put the finishing touches on Mrs. Faye Miller’s book entitled “Grain of Sand”. Mrs. Miller was able to give her book to all of her children and grandchildren just one year before she passed away at the very sweet age of 91 years old.
Melanie would not trade her friendship with her step mom or her step-grandmother for anything in the world. Those two women helped to shape Melanie into the creative woman that she is today.
Today Melanie is married to the man who she dated her senior year in high school. On March 14, 2012, she will celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary. They married at Pleasant Grove Assembly of God Church just north of Dover, Arkansas. They immediately moved to Alaska where they shared some great adventures that they will treasure always. A few years later, they moved to Texarkana, Arkansas which is where Melanie first realized that she was a photographer at heart. She began working for a company photographing children ages infant to 5 years old. She worked in a portable studio which she transported and set up in a different city every 7 days. She traveled to Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. This was her first experience photographing strangers and getting paid to do it, and she loved it! She soon began getting awards and promotions through the company because in a short amount of time, the stores where she was setting up, were doing better than they ever had. One store in particular, had 3 clients in a week come in during the first week that she worked there. Nine months later, that same store had 107 clients come in with their children to be photographed by Melanie. Needless to say, the company loved her!
Soon thereafter, they began growing their family and decided to move back to the Russellville area. They now have two children, Christian is 14 years old and Kamrie is 8 years old. When her son was a year old, she photographed her first wedding and a few months later opened her studio on 4th Street in Russellville. Within 6 months, she had to hire her first employee and within 2 years, she had completely outgrown the location. She moved to her present location 11 years ago.
Melanie is known for her patience when working with children and newborns and her studio is known for its skilled imaging artist, cutting edge products and Melanie’s helpful guidance throughout the sales process.
One of the areas of her business that she feels passionately about is the sales process. She does not just photograph your session and then throw all of the images onto a cd or online computer service for you to have to sift through in front of a monitor for hours upon hours trying to decide which ones are your favorites. She believes in guiding you while you make those difficult choices. She not only photographs your session, but then she sits down with you and analyzes each image with you, giving you her expert opinion and advice. Together you decide which of her unique products is the perfect way to display your favorite images in your home. She believes that deciding how you want to display your images is just as important as deciding which photographer to hire.
She is hearing more and more that after her clients are finished with their sales session and have chosen their favorite images and chosen how they want them displayed in their home, her clients feel relieved that they didn’t have to do that process all by themselves, late at night after the kids have gone to bed, all by themselves. It’s a confusing process and there are so many options these days as to how to recieve your final images. She often gets hugs in her sales room from her clients as they tell her that they could never have designed something for their home like what they sat and designed together. Her promise to you is that she will NEVER photograph your session, take your money and leave you on your own to make the hardest decisions of all which is to choose your favorite images and how you want them displayed in your home.
Plus, one of the greatest joys she receives from her job is the relationship building that comes from being able to sit down with her clients, get to know what they like, what they want, and what they need. Many of her closest friends today started out as clients.
She is having more and more new clients hire her as their photographer simply because the person they went to before didn’t help them at all when it came time to order. They were left on their own and they were lost. They spent hours and hours trying to decide but it was just too hard to compare images side by side on their monitor. They were up all night trying to compare and then they were dog tired the next morning. Many of them end up never actually ordering a single print from the cd that the photographer sold them. Here it is a year or so later and they discover that they spent all that money and don’t have a single print printed. She is hearing it over and over when new clients call to hire her.
Melanie has written a letter entitled, “Are you a digital hoarder?” If there is only one other thing that you read on her website, she wants it to be that letter. If it changes your way of thinking, even just a little, then she has made a difference.
Link to “Are you a Digital Hoarder?” https://mewingphotography.wordpress.com/are-you-a-digital-hoarder-russellville-pics-photos-photographer-photography-arkansas/
Address: 111 N. El Paso, Russellville, Arkansas