BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
Pictures capture a moment, a moment that even though it’s gone, you can still be a part of years later. This kind of experience is what Jeanne Sterner Photography is trying to create.
Jeanne is from Mena, graduated from Mena High School, and has been here most of her life. She and her husband have two kids. Her family is a big part of her photography business. “My kids are usually with me a lot of the time and my husband helps me with all the props,” says Jeanne.
She didn’t start in photography originally. She opened her own dress shop and starting taking photos of the dresses to help sell them online. “I started taking pictures of the dresses for my website and then that grew into people wanting to buy pictures of the little girls wearing the dresses. That then grew into people wanting their girls to take pictures in the dresses. It just kind of morphed from a hobby into a second business that I love,” recalls Jeanne. She says, “The photography business wasn’t my intention at first, but I think I enjoy it as much, if not more than making the dresses.”
A neat aspect of Jeanne’s photography business is that she makes and designs her own props and the dresses that a lot of the little girls wear during a session. “I make all kinds of dresses for the sessions. Some of my dresses are sent around the world so that other photographers can use them,” says Jeanne. Some days she may spend five hours in the sewing room preparing her dresses. Although Jeanne has been taking pictures for 10 years, it has only been in the last couple of years that she has made it available to the public. She takes pictures for babies, families, and anything in between.
Have you ever taken a photo that perfectly captured the moment in time and the joy and excitement on someone’s face? This moment is exactly what Jeanne is looking for each time she takes pictures. Jeanne especially loves taking photos of children. “There is no filter on their excitement and expressions at times. What you get with them is truly how they feel in the moment,” states Jeanne.
Creative photography is a passion of Jeanne’s. “We plan that session around that child, if it was a little girl, I may make her a princess dress and she will have a tea party. If it’s a little boy, we may go fishing and plan the photo shoot around that. This allows us to capture these kid’s personalities fully as they do something they enjoy. “A 3 year old boy doesn’t want to sit still in a chair and take his photo and you can’t fully capture his personality. When we plan our session around him and his interests then we are more likely to capture the moment,” explains Jeanne. The results of Jeanne’s meticulous creativity isn’t just a portrait for the wall or for the family album, but is a timeless work of art.
When Jeanne captures that perfect expression in the priceless moment she calls that “finding the magic.” “Finding the magic is when the parents and I planned the whole session around their child and their personality, and it pays off with an expression that captures everything that little boy or girl is,” explains Jeanne. Every parent loves looking back over photos and laughing as they recall a priceless memory. Jeanne loves helping make those moments possible. “One time I met with parents who said their 3 year old son loved dinosaurs. For his shoot we tied dinosaurs to the tree limbs above him, and when he figured out what was going on he completely forgot I was there. He started roaring and we were able to capture some moments I know his parents were excited about. Moments like this are possible because Jeanne takes time before the photo shoot ever starts to call parents and talk with them about their child and their likes and dislikes. “I want parents to be creative and tell me what they think would create that special moment for their child. I think that most parents think their idea is too far out there, or we wouldn’t try it, but we love getting creative. One of my shoots was mermaid themed. We had the little girls dressed as mermaids and the little boy as a pirate. We really can do just about anything,” says Jeanne. Jeanne says the most satisfying thing is the reaction of the kids when you created a fairy-tale for them, or when the parent contacts her and say that she was able to capture their child’s personality in the picture.
A photo can open doors to the past and capture a moment in reality that seems can never go away. Jeanne would love to help you create a story with the photos she takes. “I want to make taking pictures fun, again. Pictures can tell a really neat story,” says Jeanne. Children’s sessions aren’t the only thing that Jeanne does, she also takes senior portraits, family, and newborn sessions. If you are looking to take pictures that are outside the box, or you want a personalized experience, Jeanne Sterner Photography may be just for you. You can contact Jeanne and ask about special sessions, or her dresses by calling 479-437-9545 or going to her website, jeannesternerphotography.com. If you are on Facebook check her out there, as well.