Brewton women team up for photos, business venture
By By MICHELE GERLACH – Publisher
What began as hobby for two Brewton women has become a passion and a cottage industry.
Sarah Hines and Kelley Davis both took pictures for fun, mostly of events that involved their children.
Three years ago, when Brewton Elementary School was faced with the possibility of not having a yearbook, they were approached about taking on the project.
After working as a team on the yearbook, last year they decided to improve their knowledge of photography and enrolled in a class at Pensacola Junior College. While - like most of the world - they had grown accustomed to digital photography, this class started with the principles of basic photography. The women spent weeks shooting countless rolls of film for class projects, developing black and white film, and printing their own photographs in the darkroom.
Always, they gave their pictures away.
While both Mrs. Hines and Mrs. Davis previously had spent most of their efforts photographing children, the class forced them to chose different subjects.
Meanwhile, the two women contracted with the T.R. Miller Quarterback Club to do the photography for the organization's annual football program. As they shot more photographs, they had more requests for copies of their work.
The resulting business is FotoStop. When the two women shoot community events - sporting or otherwise - the photos are posted to a website, located at www.fotostop.homestead.com. Visitors may click the "view events" link and browse through shots, purchasing any they wish. Photos are available for as little as $3 for wallet sizes, and in varied other forms, like on T-shirts or in enlargements.
After their work on the T.R. Miller football program, the two worked out an agreement in which they were given sideline access to shoot football games. Now football games, band shots, fan and cheerleader shots appear on line each week.
The first week the duo shot football, Mrs. Davis said, her co-hart and business partner caught the fever.
Mrs. Davis, on the other hand, has always been a sports fan.
Mrs. Hines said she's still the cheerleader.
The web site includes photos of numerous community events, and still and action photographs from each week's TRM football game. The pictures are generally posted the day after the game (but always within three days) and are available on the website for approximately three weeks.