Meet the SRP Family
Meet Melissa Tash. As the founder of Spoiled Rotten Photography, Melissa Tash offers her clients a level of skills and service they aren’t likely to find from other school photographers. This mother of two – who served in the U.S. Army, worked as an Industrial Engineer for Nike®, acted as a Payload Crew Trainer for NASA’s International Space Station program and run her own custom portrait studio – has learned a thing or two about the power of capable leadership, the value of customer feedback, and the importance of training to the success of any business or mission. She successfully married her custom photography passion to an overwhelming need for quality school portraits to create a truly unique business model.
Meet Will and Mary Anne Smith. Will was our very first franchise owner! He serves Franklin and Brentwood, TN. A previous photojournalist and Eagle Scout, this father of two loves the lifestyle his Spoiled Rotten Photography franchise has provided. The award-winning work of this self-proclaimed “shutterbug” has graced the pages of USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and more. Born into a small business family, Will Smith left a successful career as a photojournalist and wedding photographer to pursue an entrepreneurial path as the owner of Tennessee’s first Spoiled Rotten Photography franchise. Like so many other parents, this father of two had grown tired of the unimaginative, standard “school” pictures that his children had brought home. He is excited to bring Spoiled Rotten Photography’s unique concept of beautiful preschool portraiture to schools in Franklin and the greater Nashville area.
Meet Elizabeth Bailey. A certified professional photographer and mother of two, Elizabeth also boasts a degree and career in Elementary Education – which gives her a unique advantage when photographing children in a school setting. During a brief stint as a stay-at-home mom, Elizabeth discovered her passion and talent for capturing images. What had once been a beloved hobby soon became a successful business when she launched E. Bailey Photography in Madison and later Birmingham, Alabama – focusing primarily on portraits of newborns, children and families.
Meet Heather Sams. Heather has been a professional photographer for more than 15 years and is the recipient of the Kodak Gallery Award and Fuji Masterpiece Award. She earned her Certification in Professional Photography (CPP) from the Professional Photographers of America in 2001. She was drawn to Spoiled Rotten Photography because she was “blown away” by the beautiful quality of our images and the core values of our company.
She adores working with children and is dedicated to bringing out their personality and charm. Having an experienced assistant at each session has also taken her children’s photography to a new level. “Capturing those giggles on camera… that’s the good stuff.”
Rounding out her photography background, Heather is a former US Army soldier, wife of 20 years, and mother of two beautiful daughters. When not photographing people, she can be found lounging with a good novel, preferably a thriller, in scenic Southern Colorado… and dreaming of sushi.
Meet Mark Treen. Mark has had an exciting life to say the least. He grew up on a 10 acre horse farm in Ocala, Florida, then moved with his family to southern California where he would eventually join the Navy. As a Navy navigator, he loves to tell others about his work breaking apart the atom to make energy while traveling hundreds of feet below the ocean in submarines. During the final 3 years of his career with the Navy, Mark served as a photojournalist and published hundreds of images each year in Navy and local newspapers. He’s been stationed in six different coastal states, making a round trip across our country three times. In the midst of his journeys, in Charleston, South Carolina, he met and fell in love with his bride, which makes it a very special place in so many ways. His love of God and family makes him who he is today. His wife and son keep him laughing and smiling along life’s way. Charleston is a beautiful city with history and charm, the perfect backdrop to raise a family and begin a new, creative pursuit. “Photographing children allows me to be a creative professional while making kids laugh, all by acting like a kid myself!”
Meet Dianna Harriet. After serving many years as a radiation therapist for cancer patients, Dianna takes her caring and compassionate approach to imaging in another direction — photographing children. “I have treated cancer patients for many years, and now is the time in my life to direct my love and compassion for my patients to children. I am excited to capture the spirit of little ones, and reap the benefits of a fun and silly atmosphere.”
Dianna is no stranger to hard work and accomplishing her goals. She graduated in the top of her class from college, worked in a challenging field and translates that work ethic to everything she does. Although photography is her passion, Dianna feels her greatest accomplishment is her family. She adores her two sons and supportive husband. “They hold the key to my heart.” She is truly grateful for her many blessings!
Meet Kara and Scott Kellner Kara and Scott married in 2006 and moved to Birmingham later that same year. Their son, Noah, was born in 2011 and that is where the interest in photography began. Kara has always had a love for photos, scrapbooking and keepsakes. Her dad died when she was 4 years old and she was left with only a handful of pictures of him. For this reason, she has always made an attempt to document every family memory so Noah will have plenty of photographs to reflect on. When Noah was born, Kara became that “mom with a camera.” She spent hours and hours practicing with her camera and Photoshop.
Meanwhile, Scott was working in medical sales and traveled out of town every week. Noah continued to grow and change, and Scott was watching it happen through Kara’s photographs. Scott and Kara both began to explore options in franchising to bring Scott home. One day, Noah brought home proofs from his Spoiled Rotten preschool cap & gown portraits. It was a real game-changer for Kara! She ordered tons of portraits and immediately reached out to Spoiled Rotten Photography about taking over the Birmingham location. Everything began to fall into place and now, here we are!
Kara and Scott have always made it a practice to claim scripture for life events and decisions. Proverbs 16:9 sums up their past several months of searching for the perfect opportunity for their family: “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the LORD determines their steps” …and they couldn’t be more excited to join the SRP team!
Meet Katrina Gatta Representing Northeast Ohio, Katrina Gatta is now a part of our growing SRP family. With a background in special education, she devoted many years to children in non traditional classes during after school and summer programs. After experiencing the loss of loved ones close to her, she felt she was lead to photography. Katrina witnessed first-hand the emotional comfort surviving loved ones found in photographs. She appreciated and felt a connection to those special memories commemorating a moment in time.
Meet Elizabeth Powell Flourishing in one of the fastest growing regions in the country, Elizabeth is thrilled to bring her photography expertise to the area! A graduate of Texas Tech University, she became a Special Education teacher for severely impaired children for over 10 years. She became passionate about photographing children because she loved to capture their unique personalities and creativity. “Children help you see things through different perspectives. I love their curiosity and spunk.”
When Elizabeth isn’t working with her camera, she can be found reading, sewing, crafting, or just hanging out with friends. She stays busy with four kids of her own, which include a set of 9 year old twins! She’s excited to own her own company and to be her own boss!
Meet Kim Hoover Originally from Virginia, Kim made several job-related moves with her husband which included Atlanta, San Francisco, and New York City. Eager to put down roots for their two young boys, they landed in North Carolina, where they settled in the beautiful Lake Norman area of North Charlotte, several years ago.
Kim began her career as a Jr. Designer and eventually became a Creative Director in a corporate environment. With an MFA in Fine Art, Kim left the corporate world behind to explore her talents in education as a Lecturer of Art at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her adjunct teaching experience includes; Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Central Piedmont Community College, Cleveland Community College, The Community Art Project, and the Community School of Davidson.
One of her most memorable and incredible experiences happened when she loaded up her car and moved to Missoula Montana to learn everything there was to know about photography at Rocky Mountain School of Photography. The school was opened by Neil Chaput de Saintonge (who trained with Ansel Adams) and his wife, Jeanne. There she trained with Neil and a long list of professional photographers.
From her early days as a budding photographer to her corporate/lecturer careers, Kim has been passionate about photography and art. As her two young sons approach manhood, she realized that now was the time to pursue photography full-time. This led her to SRP–where she fell in love with the quality of everything, from the skilled photography to the company values! She knew she had found her “tribe” and a way to follow her dreams to work with children and a camera.
Meet Erica Ellington Erica was raised in the metro Atlanta area and graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology. After working as an R&D Chemist for 3 Years and various roles at The Coca-Cola Company for nearly 18 years, she is now using her leadership and project management skills as an entrepreneur.
Erica’s passion for photography began while traveling for work. She would take photos of landscapes and structures, finding beauty in her surroundings. When she learned her cousin was training with Spoiled Rotten Photography, she too became interested in the idea. Although she was a bit nervous to undertake this new profession, she was passionate from the start about children, the art of lighting, and portraiture. Once immersed in this new career, her images have come alive in the smiles and warmth of the children she has the pleasure of photographing. “I believe you learn from everyone… or should. Children help you rediscover simple concepts and appreciate the simplicity, as life becomes more complex. Watching them learn is fascinating to me.”