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Montana Hester is a local photographer who recently opened her own studio in Russellville.

Montana Hester opens photography studio in Russellville

What was once just a hobby for Montana Hester has developed into a successful business, as she now has opened her own photography studio in Russellville.

Her studio, located next to Frosty Inn on Highway 43, has been operational for about a month now, but Hester said there is still work to be done.

This isn’t her first studio. She was previously sharing a studio with a woman in Hackleburg, but Hester’s business kept growing so much that she finally decided she needed a space of her own. Her in-laws, Pam and Ty Hester, own Frosty Inn, and they offered to let her use the adjacent space for her business.

“Our families have always been so supportive,” she said.

Hester first delved into photography after her son Jaxon was born, almost four years ago. “I saw other people with all of these cute pictures and wanted to try it myself, so I started taking pictures of him,” Hester said.

She started receiving positive feedback from the community and decided to pursue the craft more seriously. It is only in the past couple of years that she has really developed the business side of her photography.

“It’s a hobby that became a business, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it,” she said.

Hester said she offers a wide variety of photography sessions, including babies, farms, boudoir and weddings – but her favorite thing to do is engagement pictures.

“I love to capture how they feel about each other. I want them to be able to look back and see how they felt rather than just what they looked like,” she explained.

Capturing her clients’ personalities is important to Hester, so she said she leans toward natural shoots and poses.

Art has always been a passion for Hester, who said she has loved to paint and draw since she was a little girl. One of her high school teachers was a big influence and encouraged her to pursue her passion.

Along with her photography business, Hester is a photographer for Franklin Living magazine and recently did a lot of work for Franklin County Times’ “Progress” publication.