LANETT — Many already know Dave Shirley and his business, Dave Shirley Photography, as a staple of Lanett. He and his wife, Lisa, have been taking photos of Greater Valley Area residents for 29 years now and his logo-laden truck is easily recognizable around town.
Although his business is so well known, a lesser known fact is that for most of its existence, Dave Shirley Photography was owned by his mother Josephine.
After her tragic passing last year following a battle with cancer, Dave took over the business.
To celebrate the new ownership while honoring the original owner, the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce held a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting for the business on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
Community members, fellow chamber business owners and representatives from Lanett including Mayor Kyle McCoy gathered in the businesses outdoor area. Next to where the meeting was taking place, Shirley had transformed the backyard of the studio to accommodate the needs of any photoshoot. A makeshift “beach,” railroad track and barn offer set pieces for high school senior, family and solo photos.
Shirley has been taking photos professionally since he was 14. He has a degree in photography from North Georgia Tech, has studied with photographers like Gary Box and Darty Hines, and said that he puts in so much work to provide the best product he can.
“I always want to make my clients look good,” he said. “I like it when I can make people look their best.”
Once everyone was gathered together, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Crane shared her thoughts on the business and its recent inclusion in the chamber.
“We are so glad that Dave and Lisa have joined the Chamber,” she said. “They have done some professional photography work for us and I know you do great things for our community.”
Mayor McCoy made it a point to recognize the woman who helped start it all.
“[Josephine] is in spirit with us today,” he said. “She would be proud of everything you have accomplished.”
Once the ribbon was cut, those who were attending ate fried chicken while mingling amongst themselves.