The Queen Photographers

Queen Photographers of SC, black female photographer

Denise & Sirena, Sister-Togs

Nothing says “Community over Competition” more among photograpHERs than two working together and even hiring one another to take each other’s photos.  Two of our very own QueenPs embody just that.  Denise Benson of Denise Benson Photography out of Rock Hill, SC and Sirena White of Aneris Photography from Charleston, SC are two sister-togs, beautiful both inside and out (and are very talented photographers among many other skills they boast).

The two, who are also both Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., met via social media at the end of 2014.

How They Met

“I had been a fan of her (Sirena’s) work for a while and decided to reach out to her and let her know that I would be sending some business her way since I often received wedding inquiries and at that time did not shoot weddings,” says Denise.  “We officially met in person in January 2015.  We met for coffee + dessert at one of my favorite cafes, Amelie’s, in Rock Hill, SC and then I accompanied her on an engagement session in Charlotte.”

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Denise Benson, of Denise Benson Photography


Sirena and Denise met before the inception of QPSC, but have both been integral within our network, bringing a lot of knowledge on business acumen as well as tips for the novice photographer.  Denise, a portrait photographer, specializes in families, couples, seniors, and children.  Sirena is lifestyle and wedding photographer.

“Sirena is one of the first people I go to with any sort of photography questions I may have.  She’s recommended wonderful sites for gallery proofing and client management systems.  She’s also a great sounding board when I have concerns or need to vent about certain industry related issues.”
The QPSC is comprised of over 50 black women photographers within SC and surrounding areas.  Our focus is to be a resource specifically for women of color in photography, a very small and often under-celebrated minority.  Our sister-togs are important to us. Sirena explains why:
“It’s important because to me its pivotal to have someone in your corner who understands exactly where you are and where you are coming from. I know people do not like to pull the race card, but a fellow photographer that is the same color as you, that is amazing at what she does and understands the struggle…it’s priceless!”
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Sirena White, of Aneris Photography

Learning From Each Other
No two photographers– man, woman, black, or white,– are alike. Not in their shooting style, artistic preferences, nor how they conduct business.  Denise describes Sirena as being a proponent of the phrase “community over competition”, a mindset that she’s adopted herself.  “Seeing how selfless she is with other entrepreneurs and how she’s a cheerleader for everyone has inspired me in so many ways!  Her star shines because she allows others to shine.”

Sirena, on the other hand, can appreciate Denise’s attention to detail.  “Denise is definitely a planner. I call her the “Martha Stewart of Photography” She’s so creative, precise, and has taught me to just slow down enjoy my clients.”

QPSC and Community

The women that make up the Queen PhotograpHERs of SC reach all corners of the state of South Carolina, several of us are located within the same city.   However, we believe that our greatest competition is ourselves, not each other.  Our community makes us better photographers, better business owners, better people, an invaluable commodity.
Final Words from Denise:
You can only get so far by cutting someone else down.  It ends up being more of a reflection of who you are vs who they are.  I’m a big believer in the saying ‘What God has for me is for me’ so I don’t believe that any person can take something that was truly meant for me.  So if I believe that to be true, then why not connect with others in my field trying to do something great?  We can all learn from one another so seeing others as part of my community rather than competition allows me to focus on being a better me instead of focusing on them.
Final Words from Sirena:
I’m a true believer that “A rising tide carries all boats.” If we work together we ALL will make it! There’s more than enough clients out there to go around and trust me, what God has for you, it is for you! The energy that you put out is that you will get back and I have been extremely blessed with the doors that have been opened to me via my photography connections!

Recently, Sirena and Denise linked up for a branding session, where Sirena captured Denise’s brand to perfection! Enjoy.
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    December 28, 2015


  • jeanette brewster

    December 28, 2015

    Great post. I love what the QPSC stands for an how it brings us together. breaking the STEREOTYPE that black women can’t get along or are in secret competition with one another. i am enjoying your latest post. keep it up.

  • Shirnetha Belk Wilform

    December 28, 2015

    Great article! Did not know we were sisters….AKA! Best wishes for 2016!

  • Kim Gibson

    December 30, 2015

    Love this article. Inspires me to break out of my shell and connect with other sister -togs!

  • Lakisha

    January 29, 2016

    Love this!!! I never in my wildest imagination thought there would be a group so encouraging and accepting. I am so excited to grow. The images are beautiful!!

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