Steve and Char Poisall are another husband and wife business team.  They own The Gallery Studios (, a boutique photography studio in Hyde Park.  Steve has been a photographer since he was 17 years old, starting in Baltimore, MD before coming to Tampa Bay.  Char started shooting professionally in 2000 after having their first child.  Previously, she worked as a radio DJ in the Bay area and you may still hear her voice on the radio doing commercials.  Char and Steve have two daughters, ages 13 and almost 11 and are active in the community and in their daughters’ schools.  In their off time, Steve and Char love to travel and play guitar/ukulele. 

1.  What is the most interesting thing about you or your business?

Every day is different.  We meet new people everyday.  We photograph business headshots, weddings, newborns, three generation family portraits to name a few.  We are in the business of creating lasting images for our clients and developing long-lasting relationships with them.

2.  What makes business ownership worth it to you?

Knowing that the work you put in everyday is a direct result of the success of your business. Plus being your  own boss is a nice perk.

3.  Describe your typical day.

Typical?  There is no typical day in the life of a photographer.  However, a typical day usually starts with a good workout.   We have studio hours Monday through Friday, but we can also be on location during those hours.    When we are in the studio, we are photographing clients, we are editing our sessions,  we are working on Photoshop, we are creating marketing pieces, creating photography proposals, we are continually working on improving our craft and sharing our passion to all those we meet.

4.  Would you ever trade running your own business for a 9 to 5 job?

Sometimes.   When you own your own business, business never stops in your head.  Our photography studio is attached to our bungalow home in Hyde Park, so we can close the doors to the studio, but it’s not surprising if business is discussed at the dinner table or once the kids are asleep, we’re both back in our offices working.   Being photographers, our work comes early in the morning, late at night, and weekends.  So sometimes that 9 to 5 job sounds pretty good, but truly we wouldn’t have it any other way.

5.  What advice would you give to someone considering business ownership or entrepreneurism?  Are there certain skills or traits they need to be successful?  

Owning your own business comes with a lot of responsibility.  Be fully prepared for everything. There will be ups and downs, mistakes made, lessons learned.  Stay focused and persistent on what you want.  Hard work does pay off.  Make sure you truly love what you do because you’ll never work a day in your life.

6.  Why do you think you’re successful? What does success mean to you?

To us, success is not measured monetarily.   Steve has been a photographer since he was 17 years old. The Gallery Studios has been in the Tampa Bay area for over 30 years and is still going strong.  Our studio has been in Hyde Park for over 20 years.  The longevity of our business says volumes to our success.  Our success is measured by the referrals we receive from our clients, the repeat business from our clients, and especially the next generation of those clients.

Elizabeth has 15+ years experience in Public Relations, leading local, state and national accounts. Mother, reader, writer, marketer. Read more about me here.

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