By Nancy Peevy | Photos by Chadwick Turner
Photographs and Memories
This couple tells client stories through photography while writing their own unique story in a home that was an answer to prayer
A photograph captures an entire story in just one image. It holds a memory, reminding us of a special moment or relationship and transporting us back to another time and place.
Whitney and David Scott understand that. Their photography business, Whitney Scott Photography, revolves around telling a client’s story through the photographs they take — capturing people’s feelings, personalities and relationships. Throughout the process, they build relationships with their clients while curating a great experience.
Stories resonate with the couple, not only in their business but also in their home. They’ve carried their storytelling into every detail in their house. “I think we could walk all through this house, and everything has a story,” Whitney said.
Just as the photographs they take reflect connections between people, the details in their home create connections with friends and family. For instance, the two small chairs flanking the piano were given to David’s great-grandmother as wedding gifts. Six matted black and white photos hanging in the living room tell of memorable family vacations to France, California, Colorado, England, Washington and Ireland. A German clock featuring a grandmother in a rocking chair, from Whitney’s childhood bedroom, sits on the library shelf. Rolling pins that Whitney’s mother and grandmother used grace her kitchen counter. Downstairs, photos of her mother and David’s mother as little girls and a painting by David’s grandmother adorn the walls. Throughout the house, family heirlooms are mixed with pieces the couple bought at estate sales and flea markets. “I love when we can combine our own history, blending it with the history we are making for our own children, with items that we collect for no other reason than we just love them,” she said.
Whitney loves books and used vintage books throughout the house as decoration. “I find myself often reading them,” she said. “The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill and I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson I’ve read multiple times. Books are a great source of happiness for me, and I believe they give a house a soul.”
The house itself is a story. It began with Whitney’s prayers.
Having lived in Joplin, Missouri, previously, the Scotts relocated their photography business to Northwest Arkansas in 2015 so their kids could attend Providence Classical Christian Academy. They bought a foreclosed house in Bella Vista to remodel and sell. Knowing that residence was temporary, Whitney began praying for the perfect spot for their home — a place comfortable for friends and family, with room outside for hosting their kids’ friends and church group.
Whitney prayed specific requests. “I wanted either a house we could renovate or land to build on — at least five acres — and hilly and partially wooded. I had a whole laundry list. And I wanted a barn. I thought, ‘I’m going to ask for everything I want,’” she said, laughing. “I want a creek, and not necessary, but I would really love a lilac bush!”
She prayed for four years. In 2019, a house on 10 acres in Little Flock came available. Built in the early 1990s, it had an odd floor plan and some dated wallpaper, but the property was what Whitney prayed for — large, wooded, hilly, with a creek at the bottom of the hill. “The yard and the land drew us to this house,” she said. “There was nothing about the house, but you can fix that. You get stuck with the land you’ve got.”
Working from Whitney’s vision for the house remodel, David made it happen. While he contracted out most of the work, David installed the floors, and the kids painted their rooms.
Changes on the main floor included transforming a large bedroom into two smaller ones for the kids, adding a fireplace between the dining and living areas, and adding windows to the front of the house as well as bookcases and a window seat along the front wall. The screened porch addition, complete with a daybed swing, makes for great Sunday afternoon naps. The total kitchen re-do included one of Whitney’s must-haves: a Dutch door to the outside. On nice days, the top half stays open and Annie, the family’s golden retriever, often looks into the kitchen with her paws resting on the door.
In the basement, the couple created an office for their business and — David’s favorite — a movie room with a huge sectional. Another favorite napping spot, a Norwegian covered bed enclosed in a large cabinet, is on the back wall. With extra basement space, the Scotts added an efficiency apartment, complete with bedroom, bath, kitchenette and outside entrance, to rent as an Airbnb.
Friends often gather in the Scotts’ yard, enjoying the firepit surrounded by twinkling lights hung in the trees or riding the zipline. “My vision was always having a bunch of people out in our yard,” Whitney said. “In mid-October, we had the whole youth group — 100 kids — out in our yard carving pumpkins. That’s when I stand up on the porch and think, ‘This is my vision, this is what I wanted.’”
By the Dutch door, Whitney purposefully keeps a collection of aprons and dozens of wire pokers to roast marshmallows over the fire. “Since it was always my dream to have a lot of land for hosting people, it’s a reminder to me to stay open to hospitality,” she said.
By creating deep connections with friends, building relationships with their clients and telling stories through their photography, the Scotts are writing their own unique story — the story that began with Whitney’s prayer. And her request of a lilac bush? The spring after they moved in, the bush in the front flowerbed bloomed. It was lilac.