A pod cast?? What?!

Well… If you were in the Johnson City Tennessee area yesterday and saw our rather large van (aka. Betty White) parked in a random parking lot with two bald, heavily tattooed dudes just sitting beside it with two cameras and an audio recording device…. You weren’t seeing things. One of the goals that we sat for ourselves this last year was to get our PodCast up and running, and yesterday at about 11:30 am we FINALLY did it! I had recently found the app called Anchor by listening to a PodCast done by Casey Neistat and his wife Candic (owner of Billy!). I’ll admit I did NO research into how the app worked, nor how to do our first episode but BAM…. 20 minutes later not only was it done FOR FREE, it was live and online. Granted it’s not great, and the YouTube video will probably be watched/listened to more than the podcast but t was hella easy!

Since yesterday, I actually used my head and done some research to the point that I can successfully say that our following ones will only become better and better…. except you’re still gonna have to listen to us just being us….cause…. well, we do what we want! But until the next one hits, take a quick listen to the first of many to come, and help us out by giving us some feedback and a share or two! You can find us on Apple iTunes, Spotify, the Anchor app, and everywhere else you listen to your podcasts…or…. do what I would do and click the link below!

https://open.spotify.com/episode/6EYgsUlonEgQ7E7iJnU0wi?si=PCzMJ05STr-IhzPuYcvVOg

Done is better than perfect... or so they say.

All the lights are off.  The noise from the washer and dishwasher fill my ears.  The glow of the television which is muted illuminates my living room.  Shoes off and feet on the coffee table here I sit.  I've been working on a video for a company that we work with for almost two weeks, and I have almost decided that I am done editing it, but...  It's still just not what I want.  There are pieces that I feel are missing.  The audio is about to drive me absolutely insane.  We shot the "interview" on the back porch of an Air BNB that we were all at in Louisville Kentucky and those damn crickets.... I mean don't get me wrong.  The photos that came from where we set up were amazing.  The set gives the mood that I was hoping for.  Dark, moody, meaningful... But that crickets.  They have haunted me for two weeks. So today I just finally gave up on trying to get them out (I'm NOT an audio guy at all.... and learned that this week) and have decided that I had to be done.  As I type those words, a quote from Casey Neistat comes to mind "Done is better than perfect".

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I can't say that he is wrong, but this might be one of my largest flaws.  I ALWAYS want to give people what they want, and then some.  What I'm saying is that if someone wants me to give them a $100, I'm that guy that wants to give them $200.  If someone wants a pair of shoes, I wanna give them a new pair of Yeezy's.  Stupid, right?  I agree.  But this is the way that I have been for forever, and I don't know why.  Maybe it's the only way to show anyone that I give a shit as my emotions are not something that most will ever see. Maybe it's because I try to replace time with money, because that's what I've done for years.  I've traded 12-14 hours a day 6 days per week, missed things at home, holidays, and everything else for ... money.  Now that I've actually typed that out it sounds rather lonely or sad I suppose to those that are reading it. Hell. Maybe it seems that way to me too somewhere inside, however its just kinda the person that I've became over the years. now back to what started this post.

 

This video I have scheduled to release for the company this coming Friday, September 20th.  It's literally the first video that will be posted on their YouTube channel and HOPEFULLY will take off like a rocket ship.  With that being said, that's just one of the additional reasons that I want everything perfect. This video going live and being seen by hundreds or even thousands of people could have a HUGE effect not only on his company, but the company that we are building here as well with Throat Punch Productions. This idea that we began over a year ago of a company that Jeremy and I could both grow together to the point where it would be our actual "jobs" one day has been like a long slow burning fuse.  I just keep waiting on that fuse to hit the bottom of the bottle rocket, and smile with delight as I hear the whoosh and see the flames as we sky rocket into what we want to become. Well.... rant/vent is over now.  I'm going to sit and stare at this video for 6 more days and then finally let go and just see what happens. So if you happen to follow our social media accounts (cause you should, cause we're awesome) you'll get to see when that launches, and I'll get another post on here as well with the link when it's up live.  Who knows.... with any luck, maybe someone will see the video, hear the message behind the company and it'll change a life.  If that happens, and nothing else....well.... "Done is better than perfect"

 

 

 

Perfectly Alone

Taylor—

Taylor—

Ok, this one is a bit different. A little more personal than most entries.

I sit here, surrounded by strangers, all sharing space, and still obliviously alone. I came to my favorite Coffee shop ( Open Doors Coffeehouse ) to work and to make myself be in public. The more I truly turn the focus on myself, I learn how if I could choose to, I would be alone most of the time. I fake this pretty well to a point of sheer exhaustion if I’m honest. I am always in the ON position and I am perplexed on how to dial it back and this leads me feeling very alone even surrounded by others. I want more. More genuine connections, more moments captured instead of fainting glimpses of what could have been and can be. I want to understand and to be understood. This is a Pandora’s box in itself because I don’t even understand myself most of the time. So this is me, permitting you to be real with me. To hold me accountable to make something that I want to make. To make something that instantly makes you wonder what I saw at that moment. I want discussions had about my work, and I permit you to hate it. I permit you to love it, to critique it, to tear it the hell apart, and then meet me for coffee and tell me those things. Those feelings. I find my inspiration in lots of places, but every time I stumble across work by photographers like Ryan Muirhead ( my favorite ) or Fiona Lark who take the most amazing self-portraits it makes me wonder, what am I doing? Why am I running a race I don’t want to win? I want to feel. I want to print my work and have actual feelings toward it. I judge myself daily and fall short every single time. I’m not a good writer or cook, and I’m an ok photographer -but not forever. 

“Alone I’m artistically tormented because my favorite work is documentary in nature. Honest portraits of things as they are. Every day I see hundreds of pictures that I am too afraid to make and it kills me”- Ryan Muirhead

I have no illusions that this will make me feel better, but if there is any small chance, someone else reads it and something is ignited, then it's worth ripping this bandaid off of my life. If someone were to relate and realize they are not alone in their thoughts then it's enough.

I sit here and I wonder as I practice being more observant. I wonder about her shoes. Where have they been, and plan to go next? Does she skate, or just prefer low top Vans to other options? I don't blend in well to my surroundings and I am ok with that, but I also wonder about the people we share this space with.

I found myself unable to finish this entry while I sat at my table, looking around. I couldn't find the words, or hold my thoughts together with both hands. I can almost picture my thoughts pouring through my finger tips and hitting the floor with such force they implode into nothingness. Leaving no trace of the ideas I had, the visions I wanted to create at that moment, lost to my inability to remember.

All images included are the types of images I want to make. They are alive

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Jaryn—

Jaryn—

Atlas—

Atlas—

Its not bragging if you can "Back It Up"- Muhammad Ali

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So as of writing this, I have Netflix playing on one monitor while searching for a new external hard drive for my iMac. I have a 5TB option now that is great but since recently switching back to Apple products, my drive is read-only and that's not helpful. I thought I had formatted it properly to read and write via Mac and PC but apparently, I was wrong. As much as I loathe admitting my shortcomings, I must admit my failure here. Anyone who takes digital photos, on your phone or with a camera you NEED to be backing your information up somewhere. I won't get into options or my opinions on them but wanted to bring some simple awareness to the matter. I am happy to help you find the drive or online service that would work best for you but since this is a case by case basis, I would ask you reach out to me personally on this matter. Not all options are created equally.

Why is it important to back this information up? Maybe you have the brand new phone ( pick your poison here ) and accidentally drop it in the pool before you could upload your files to the cloud. So now they cease to exist. Maybe you're new to photography, graphic design, or even writing and without backing up your data, its simply playing a modern version of Russian Roulette. One power surge and everything disappears. If you work on an iPad, laptop, or desktop you are at risk. Don't get me wrong, you may never have a hard drive crash, or power surge failure but isn't your work worth protecting? Archiving and passed down to others? Life happens constantly and our technology is as vulnerable time itself.

This is especially true due to living in a society so dependent on immediate gratification. We take images to upload to social media hoping for what exactly? Likes? Hearts? Attention? We post them and they are as good as gone. On to the next image, the next big thing. Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy social media myself but I am trying desperately to keep that to a minimum and to try and help promote business. I also enjoy keeping up with my friends and colleagues but what happens if those servers go down as well. Unlikely I know but what if? User data drives these sites and when that data fades, a new platform steps up. See ya later Myspace, and hello Facebook.

Ok, let's get serious here for a moment if I may. I would truly enjoy comments below answering this question. When is the last time you printed your work? If you're writing a novel, and only posses a digital version and there happens to be a failure, then what? I am thrilled to say that we are seeing an uprise of film shooters and the analog community grow as a whole. Why is this important? Well, you will have to follow me on Youtube for the answer to that as I am trying to gather my thoughts for my next video.

My advice to you? Print that novel, print your photos and look for the invaluable attachment that is possible in the tangible. Don't get me wrong, I love my technology and hope its last forever but I also don't want anything to happen to me, leaving my loved ones hacking into my electronic database for memories of and with me. Hoping to find some digital link to who I was and the life I lived. This is truly a sad state of mind if you take a moment to consider this.

I hope if you are a writer, I hope you have a favorite pen, a photographer with your favorite print, graphic artist with a framed piece hanging for all to enjoy somewhere. We desperately need more actual, physical pieces of our work in this digital world. When is the last time you visited a loved one and flipped through a photo album? How did that make you feel? Did it connect you to a moment in a way that your Instagram feed simply lacks? Of course, it did, and thankfully so. I hope you find inspiration here, in my work but more importantly in your own.

Mr & Mrs Hammond

Jacob receiving his gift moments before he sees his wife for the very first time!

Jacob receiving his gift moments before he sees his wife for the very first time!

I won’t pretend to ever have the words to truly tell the Love Stories that we are so lucky to capture, but I truly hope that the images we deliver emote above all else. I can’t tell you how Brittany and Jacob met but I can tell you how we met one another and how that led to the beautiful union of these two incredible people.

Jacob had planned to ask Brittany for her hand, and had every detail planned to do so. He invited both sides of there familie's to attend, had props specifically for the moment and had a photographer hired and ready to capture what turned into a perfect moment in time. The story gets interesting here. Only a few days from the planned proposal, the photographer came down with the flu! So they took a deep breath and messaged a dear friend of mine, and talented photographer Amy Brown. Amy was quick to send them my information. Brittany’s mom sent me a message via Facebook asking my availability. I had plans! I also wasn’t going to let that stand in my way of capturing this moment for them, so I agreed. The time was set, the place was determined, and we have never met. I quickly warned Penny that I would be there, but would be the heavily tattooed guy, with the bald head, and the camera in the air. Jump forward to the day and everything went flawlessly and was worthy of the big screen. I was quick to introduce myself after the initial shock and went straight to work. We took photos of the newly engaged couple as well as them with their families. I was so pumped at how the images turned out. The sky from that day was, well……

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It wasn’t long after they had the final gallery of the images I captured that they asked about my availability to also capture the wedding. I was speechless. I honestly assumed that the original photographer would have the honor, but I was quick to check my calendar and lock the date down. I am so glad I did. Spending the day dancing through the details they spent so much time in perfecting, and engulfing myself into their family and friends was effortless as they treated me like family. I had the extreme pleasure of having Katy help and second shoot the day with me, and truly couldn’t have succeeded without her.

The venue at Chateau Selah, in Blountville, TN is truly from a fairy tale, and everyone we encountered made being on site such a pleasure. Every detail from start to finish was incredible. The food, the views, the dress, I mean everything fell perfectly in to place for their wedding day. Ok, enough words

I would like to end this entry by saying, Thank You to Brittany, Jacob and their families. I hope they experience the love that Brittany’s parents still clearly share as they danced the night away. Jacob I hope she forgave you for dropping her mid sparkler exit LOL.

St. Louis

#unionstationhotel

I am sitting thousands of feet in the air on my flight back home from an amazing weekend in St. Louis. It’s funny how life works and how are lives get tangled up and intertwined with others due to unexpected circumstances. Back in November of last year, 2018, Wes and I were to head to Nashville to work the Nashville Night of Champions Body Building show. Unfortunately, Wes had been moved around by work and was unable to attend, so I took off on a solo trip. I was there simply to capture the BTS ( behind the scenes) of the event and was not the official event media. Upon getting checked in, I made my way around the arena and came upon a vendor booth selling apparel, but immediately after speaking to the guys there, I knew it was something more than just clothing. It was a life style, a call to be more, to simply be yourself. Or as like like to say, BYFS ( be your Fn self ). It was clear they were passionate about this motto, and I found myself circling back all day long and hanging out. Long story short, I had just met the owner of Stand Alone Apparel and the men who help him make it work at these shows. He introduced me to everyone, even his wife and baby girl but I also met new friends. Since November, Brandon and I have spoken a few times. I have posted pictures of my apparel I picked up from them, and he is always quick to give us a shout out. He contacted me a few months ago, and asked me what it would take to get to St Louis this past weekend to document the show they were setting up at. We made a plan, he flew me to the show, gave me a room at their Airbnb, and just welcomed me in like family. For this I’m grateful. It was nice to be surrounded by like minded people, who have more tattoos than I do and to work along side them. It was also pretty dope for 5 grown, tattooed men, carrying a Tiffany Blue Yeti cooler to walk into a place downtown where they LET YOU THROW AXES at stuff. By stuff I mean target walls, and toward the end of the night we also had metal throwing cards, and ninja stars.. yep, ninja stars.  I wont say who was the victor overall but believe me when I say, I’m competitive so I brought the inner Viking out and hurled axes with the crew.  We met new people everywhere we  went and St Louis was welcoming, except for one old dude that tried to run us over, all of us while we crossed the street. He wont soon forget us, especially Dean. 

Brandon and I talked business, and its clear that Stand Alone Apparel and Throat Punch Pros, will be collaborating more and more in the near future. We have big plans, that you don’t wanna miss. 

So from running to catch planes, to throwing axes, eating good food, taking lots of photos/videos, and hanging out with people that have your back, I can honestly say it was a successful trip. I’m excited to be headed home to see my family and wrap them in my arms but it wont be long before you see us teamed up again. 

Now for the goods, go check out the video over on YouTube and hit the bell to subscribe because more heat is coming down the pipe soon.

https://youtu.be/Pvxb3Dz2tQc

So dont forget to BYFS or get Punched in the Throat. 

J

 

#standaloneapparel
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#historic
#stlouisarch
The man behind, @standaloneapparel never stops working.

The man behind, @standaloneapparel never stops working.

I can’t stop…

We just got back from a trip that took us a few days. As you may or may not know, we had decided to purchase a Ram Promaster van to help us as we grow with our travel situations. On that trip, because it’s us, we took our cameras. Granted we didn’t go all out on anything. We took only the basics. No tripods, lights, gimbals, nothing. Just our cameras. While we were driving in a rental car to go pickup our new van (aka Betty White), Jeremy sat beside me staring out the window. Suddenly, he jumped. His camera quickly to his face, his hands placed on the Lens, and I heard him say “Shit… I think I missed it!”

He was wrong … so wrong. The picture that I share with you now is that exact photo. Shot from a window while traveling at about 70 mph … he made time stand still. He took a shot that I have stared at for probably almost an hour now. He snapped a shot that will be the only piece of artwork that will be displayed inside of Betty White …. eww… that sounded horrible. Just remember, Betty White is our new van/camper van …

i wish I could put into words the feelings that I get as I stare at this photograph. The thoughts that come to my mind. I simply don’t have the words … but if I don’t share it with everyone, you can’t have the opportunity to feel the same as I. So without further ado, I present to you a beautiful piece that I have nicknamed “The Silence”…. you’re welcome.

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The internal battle

So, just like every business owner (or at least I THINK this is how they all are).. I’ve worked my “day job” for the last 12 hours and am currently sitting at a bar top with my iPad in hand. As I sip on a glass of whiskey on the rocks my mind won’t turn off. Like at all. I’ve sat and starred at the SEO tab on our website, I’ve researched key words, I’ve looked up google add words, and literally gotten lost in so much data that I think I have used pieces of my brain that I haven’t in years. I began realizing that I was stressing so badly over these little things that I hadn’t even stopped to enjoy the spirit sitting to my left, and that within itself is a horrible thought. So let’s talk, shall we?

We are a small company. Like legit, there’s two of us that do this. We do have other shooters come in with us from time to time or collaborate on projects with others (insert IMD cert here ) but for the most part it’s just two tattooed dudes and their families that do this because of two simple reasons. #1 we love it. That feeling we get when we finish an album and get to deliver it to a client…. that’s like the best feeling in the world. #2… because if you don’t hire us we’ll punch you in the throat (hence the name..). And #3 because that last one was a total joke, it gives us the opportunity to capture moments in time that without these cameras, would be lost FOREVER. Any ways…. You get it, right? We do it not because we are going to become rich and famous, we do it because we love it. NOW for the other side…. We DO love it, but with the craft also come the costs. Like costs’ that we didn’t think of. New gear, travel money, a freaking van, flights, hotels, cases to put our gear in, drones that we crash and have to buy new ones, and the freaking list goes on and on and on. THESE, are the simple reasons that we charge for what we do. We want to be the best. Produce the best films. The best photos. The BEST experience to all of our clients. To do all of that , we try and expand. New website, looking to sell some merchandise (mainly because Throat Punch is the coolest name ever … I mean if you don’t want a T shirt that has our logo on it, why are you even reading this……) This is where the battle comes in.

I DO NOT want this to become something that we are slaves to. We want this to be fun not only for our clients, but for US. Yeah… we are fucking selfish, and that’s ok too. If you know us you already know that we aren’t afraid to speak our minds. To tell you to fuck off if you’re being a dick. To tell you that your idea for the “most amazing photo ever” is truly a pile of bull shit. WE will remind your uncle that’s trying to take “wedding photos” with is iPad to sit the fuck down, cause you hired a professional….. We want to make sure that you have fun, get the perfect experience, and we are the ones that can give it to you. So what the hell am I doing worrying about SEO or SEM or whatever its called?? It’s simple…. we want to be the best. We already know that we are the best photography company on the east coast. We know that Jeremy Gouge is a force that most can’t hold a candle to. Peter McKinnon, MIGHT…. be able to teach Wesley something but he’d do well to take a class from Jeremy to learn something himself. Soooooo here’s the end of the story. If you’re reading this, and you’re a computer guy/internet GURU freaking call me! We want our site to work well only to get us in front of some of the most rad people wanting to make some rad memories, and us catch them all! So HELP US…. Cause after all of this, and looking, reading, and typing this 30 minute rant…. I know that I am a much better film maker than I am in Internet Web maker…. Yep …. I suck balls at that :)

Grayson Highlands Senior Session

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Today is the first day of April, and we are BOOMING. We are out of town and shooting every single weekend of April, and booked 2 more weddings in the last 7 days but so far, my favorite session is the one I’m about to share with you all. This one is special because the young man we are writing is family. Don’t get me wrong, anyone that chooses to let us capture moments in the life for them, well your family as well but Austin is literally family. We have only known him a short almost 3 years but that doesn’t change the fact that hes one of my sons. Not biologically but who cares about that crap. He is quick to remind me how smart, witty, and unique he is. SInce he has been here, he has grown so much. Both in height, and confidence but also in this new family of his.

We have been talking about options for his senior portraits for months, but as most guys, hates having his picture taken. He has stalled and stalled until that was no longer an option. So we decided it was time, and our location of choice was Grayson Highlands Park in Virginia. Our family took a day trip here last summer and immediately fell for the place. The views are spectacular and anytime you can roam with wild ponies, well that’s just special now isn’t it. It was a rare occasion where he and I had the entire afternoon/ evening to ourselves. The lack of cell service also provided for some interesting conversation as well. I honestly couldn’t have planned a better day to spend with Austin. As per usual, here are the photos.

This is what life is all about, spending time with those you care for, and to capture those moments to enjoy for a lifetime.

Living in a van down by the river

As I sit here, I've became oddly aware of how much noise can be found in silence.  The droning sound of the fan above my head.  The air that it pushes down across my ears.  The slight tick that can be heard as my fingers pound on the keyboard.  The leather from the couch as I move ever so slightly from time to time with the motions of my arms.  My beer beside me as the bubbles from carbonation seem to pop over and over again. Even swallowing sounds as though there's an ocean in this loft....  Sounds a bit much, doesn't it?  This... is my "Sound of Silence". And this.... is what I want away from.  No more loft... No more sitting here listening to nothing... It's time to get outta here, and I think we are all going to enjoy what happens next.  

Now onto the great news....  The countdown is on!  This time next week, we'll be climbing into one of our friend's planes and heading out to Missouri to pick up our new work van/home.  Yeah, I just said slash home.  I've wanted to do this for a number of years now, but present circumstances have now given me the opportunity to live IN A VAN, down by the river.  Work has been crazy as of late, and there has been a LOT of travel and it has costed more money than I care to even share. So this... was the perfect opportunity!  We have found a Promaster high top, extended 3500 diesel van that will both serve as a living space, and mobile office as we are quite sure that we will be needing it more and more.  If I said that we weren't both super stoked to be getting this.. I'd be a HUGE liar.  We both are as excited as two 10-year-old kids with our first Playboy magazine, and I had an idea to go with this plan.  


I think that some of you might actually enjoy getting to see two tattooed dudes from Tennessee climbing into a private plane, picking up our new pride and joy, and taking a couple of days worth of road trip stupidity as we come back home..... soooo.... Stay tuned for our short film/video/vLog whatever you wanna call it.  Probably most Jeremy and myself driving, having conversations that we think are brilliant while most of you will disagree, and HOPEFULLY.... some beautiful scenery as well.  Make sure you follow us on Instagram to see some of the money shots, check us out on YouTube for the video of the fun, and check back here for more details and quite possibly some further blog posts about what we do to the van until you see the finished product!  

Times are changing.... and we are NOT afraid of change

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Well…. WE’ve discussed this for well over a year. Looked at all the options. Debated what was the BEST decision for us both as a business, and with our finances. And the thumbnail for this blog post is what has became of all of this. As 2019 is already well in full swing, we have found ourselves with shoots happening on location in St Louis, Asheville, Knoxville, Bristol, Nashville, and Shelby just within the next 45 days! We are a small business, and those hotel rooms or Air BNB’s can take a HUGE amount from the bottom line, so this….. was what we feel is our next best step!

DON’T WORRY! As we begin building out our Ram Promaster 3500 eco diesel camper van/mobile office we will be taking you along for the ride with us! I personally have enjoyed watching multiple YouTube videos of others completing their builds, seeing how everyone has done little things to make life on the road easier, and I hope that you will enjoy our journey as well. If you haven’t already jump over to IG (Instagram) and give us a follow @throatpunchpros. After working long days at a normal 9-5 job you can enjoy watching me smash my fingers, cut myself, scream, yell, and possibly bleed too!

Wish us the best, and we hope to see you all soon as we travel across the country making our dreams come true…… and probably hiking every chance we get too!

Grayson Highlands and Dinosaurs

Adventure Portraits

I was blessed to be able to capture William and Rebekah’s wedding 2 years ago. I have also had the extreme pleasure of working with them several times since that November day. Rebekah messaged me asking about doing something special to celebrate their upcoming anniversary, and I was excited to see what they had in mind. Little did I know at the time there would be a dinosaur on a mountain top but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that it happened. Let me back up and catch you up. She and I were discussing locations, and she mentioned that they really wanted views and mountains, and knowing where they live, we quickly settled on the amazing Grayson Highlands State Park, in Virginia. She mentioned they wanted to wear their wedding attire to celebrate and to do something different. I asked how quickly we could make this happen! We found a date that worked for us both, and once we were close to the day, the weather was throwing us curve balls. We are booked almost every weekend for the rest of the year so finding another day seemed difficult if not impossible, but fortunately we aren’t afraid of the elements. Any of them! So we decided to go for it and believe me when I say, it was the best decision we could have made. They planned to hike up comfortable clothing and switch over once we made it to the summit. The week of the session, Rebekah messaged me to let me know she had a surprise for William and wanted to make sure we could make it work and we worked out the logistics quickly. We met up at the entrance to the park, hugs were exchanged because we are friends and friends hug it out. I knew where I wanted to take them and after checking our location via compass we chased sunset. This is where the pictures speak for themselves because this is how we communicate our vision best.

We had sunshine, fog, and a sky of fire for about 60 seconds. Being confident in your ability and with your equipment allows those moments to not pass in vain. What are you waiting for, contact us now to join the fam. Also the beast ( that still needs a name ) my Pentax 645n medium format film camera came out for a few frames and I am excited about those frames for a few reasons. The film was provided by a great friend of ours, the ever so talented Katy Sergent of Katy Sergent Photography and she also shares a passion for the outdoors and Grayson Highlands State Park. This creates a new value that cant be explained or duplicated in my opinion. Those will be coming soon so follow us on Instagram.

Foggy Mountain Love Story

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We recently saw a post of someone looking for referrals to have some photos made while they were in town. This was a cool situation and one we were quick to respond to and step up for. Wes saw the post in a random Facebook group were he quickly replied throwing our name in the ring. The situation is unique in a few ways so it only seems fitting that they chose us because we are nothing in the market if not unique.

Travis and Melissa are traveling from Maryland and visiting family in Pigeon Forge, TN. Melissa messaged us promptly and after seeing Wes' comment and it was obvious that we would get along well. I should start by admitting that Wes and I both manage our Facebook page and its easy to get ahead of each other because we strive to be prompt to our clients and available. This means that sometimes, we are both messaging people at the same time and one another to clarify everything. What was interesting is not only are Melissa and Travis in East Tennessee which holds such a special place for me personally, but they are also Jeep people and enjoy getting outside. I don't think it could have worked out any better. We discussed their preferences and we quickly suggested the Beauty Spot in Erwin, TN. She mentioned they would love Mountain views, and fields if possible. Both of these are easily found at this amazing location. So we had a plan and we were ready to go last Monday. We agreed to meet in town so they could follow me up the mountain. This is another amazing detail of our story. They eagerly drove the 2 hours from where they are staying on vacation just to work with us. I checked the weather and Monday was the only day of the week with a low percentage of rain, but Melissa was happy to shoot in the rain if it came to that, and I am happy to make that happen anytime.

As I drove to meet them, I noticed how beautiful the fog was dancing across the tops of the trees. I was quick to realize that we may or may not have the views promised, and the doubt set it, but just for a minute. I remembered how much I love a challenge and I made a decision to tackle any obstacle thrown at us.

We met up, introductions were made and we were ready to head up. Unfortunately, at this time, they were about 30 mins late due to traffic and we started later in the day to catch sunset so time was against us. As we took the pull off into the gravel and climb the fog was heavier than I expected but no turning back now. Once we made it to the parking area, and we surveyed the area we were ready to go. I have to admit how easy they made this session. I was thrilled to work in fog so heavy you could barely see 20 feet in front of you. This created some issues I wasn't expecting, like did you know if you have someone roughly 15 feet away shooting thru the dense fog, the fog shows up as grain in the images. I love the character it provided. It gave depth but also something else, something almost magical. Ok, enough typing already, let's see some pictures.