Creativity and why you should bring yours to your session!In

In this VLOG I discuss how bringing your own version of creativity to your session and how that is beneficial. Since I'm trying this new format I would love to hear thoughts about what you like or dislike about this VLOG vs my old blog. Lets go-

I truly appreciate you stopping by here and listening to me even when I couldn't find my thoughts lol. I am not above laughing at myself obviously. Here is the link to Katy's Blog as promised for you adventurous people, HERE

J

Where do you find inspiration?

 I love candid black and white street photography

I love candid black and white street photography

As photographer's we can easily lose our inspiration if we are shooting all the time, and if those moment's are solely for clients. What? Did I just admit that I struggle with inspiration, ABSOLUTELY. Its scary to admit and I do not feel that this hinders my work, but I am painfully aware that it has kept me from pushing myself to my fullest potential at times. I think if we all could be completely honest with ourselves we could admit that in an ideal world we would create something unique, all the time, and only accept the jobs that truly moved us. I know this is a reality for me some days. Being conscious of this, keeps me checked, and allows me to focus on whats most important, and that its not me or my desire all the time. It reminds me how important what we as photographers do. Do I strive to shoot the jobs that move me most, of course and will continue to push and develop my craft toward that prize but will also put all of myself into every client along the way. I will try to make connections stronger, build more lasting relationships than ever before.  Below I have several images, all taken with my beloved Fuji Xpro 2 and either my xf16mm, or xf90mm lens. These were for myself and even a few of myself. Looking to express how this world is such an incredible place to live if we can only look up from our phones once in awhile and take it all in!

“It is the the photographer’s movements, perspective and experience that are being depicted in any given picture.”

-Antonio d' Agata

What does our work say about our experiences? Our perspectives and movements? One of the quotes, I have become very attached to in an interview with Antonio d'Agata. His work is not for the faint of heart nor is it pretty and pleasant but it is RAW and REAL and EMOTIONAL.

 

parking lots, abandoned , cracks

"X"

Crossing into nothingness 

self portrait, me, xpro2, shutter drag

Self

In the everyday world, a world which affords comforts, encourages fear and supports silence, lies, hypocrisy, cynicism and laziness, people protect themselves to the point of numbness,ending up lifeless.- Antonio d’Agata
— https://www.americansuburbx.com/2014/03/asx-interviews-antoine-dagata-simple-desire-exist-2014.html

All of the above images were taken in Downtown Johnson City, Tennessee and the self portraits in our home. I find inspiration for my work in many places, mostly nature and my family, but also by other artists. I've said many times Ryan Muirhead is currently at the top of my list, followed by countless others. I have an Instagram problem. LOL

Before and After Portraiture

F1.8, 1/100th, 55mm, ISO 50

So I have been considering topics to blog for 2 days and actually set the matter aside as I was busy with other things, then I decided to re-edit some of my favorite images and upon doing so came up with this brilliant plan. Don't mind my sarcasm here lol. I think its easy to see photography or images we like and hit the like button, or slam that heart if your on Instagram. ( everyone should be on IG, its my favorite ) I think often times, that as photographers some members of society think we charge our rates to simply show up and push the button. Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows, I kid around about just pushing the button but when it comes down to it I do much more than that.  The details of how I work on a shoot are ( cue dramatic action film intro music please) coming to this blog in the near future so I won't waste anytime on that today. So what I'm doing is posting a few images below and that will start with the RAW or SOOC image and then the edited image along side it. I hope this achieves several things. I hope to express how much time and effort is put into my work when no one is watching, and honestly I hope to prove that "having a friend with a camera" doesn't mean that you should actually trust them to capture moments in this life that you want to pass down and remember for years to come but also appreciate for what they are as a whole. I spent all day today re working these images and most of them have never been seen as they are images I never released from the initial shoot.
Ok, about the shoot to start. My friend and fellow photographer Nathan Mays, in the off seasons invites groups of fellow creatives to his studio in Bristol to hang out, network and sometimes we shoot.. these images came from that night. All images where shot with my previous camera, the Sony A7ii and the Zeiss 55mm lens. Lighting was provided by Nathan ( thank you ) and we used his Alien Bee Einstein Strobe heads. If I ever find myself in the place where I need a studio again. Einstein's will be my lighting of choice in case anyone wonders how I feel about them.
Haley, and Lilly were invited to model for the group and I remember Nathan whispering to me that someone needs to start shooting, the models where ready and no one was taking advantage of them being there for us.. So here I went! Not sure his trigger would even work on my camera body, but luckily it did. The images below are the results.  Ill list camera exif below each set for any photographers who might be curious.

BEFORE

F1.8, 1/125th, ISO 50

  AFTER

AFTER

  BEFORE   F1.8, 1/125th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F1.8, 1/125th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

 BEFORE  F 1.8, 1/100th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 1.8, 1/100th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

 BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/160th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/160th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

 BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/1250th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/1250th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

 BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

 BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

 BEFORE  F2.5 1/200th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F2.5 1/200th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

 BEFORE  F 2.5. 1/160th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5. 1/160th, ISO 50

 AFTER

AFTER

I appreciate that you came by my site and hope you enjoyed the intimate look at my before and after images. The last 2 shots are double exposures and where just something different to play with and as you see, I had to adjust for the ceiling and the other photographer in my shot, but was able to make a very dramatic image still. Please leave me your thoughts below in the comments! -J

She said YES!

DSCF7047.jpg

Its not often than I get the privilege to capture a proposal, but I am beyond grateful that I was able to capture a new one this past weekend! Funny story actually--as Brittany's mother had a different photographer hired to capture this special day, but due to the flu she was left looking for someone to procure the milestone. I was referred to her by a past client/friend and was happy to be available so the planning ensued. We discussed the location, and the plan, but even feeling prepared, I found myself nervous. I rarely get nervous but I always feel out of place, almost stalking my clients as they do not know me  ( yet ) and I don't know them either.Their families came together to create a wall to hide Jacob as he was prepared with his own special way to ask for her hand.  I prefer to let the images tell the rest of the story for me as its the best way I know how. So congratulations to Jacob and Brittany, and here is how the story goes!

 

Jacob and Brittany Proposal
Lifestyle photographer. Proposal, engaged
 She said YES!! I told you earlier lol

She said YES!! I told you earlier lol

 The emotion is so genuine here.

The emotion is so genuine here.

Diamond Ring, Gshock, Wedding photographer
#marryme, #globe #mr&mrs
 "Let The Adventure Begin",,,,,,,

"Let The Adventure Begin",,,,,,,

 Surrounded by Family is the perfect end to a beautiful day in downtown Kingsport, Tennessee,

Surrounded by Family is the perfect end to a beautiful day in downtown Kingsport, Tennessee,

To all of my photographer friends: Should we ever shoot for free?

This topic is widely discussed in the photography community and although my ideas may not be earth shattering - I still feel they are worth sharing - so here we go.

As a photographer, we ultimately want to create something we are genuinely proud of. This reaches from our images captured, the business we create, to the brand we cultivate. We dream of working in bigger cities, larger platforms, or maybe just in a larger capacity, meaning booking more in our current market. While none of these are lacking their own unique qualities, the end goal is the same: to be successful. So I would challenge you to first describe what that is for you? What do you see when you think SUCCESS?  Write it down.

Once you have jotted your definition of that, please comment your notes below so we can all share in your goal. Then - how does shooting for free, or not, play into that success? It may not. It may not help book that corporate contract you're chasing or that wedding that you've been marketing to for weeks, but it may benefit in ways that are more meaningful in the big picture.

Ok, so shooting for free clearly won't put Benjamins in your savings account and there is zero guarantee that it will lead to those elusive Benjamins ever, but what if I told you that's ok?! Its ok if something you're truly dedicated to doesn't afford you the new equipment you're drooling over (on Amazon, B&H, or Adorama). Because what if the rewards are so much more than a tangible objective?

I know what you're thinking- "I need to make money to succeed as a business" and yes, that is true, but what if you dove into something you are truly passionate about and saw it to completion? The feeling of doing something for someone else is a wonderful experience to have. If anyone has ever bought your coffee in the drive thru before you got to the window, I bet you smiled. I bet that feeling was a pleasant feeling. We as photographers have the opportunity, responsibility even, to capture moments in time. Moments to record of joy, sadness, surprise, love, etc. No one makes us passionate about our craft, we are drawn to it for our own personal reasons. So in the end, you can do whatever you want.  You can donate your time and skill anyway you prefer. I love volunteering at our Church anytime they need another photographer to capture events, or just the typical Sunday morning service. I dream of taking a missions trip with my Church and doing just that. Capturing the need of others in a way that someone else would be lead to do more, be more than they are.  I also love having my camera with me when out in public and strive to capture moments and objects I see that catch my eye or that make up the world around us -- you never know when those images are going to change in meaning or value.  Imagine after 9/11 having been able to log into your computer and see images that you'd captured of the city in years past while you were just enjoying your world around you while walking the city...we, as photographers, have the privilege of snapping and archiving the wonderful things around us, but if you only wait to do so once you've been hired or told what to do, you miss this opportunity.

Now, am I talking about hired pro bono work here too?  Maybe, sometimes yes.  You don't have to simply give your time away to some event if you choose not to, however. There are lots of benefits to choosing to do free work for yourself (so much creative freedom!) -- You could also start a photo project that means something - a project that speaks directly to you. By doing so, you may challenge others to do the same, or share a story that helps someone who really needed to hear that particular story. One of my absolute favorite photographers is Ryan Muirhead. His work is hauntingly captivating, but his approach is as well. I'll never forget the video he posted where he is sitting in the floor with his subject and so engaged that when he realized he had the shot he couldn't pass up, he couldn't take his eyes off of her long enough to even reach for his camera and found himself blindly reaching for it. He wanted to capture exactly what he was seeing, that moment, that expression, that emotion and I want that almost-hypnotized-experience.

I'm challenging myself to create for myself as well as others. I challenge you to do the same. Life is far too fragile and far too fleeting to not make today different than yesterday was. Maybe for yourself, your clients, or someone that stumbles upon your work some day.

Working for free may pay more than we are capable of calculating when we open our eyes to the possibilities of it. 
JG

Planning and timing your Wedding Exit

#meadowviewconventioncenter #militarywedding #sparklerexit #wedding #kingsporttn #magmod

In this blog I'm going to share how and why I approach your exit on your wedding day a little different than some other photographers and how it works wonderfully for me. If your reading this your most likely in one of two categories: Your either engaged and planning your special day, or maybe your a fellow photographer curious to create more dramatic exits for your happy couples. I hope this helps and lets get into it!

I'm not going to discuss lighting, or posing here but I will say that its important to trust the photographer you hired to create something from their vision, hopefully combined with your own. So your probably wondering what I could possibly be referring to when I say planning  and timing for your exit. The normal response if asked when this will happen, is the end of the night so what am I talking about? Let me take a second to explain why and how I like to do this differently. 

 

So if your planning the wedding, then you are fully aware how hard this process can be. You are also aware how much time and effort you have spent over the guest list among the other details. So you clearly invited those your surrounded by and are glad they are celebrating with you so why wouldn't we utilize them to maximize the effect of your exit? It never fails, the weddings that decide to keep with traditions and have the exit at the end of the night are missing a large number of guests at this point. Maybe they brought the kids, or maybe they are older and not wanting to dance the night away so they have said their goodbyes, hugged necks, and wished love and blessings over you. So the list of people available to send you off in style is diminished by the end of the party. While this is not the end of the world by any means, I like to suggest a different option to have a dramatic send off. 

How do I do this? WE FAKE IT!! Yes you read that correctly. With a little planning, and 10 to 15 minutes of your time, you can have a much grander tunnel of loved ones to send you on your way.  So we line up everyone we can get our hands on and create a line as big as space allows. This can be achieved inside or out, and with whatever method you choose to use. Sparklers, bubbles. etc. PSA- order your sparklers in advance if this is your preference and make sure to get the correct ones.. Regular sparklers will not work. They wont last long enough or put off enough sparkle for lack of a better term.

So in short, we take a few minutes, fake the exit, then let everyone return to the after party! This way everyone can relax knowing its taken care of and the night can end organically rather than orchestrated. This is simply my opinion but a method that has worked well for me for years. I would love to know your thoughts on this and how you may prefer the exit differently!

Next up "Working with your photographer and making time for wedding portraits"

 

JG

#boonenc #ido #northcarolinawedding #ocf #weddingportraits #lightingiskey

My favorite locations for adventurous couples!

My favorite locations for adventurous couples!

Sunset over Sams Gap after a day of fly fishing #sunset #easttennessee #blueridgemountains #samsgap #wolfpackoverland #jgp

Im Back!

Well its been a long time since writing here and that's for a few reasons. I had taken a new chance and changing my business platform and Ill just say that, things did not work out. I'm not wasting any more time on said project but more importantly, I'm not wasting time on the "what if's ". I have hit the Reset button and bigger and better things are going to happen, because I'm not capable of settling for anything else. I am making life changes and putting my Faith and Family first and then and only then can I succeed in the matters that mean the most. 

If I were world known and rich beyond measure, but didn't have my family and my Faith, it would all be for not. I'm making steps to trust the Lords plan for my life and my business and I am extremely blessed and excited by this decision. 

I am booking for 2018 now and would love to meet new people and create something truly meaningful and put my work in new venues. This year I print more, I shoot more, but I will also laugh more, pray more and be more present in this life. I have started bullet journaling to help keep me on the path and help get the negativity out of my life.  I will be attending more seminars, classes and looking for a business mentor. Someone I respect and can trust. I'm also, for maybe the first time truly, working on myself. I'm currently listening to a wonderful book, suggested by my lovely wife, called " The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. So far its incredible and I highly recommend it. I'm also go to try and help the industry more. Maybe teach classes or start a photo walk for children. Lots to work on and its time to get to it.. if you find yourself reading this  I hope you can remember, times get tough, things are not always the way we want them to be, but we are meant for so much more. Dust yourself off, chin up, and smile.. smile in defeat but count the lessons in it, smile at a stranger it may change their day, and smile because we have great things to accomplish in this wonderful thing called LIFE!

#motivational #jgp #steppingoutinfaith

ATL with Fuji

Downtown Atlanta

Well, its been over a month since I have taken time to sit down and write here and for that I apologize but I have been extremely busy and loving it! In all the booked solid weekends, and editing we made time to sneak off last weekend to Atlanta GA for a much needed fun weekend. I love big cities and roaming around and although we did that very little, I tried to put the Fuji Xpro2 to work every chance I could. I have talked up this system every chance I have found and will continue to do so. Its exactly the tool I need to do what I love most.

If you have seen any of my work in the last year you have probably noticed my love for lines, patterns, shapes and such. Being in a city with tall buildings around every corner was basically the equivalent of taking my children to Chucky Cheese.  Yes I was excited. So you wont see many portraits in the post or pretty things. You will see , to some extent, how I see the world around me. Maybe someone will find inspiration here or a good laugh at my poor writing skills and nonsense.

 

Parking Garage
Street Photography, Fuji Street Photography
 My favorite image that doesn't include someone I know of the entire trip!

My favorite image that doesn't include someone I know of the entire trip!

Let me pause and explain why we were in ATL to start with. My wife introduced me to an amazing show called, Cirque Du Soleil and we have seen a few performances together, but she has seen more than she can recall. We knew the boys had fall breaks coming up and just so happened they were performing a show we had not seen titled, "Luzia", and we couldn't think of a better way to spend the weekend so off we went! The show was remarkable as always but unfortunately , my pride and joy Fuji had to stay in his Ona Bag ( thanks Nic ). So I cant share any images from the show but you have to see it to believe it anyway. We spent Friday hanging out and exploring Atlantic Station before seeing the show. We decided while we were in town to visit the largest aquarium in the world. Georgia Aquarium and it was insane! Tidbit about this guy- I LOVE SHARKS and they have 4, yes 4 Whale Sharks here.. I was in heaven. I'm just going to drop a few of my favorites here:

 I snapped this of this super kid guy, because of the wonder in his eyes and the camera in his hand. I couldn't pass it up.

I snapped this of this super kid guy, because of the wonder in his eyes and the camera in his hand. I couldn't pass it up.

 This photo of Atlas may be my current all time favorite and mostly because I see myself in him in it. He is definitely his mothers child but for a split second, I can imagine that this is me, younger and in awe of the magnitude and splendor of this view.

This photo of Atlas may be my current all time favorite and mostly because I see myself in him in it. He is definitely his mothers child but for a split second, I can imagine that this is me, younger and in awe of the magnitude and splendor of this view.

Ok, if you like these few images I've posted and want to see the rest, please head over and check them out HERE

Please comment, like and share.

Keep ya head ringing!

 Some of my favorite accessories.

Some of my favorite accessories.

So I'm starting to think I should change my address to Best Buy's I have spent so much time there of late. I am a gear junkie and I have acquired 3 laptops and 2 sets of new headphones.  I am not saying I'm picky, I prefer the term, particular lol. This post is all about headphones though and one brand in particular, AfterShokz.

I should start by saying I have a very hard time finding headphones that fit me correctly that stay in place. I have some over the ear from Sony that I love when I can be tethered to my music via laptop or my phone. For those times when I want to go for a run or hit the gym I want something without a cord. I want something sweat resistant and comfortable. All things I have finally found via the AfterShok Trekz Titanium.  As of writing this there is a new version out that I hope to get my hands on to review as well.

So what makes these so different? Well to start off, they don't go in your ears at all! What? Headphones that are not glued inside your ear canal? These offer a different technology that has intrigued me for some time. So after picking up a set of Jaybird wireless headphones that wouldn't stay put, I pulled the trigger. They deliver your music, podcast, or audio book to you via Bone Conducting Technology. They set over your ears and against your head in between your temple and ear. Since they are not jammed inside of your head, I have found I can wear them for hours at a time! I think my favorite feature is how you can FEEL your audio. It takes a little getting used to but I am digging it! I have found the battery life to be great and I'm getting very close to the 6 hours the company promises. They do have a button on the left that is easy to reach and serves many purposes so your not always grabbing your device to pause or skip tracks. The volume/ power on and off buttons are on the right side and very easy to get to and use as well.

 

 BOKEH!!!

BOKEH!!!

I have also really grown to love the fact that you can listen to your audio, whatever that may be, and still hear your surroundings. For example, 2 days ago while sitting in a coffee shop editing a session for a client, I could listen to my podcast by Wolf and Iron and still hear the conversations around me. I could also here when my order was called out, all without disturbing anyone around me. These fit super tight and at times a little too tight for me but I also have a head like a melon but the benefit of that is, they will not bounce off. If I'm running, I can hear traffic around me or know if a rabid dog wants to make me his lunch. Don't let me fool you, I'm not an avid runner by any means but trust the design of these headphones to alert me those scenarios. Speaking of, maybe you love your audio but are really location observant and extremely cautious as the world is a horrible place some days, these let you be alert of sirens and alarms because they are not blocking out the world around you.  If you prefer noise canceling headphones, they do include a set of ear plugs with the device. I found them to be too generic and easily lost, but a cool experiment is to crank them up and just plug your ears with your fingers. They get loud fast! I haven't used them much for talking on the phone ( I despise talking on the phone ) but the first time and only time, they didn't perform as well as I would have liked. I was told I sounded like I was in a tunnel. I will experiment further before making a harsh call on that feature.

#vans #thatbillthough #commercialphotographer #edc
#magic8ball #novelty #toys #honestreview

Magic 8 Ball

The magic 8 ball says "Heck yea you need to try these" LOL

Thank you for checking out my review, I hope you found it helpful to some degree. I was not asked or indorsed by anyone and these are my honest opinions on this product.  Please let me know what you think below in the comments. All images taken by me using my faithful Fuji Film Xpro2 and XF90mm lens!

Devils Bathtub

 The journey begins here!

The journey begins here!

I have talked about how much I love to travel, and venture into nature. Atlas and I ventured the this marvel by ourselves 2 years ago and ever since I have wanted to take the entire family back to see it for themselves. Pictures and stories don't come close to depicting the wonder that this place holds and the beauty it embraces. The water is so clear in some photos its hard to even realize your looking at water and not glass. It flows down the valley, carved away with splendor.

 

 

#nature #swva #beautiful #discoveryourworld

The Bathtub is absolutely breathtaking and thought provoking but the walk to and from is just as amazing in itself. From the multiple crossing through the tail waters that flow from the tub, to the amazing sights of nature all around. The roots of the trees seem to reach out to welcome you and the salamanders are rich if you take the time to look. Below are a few images of just those things.

#salamander #VA #bathtub #hikingVirginia #jeremygouge

Alive!

Nature was alive all around us!

#fuji #xf35 #fujifilm

We took our pup Cinder with us and although it was tricky at times he did a fantastic job. We passed a multitude of people coming and going but once we made it to the end of the walk in, there were only a few people there to impede the view and for that I was beyond grateful. We watched as a few people waded and tested the temperature to see if they had what it takes to make the plunge and before we left, 2 of our 3 boys did just that! I found footing above the pool and gave them the countdown and in they went. It was epic. Cold, it was very cold they both kept saying but with giant smiles on their faces. It will be something I remember always and through my images, hopefully they will as well!. I leave you with the option to follow the link below to see our trip in full but I didn't shoot near as much as I probably should have but sometimes I cant help but to lay the Fuji Xpro2 down and see all I can see and just be still

THE LINK

 

Later Bernie Mac, hello James Bond!

I have been an avid MacBook Pro user for over a decade now, and other than a few hick-ups I have loved them being my solitary system.  I have replaced hard drives and kept on working, but recently even after the hard drive update, I was missing something. I would pair it up with a 20in Samsung external monitor and just blast away in Lightroom and Photoshop. After it started slowing down, I started shopping around. I should admit that I become very manic when its time to purchase new equipment. Whether that be camera equipment, laptops, hard drives,  or cars even. I loose sleep mulling over the options until I finally pull the trigger. Last weekend I had a rare few hours alone, so I decided to take what I've read and went to Best Buy to ask some questions. After even more debating, maybe some swearing, and with the help of an awesome guy names Roy, I walked out with a new laptop! Exciting right?

I was convinced to pick up a new 2 in 1 Asus q325, and I knew I was going to really like it the second it turned on and almost instantly booted to the home screen. Lightning fast start up. So I started downloading the programs I need and set upmy email accounts. So basically a few hours of making it mine! I spent a late night checking it out and putting it through my work flow and then called it a night. I got up the next morning and after a great service at Church, came home to dive back in and , DEAD! The touch screen function had completely stopped working. COME ON!!!  So I was forced to return it and then I decided to try a different one as I had some bad luck with the first one. Long story short, I had the 2nd one for about 4 days and decided that it couldn't hang either.

At this point I am really wondering if switching to a PC was the correct choice but I am also very much enjoying the 2 in 1 system and editing directly on my images. This was one of my biggest concerns of switching, not liking working this way. News Flash: its lots of fun!

So I am happy to say, as of writing this, I am now the happy owner of a HP X360 2 in 1 system running 16g of Ram and a 512gb SSD and its great. I actually like the user experience of the HP pen over the Bamboo pen that I was using with the other 2 systems. The battery life is amazing , and its also my favorite system to write on. The track pad is ok but if your looking to try one, I can honestly say this thing is great, as long as it stays that way! I haven't edited a full session on it yet but so far its been great, but I did edit a session I shot last week on a 2 in 1 system and being this portable and productive is exactly what I needed! Ill drop a few of those shots below! Feel free to comment and let me know if you have any questions about my switch and let me know what you think about the images below!

A post shared by Jeremy Gouge (@jeremy.gouge) on

One of the many portraits I've taken of late but also one of my favorites. The color, the everything!

A post shared by Jeremy Gouge (@jeremy.gouge) on

So if you have hung around to now, I should explain the title of this blog. I name most of my possessions so my Mac became Bernie Mac, and although I haven't named the HP technically, its called Spectre which makes me thing of James Bond lol.  It is also a beautiful machine in silver and chrome accents, which seems classy as well.. thanks as always for reading and Ill be writing again soon with more about the session I am previewing above.

J

A walk in the woods

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. John Burroughs
— https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnburrou101053.html

It's not often than you meet someone that shares many of the things you care about and someone that is genuinely a great person all in one. I would like to introduce you, in case you don't know her or of her work, to my friend and fellow photographer- Katy Sergent of Katy Sergent Photography & Design.

 Camera , coffee and Chaco's #winning

Camera , coffee and Chaco's #winning

I met Katy through our local chapter of The Rising Tide Society, called Tuesday's Together. She is one of the leaders of the group and it didn't take long to realize she and I were going to be friends. Ok, that may have been one sided at first but who can say for sure lol. She recently reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in taking some portraits of her and even though the thought of working and shooting for a fellow photographer is daunting, I was quick to say Yes! We agreed to meet for coffee and to chat because whats a meeting without coffee? Boring is the short answer! We met up at my favorite coffee house, as I've mentioned in the past called Open Doors Coffee House and worked on the details and set the date for the session.

open doors coffee house- johnson city tn- portrait- candid

 

She and I both share a passion with nature and with the Appalachian Trail, so what better place to hang out and put my Fuji threw its paces? We agreed to meet and ride up to Dennis Cove where we jumped on the upper trail head to Laurel Falls. We took our time, laughed, swapped stories, and drug our Chaco's threw the mug. It was AWESOME!

 

hiking- laurel falls- hampton tn- AT

I probably made the mistake of not starting as early as needed because after our hike, we headed off the mountain and were chasing the sun as it was setting trying to grab as many rays as we could for our project. I have driven the road many times and have always wanted to take a portrait at one of the corners ,but its a windy and busy road so I have never had the chance. That is until we came upon the "Spot" and she was a great sport and trusted me to jump out, Chinese fire drill style almost, slap on the hazard lights and get the shot I wanted.

 Here is Katy, braving the traffic but if memory serves correctly it was more like battling the sharp edge of that guardrail! LOL

Here is Katy, braving the traffic but if memory serves correctly it was more like battling the sharp edge of that guardrail! LOL

Ok, Ill stop trying to write further and leave you with a few lasting images that hopefully not only captures Katy as I know her but as she also see's herself. That is often times the most important shot you ever take. One that might instill confidence or rekindle a passion for something forgotten about ourselves! 

 

Laurel Falls - Hampton - Adventure Photographer - outdoor lifestyle photography
 Cameras where out and firing all afternoon!

Cameras where out and firing all afternoon!

sunset- watauga lake- hampton tn- east tn- lakelife
portrait photographer - intimate portraits - getoutside

Adventure Therapy

It is better to travel well than to arrive
— Buddha

I am happy to say that I am sitting down to write this entry as Matisyahu is filling the air and Atlas dances around the living room! He has been a little sick for the last 2 days and I would be lying if I didn't admit that I miss having him home with me during the day and Ive soaked up as much time with him as I could.  I hope you can find time to dance today to a song that has meaning, not just a great beat, but man I do love a great beat! ( Rosa Parks-Outcast or Shake Yo Head- Busta Rhymes just for examples lol )

soho- south holston -adventure photographer - flowers

Ok the real reason for this post! Today is a big day for me because I get to photograph one of my favorite photographers. She and I have very similar callings to nature and adventure and I am truly excited to see what we can create together. Its rained all day here and is supposed to move out before our session, but if you know me well you know I don't mind the rain. Not At All. I hope she and I can tap into nature for the beauty it offers and the untold stories it keeps hidden in the leaves, dirt, rocks and droplets of water upon its surface. Dear Appalachian Trail, here we come!

We will take our time and approach every shot with the attention and patience it deserves. As a mirrorless shooter, and Fujifilm X series fan boy, I don't shoot as many images as most but every shoot is unique and the results should be as well. I have been working today on some personal preset development and cant wait to see how I can make those work to fit the day.  Well its time to load up the Sequioa aka Valak, and run some errands to ensure all goes as planned.  

valak - sequioa - wolfpack overland - east tennessee

What are you shooting today, and if you were 100% honest with yourself what Would you be shooting today if you could choose? I can honestly say, today is what I do. Its where I merge my love for people, nature, the Appalachian Trail, and pushing buttons all in one artistic cocktail! 

Holston River- soho -fog on the water - bridge

We are live!

DSCF2766.jpg

I have been testing this new site for about a week and think its truly a good fit for my style and how I want to be presented! So this is a simple post to just to announce the fact that Squarespace is the best option for me as I have rebranded and started a new step in my work. Its simple but effective all in one place. I have also changed my my Instagram name to @jeremy.gouge and my Twitter is @jeremy_gouge

I hope that with my new approach to my work, my new Fuji equipment and some free time on my hands that I will only continue to push and grow. I am gearing up for a trip out of town with my family this weekend and Im sure I will have photos to follow!

I also have some day trips planned and cant wait to get out and see what I can find and share with anyone wanting to tag along the way!

east tennesse- unaka mountain- wolfpack overland- sequioa- sunset- explore

One foot after the other

buffalo mountain - johnson city tennessee - hiking - east tn - overlooks

If you live in or visit our lovely city of Johnson City, Tennessee and love to hike then keep reading! Buffalo Mountain is close to ETSU and just off the interstate so that makes it easily accessible to anyone passing by. Its a fairly easy trek with gradual climbs and descents  with views spread out along the way. A few stream crossings to break up the single track and you will probably be accompanied by the songs of nature. Bees and birds singing their tunes to sweeting the journey! 

I have hiked most of the Mountain and it has never disappointed. Two of my absolute favorite hobbies are hiking and photography, so today I combined the two again. If you follow me then you know this isn't uncommon and if I'm honest it's when I like my work the most! Hint, lets take your pictures somewhere special!  I am keeping this one short but this was just what I needed to clear my head, focus my chi, and have a conversation with the Lord! It all came together beautifully and reminds me just how big this life can be. I want more than anything to travel, photograph the world and the people in it! Enjoy

 


 

Sunday Senior Portraits

I love shooting senior portraits and not everyone does. I think part of that for me is, this age in a young adults life is a milestone, and its also when they are coming into themselves. You can see their personality come to life and with proper prompting they will open up and then the experience is truly special. I often kick the parents out, even if its just for a few minutes to try and connect with the model/ subject. I like to take our time and on my last session Sunday , we did that a little too well. My usual 2 hour session, turned into more than 3 and lots and lots of driving. 

I have known Jaelyn for about 10 years now and it was a true privilege to take her senior portraits. She is my wife's cousin, therefore she is my family as well now. If you know me at all, I truly enjoy people, and Jaelyn is someone special. 

We started the day at her school gearing up for her volleyball portraits. This was fun for me as I have never shot anything related to volleyball before, and I like a challenge! After we shot in the gym and had everything put away, we moved on to the great outdoors! The beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to be more specific. I should say that I took a few hours prior to the session to explore and try to find the location we needed. The images below are from said scouting.

 One of the quotes located near the parking lot and trail head at Linville Falls, NC

One of the quotes located near the parking lot and trail head at Linville Falls, NC

Ok, now that you know how I spent the day before I met up with Jaelyn for our session I will dive back into the heart of this post. Before the session, I only knew that she wanted some in her volleyball uniform and some in a field. Before it was all said and done we had shot in 5 different locations, but I hope from the images below you get a sense of how the day went.. it went great! It was the first session where I used the Fuji X-Pro 2 and I couldn't be happier! Hope the images are pleasing and represent my style. 

 

There is something very free spirited about these images and the lady they capture. I hope she can always be as kind and amazing as she is today! I can only imagine the greatness ahead of her and pray that she reaches every goal she sets in place for herself!

What a week!

This week has been busy, hectic, and exciting all at the same time. It was the first full week of owning my new to me Fuji Xpro 2 and as I have said before, its my all time favorite camera. I have owned a few Canon bodies, Sony a7ii, Olympus m4/3 bodies, and some point and shoots too and this one sits on top of them all to me. I also own the XT-1 for those days I want the battery grip. Ok enough about cameras.. lets talk about the events of the week shall we?

 

 Who can start the day without great coffee? Not this guy and I love everything about  Open Door Coffee  House in Johnson City.

Who can start the day without great coffee? Not this guy and I love everything about Open Door Coffee House in Johnson City.

sticky bun - roasted pecans - nomnom - foody

YUM!!

Maybe I indulged in a sticky bun while I waited lol. 

I was very excited to be at the coffee house but even more so for the reason I was there. My friend and fellow photographer Katy Sergent and I were getting together to talk about her website, portraits, and future plans. Katy and I met through our local chapter of The Rising Tide Society called, Tuesdays Together and I knew immediately she was awesome. Maybe it was her Chaco's?  She had mentioned allowing me ( not her words lol ) to take portraits of her for her website, and I can not wait to do just that. Is the pressure high to work with someone you respect and who shares many of the passions that you do? NOPE.. no pressure at all. ha! Speaking of portraits of Katy, I snapped this as she walked in and I was scarfing my breakfast down. 

 She may kill me for posting this but it had to happen. 

She may kill me for posting this but it had to happen. 

All of the above was just on Monday and that is a great start to my week, but then on Tuesday Atlas had his orientation for Kindergarten. What? Already?  These are the thoughts that raced in my head. It doesn't seem like he is old enough yet -- he was just little yesterday or at least it feels that way. He was so excited! We got to see his class room and meet his teacher for the first time. He even met a few of his upcoming class mates. 
Onto Wednesday: his official first day of school! What a rollercoaster this was for us as we walked him to class. He was so pumped that he didn't care whether we were there and for that, I am grateful. Its a blessing that he is excited about his journey. Austin also started his Junior year on the same day but he was less excited as you can imagine -- early mornings are not his favorites.  Jaryn slept through all the excitement because he doesn't start back for 2 more weeks- slacker.

 

atlas- kindergarten - first day - growing up
backpack- atlasridge - fearless
 HOLD IT TOGETHER MOM AND DAD AND DON'T EMBARRASS ME ALREADY!

HOLD IT TOGETHER MOM AND DAD AND DON'T EMBARRASS ME ALREADY!

Jaryn asked that he and I spend some time on our bikes so we loaded them up and headed to Winged Deer Park to ride the trails for some much needed 2 wheel action. I forgot how much I love riding and tackling single track! I am going to have to make this a regular hobby again. We rode up until it was time to pick up Atlas from school and start the weekend! We celebrated his achievement with swimming and trips to Memaw's where we went fishing and there we got caught in a massive rain storm. As I carried Atlas and the rain pounded all 4 of us, his laughter took over -- I was trying not to fall and die while running, and I was reminded by those giggles that these moments are the most important part of this life. The mistakes, the laughter, and getting caught in the rain with my family are indescribably perfect. We came in, dried off and  ate until we could barely stand. When it was time to leave, Atlas asked if we could take an adventure on the way home- he gets it honest- so Austin, Jaryn, Atlas, and I took off in Valak ( our beloved Sequioa) and headed off across Dennis Cove. We drove the gravel rode at sunset and laughed, joked, and took photos along the way. Ill drop those in below to end this post. 

Then as if the week wasn't packed with Firsts and new adventures this happened!

 

atlas- first tooth - tooth fairy

 

The week started off with friends, and ended with family. What else could I ask for? I hope if you're reading this, that your week was great; but more than that, I hope you find time to play in the rain too! 

dennis cove- sunset- east tennessee mountains - appalachian trail - roan mountain
bw- fog in the trees - getoutside -adventurealliance
fog- rollling in - east tn- explore -roan mountain
hampton tn- sunset - easttn- xpro2- landscape