#easttn

Bays Mountain Hiking

Bays Mountain Park

I'm still on vacation as this hits the site and should be relaxing in the sun or something but here I am. I don't relax well, and I never stop working. Whether that's thinking about blog topics, looking for locations, editing, learning new techniques, or approaching new people. Being a small business owner is hard. Very hard, but I still love spending time doing thing's I love and doing that with people I care about so last weekend we decided to take the kids hiking. We love overnight trips, and the kids are showing interest in joining us so we are "training" for a longer hike. We loaded them up with light packs and headed to Bays Mountain Park.  Bays Mountain is special to us, as Natasha and I were married here but love to take the kids to see the animals and hike the trails surrounding the lake.  This is exactly what we did. I'm not writing much, but here are the images from our day.  All images were taken with my Fuji Xpro2 and my Xf16mm lens. #onelensandgo

Correction, the wifi ended up being so slow that I decided to wait until I was back home to upload this post. I just got in a few hours ago from second shooting a wedding with the brilliant Katy Sergent and uploading some pictures from the beach and remembered it was time to post this. So here it is.

This is not a perfect image, but this is the spot where Natasha and I were married so this means more to me than all the perfect lighting in the world.  Amazing how things have changed Sweetpea.

This is not a perfect image, but this is the spot where Natasha and I were married so this means more to me than all the perfect lighting in the world.  Amazing how things have changed Sweetpea.

In case you notice my tee shirt and new stickers, I thought I would share that I am currently an ambassador for AwakeThe Soul. Their moto is "Stay positive, be happy and live free", and they share passion for the outdoors and adventure as well. Go check them out. 

Frame the Feels!

pappaw's things

 

 

I often work with couples and families that have never met me, and while this is exciting and a little scary, it can provide some challenges. I've been told that my appearance is somewhat intimidating to those who don't know me on a personal level. The funny thing about this is despite my outward appearance, I am very easy to get along with. I am also very comfortable taking charge of the session when the need arises. Some of these points I'm sure I've made in the past, but I'm also a very determined person, so let's move on. What I want to speak about today is something that is a little uncomfortable for me at times. Ready to hear what that is? What makes me take a deep breath before speaking? Ok, so what could possibly make a grown man, who is heavily tattooed and weathered by life uncomfortable? A specific conversation is what. Doesn't make sense? Well now you will know how I feel starting this talk every time. Let me paint a different picture quickly before diving in with both feet. Take a moment, think of anyone in your life, either past or present that has influenced you in a monumental way. Got it? Come on, we don't have all day here......... Ok, times up. Now picture this person that you’re thinking of. I'll use my grandfather for my example here. I only knew one of my grandfathers in this life, and he was enough on his own. He was funny, aggravating, a hard worker and loved me and all of us grandchildren immensely. I was the first grandson, and he was a father of 5 girls ( my mom and aunts in case you’re not paying attention ) so I was also the first boy period for my grandfather. This is a title, I hold very dear but often know I wasn't the grandson he always wanted. I didn't want to hunt, work the farm, stomp out the cow shit patties, or watch Nascar on Sundays. I was an athlete early on and that was my jam, heck still is. #crossfit

This didn't mean he didn't love me and spoil me rotten. We still had our truck rides, which is something I love to do now with my boys. We had 8 track tapes, Ray Stevens, and Jerry Clower joking along the way. I did go hunting with him on a few occasions and those usually ended badly, with me stomping through the woods, falling in the creeks and never shooting anything but the breeze, but I was glad to be there because he was there. I am honestly pretty emotional even thinking back on these details, as I haven't thought of them for many years. I told my story to say this- When he passed away, he allowed me to choose one of his rifles to keep as my own. Being the first and oldest boy, I chose first. I didn't choose the 30/30 or other high caliber options, I went with the nicest looking one, the .22 bolt action. So anytime to this day I hear or see anything related to a .22 caliber, I think of his gift to me and the time we had. I don't think about how sick he was in the end, but just how excited he was to scare me every Halloween, the candy he snuck me anytime I was sick that he called medicine, and how he would act so mad as I pressed his knee down as hard as I could to make the truck go faster. He was the best.

Ok, so you have your person in mind, yes? Ok, what do you think of when you think of them? Is it a material possession, a special place, a moment, or one of their favorite things? ( my papaw ate circus peanuts, orange foam, gross candies ) Ok -so if you were having a photoshoot with me, or anyone else and somehow we can incorporate those memories into your story, how much more are you connected to the process and the final product? Would you not want a photo of that on your wall to remember in every passing? Maybe you’re engaged and you have a special thing that only you share with one another. My wife will squeeze my hand 3 times to non-verbally say she loves me. So if I see a photo of our hands, or hands in general, I think of her. It may seem silly, but having that conversation often times makes my couples feel bad. They feel bad if they don't have something like this and those aren't my intentions. I am your biggest fan, especially when my camera is on you, so the last thing I want to do is sow doubt or make anyone feel bad. So when you're planning your session with me, (because come on, you didn't read all of this to choose to hang out with anyone else) think about it, take this into consideration. Consider how you can make the session even more memorable for your special person. Maybe they are a sports fan and you can sneak their favorite hat away to incorporate. Maybe its butterfly kisses, or Eskimo kisses. Maybe it's simply a tee shirt you picked out together for the first camping trip you took together ( we had those too right Sweetpea? #hotspringsNC ) or the first concert you went to. Maybe it's only a reference to a specific time that we can work in together. Basically, you are required to participate to produce the best possible outcome. Can I direct you? Yes, until I am blue in the face if needed. Can the images be stunning with none of the above ever happening? Every single time yes! Guess what- an image isn't special because its technically perfect, or sharp as a tact. It gains its power over us and our emotions for HOW IT MAKES US FEEL. Let's make something that means more than a glimpse in time on your facebook wall. Go on back to my homepage, scroll to the bottom and contact me today to start planning something unique.

Weekend thoughts

coffee and blackberry

I'm writing this today, on a rainy dreary Sunday. I want to say it's a lazy day, relaxing with my family and enjoying the rhythm of the rain dancing on the roof of our home, as the droplets race one another to the bottom of the window glass, but I can not. Home from church, and to the laptop I retreat. I had a busy week of photo shoots, edit sessions, and endless errands for the family. I am happy to say that I have completed all session's from last weekend and delivered those galleries as a result of long hours editing away. As soon as I was delivering gallery after gallery, I was blessed to follow those up with session after session. I love being busy, and capturing the little moments that others will overlook, and that is easily forgotten if not for my being present. I'm currently sitting at Jaryn's school as he prepares for his band performance, and wouldn't you know it, laptop in tow. I'm writing this as other families walk in, socialize with one another, and enjoy the day together. The rest of my family is in NC celebrating Brynn's second birthday and I can't wait to see the photos from her party. As I was driving us here, I stopped for more coffee and a thought hit me. When do we stop? I'm very aware that from the outside looking in, it probably seems like being self-employed and working from home is a dream job, and in ways, you would be absolutely correct.  I am forever grateful that I'm available when my boy's need me. I'm grateful to my wife for providing a life that allows me to live my dream. I'm grateful to cook, pick up groceries, clean toilets, and take care of our fur baby Cinder. But what happens when we are not on location for your photo shoot? Some people simply believe we show up, take some images, deliver those images and sit back counting the riches. Well, you're wrong. 

What often goes unnoticed are the small details that go into creating your session and making it the experience it should be. We don't wake up, find a random camera and decide we need x amount of dollars to show up and be present. We don't run on the automatic setting's hoping for the best. There is time involved that is never mentioned in quotes and bids for jobs. I love what I do, and every day I'm reminded how blessed I am to do something I adore as often as I do. I'm blessed that 99% of my clients and friends always come back to me for every life event they would like memorialized. I'm grateful for that, and I'm grateful for getting to meet new people from referrals of my past clients. I am also grateful for my family who support me without question ( mostly lol ) and who see my value on the days I am far from seeing it myself.  I say all of this to remind anyone who is reading this, that there are so many things to consider when hiring a photographer, but there are also many, many things to take into consideration that you receive when hiring the correct person. You gain a relationship, a friendship, and contact. You get to work with someone who will sacrifice their sleep on your behalf. They will work in between sets to write a blog post to hopefully remind someone that you are getting more than just a final product. We run multiple social media accounts, and they are ever changing so we are also studying new algorithms on the constant. We host and update websites to try and get our vision to the masses, we spend hours editing those images we captured for you. We spend hours learning our equipment so there are no hiccups during your time with us. We have to constantly change, evolve, upgrade equipment ( this stuffs not cheap people ) all to probably compete with someone much much cheaper, and much less experienced because far too often value is associated with cost. I hope you consider these few of many points I've made when shopping next. Shop local, shop small business and reward the people who want to bring you the small victories day in and day out. Reward yourself with a truly unique experience that box stores cant provide and that you deserve. When anyone works with me, I strive to be present. My phones away unless needed, I'm the runner if things are forgotten, I'm the pep talk every step of the way, and I'm the guy with a throat tattoo that will move crowds when needed. I was pleasantly surprised to walk into one of my newest, but not forever clients store this past week, where she met me with applause. This wasn't needed but the simple fact that she was glad I was there and was excited to see her gallery in person. It's the small things like this as silly as it may sound that makes what I do truly special.  Long story short, THANK YOU to anyone I have ever worked with and for everyone that is to come. I'm not finished yet!!
I have 2 more sessions to finish from yesterday so they are coming soon, very soon. 
Jeremy

Prom season is bringing heat

Prom season is bringing heat

“Never apologize for how you feel. No one can control how they feel. The sun doesn’t apologize for being the sun. The rain doesn’t say sorry for falling. Feelings just are” 
― Iain S. ThomasIntentional Dissonance

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

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

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

 


 

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