Sunday Small Talk

black and white bombshell

Its currently Sunday, August 5th and I am waiting on my friend /client to show up for our session and thought I would take the time to write and catch up. I have been beyond busy in the last month or so and beyond grateful for that and August is looking to be my busiest month to date. I say that to remind anyone wanting a session, that there are only 4 months left in the calendar year. I'm saying that because I am shooting today, and every day next weekend. Next weekend I will be in Elizabethton, Grayson Highlands VA, Kingsport, and one session yet to determine location.   That is just Friday - Sunday btw. I was this busy last weekend shooting Sat, Sun, and Monday and have edited and delivered all of those except one. ( soon, very soon ) Tomorrow 3 of the 4 kids have their first day back at school and a busy week of normal life as a parent and small business owner. 
I am writing today though to also discuss some opportunities that we over at Throat Punch Productions have coming up. Last weekend, while I was busting my ass and driving all over the place so, was Wes. He represented us by driving to Nashville and shooting a video for Allen for the 2018 NPC Tennesee State Show. You should go and check that out now, right HERE. 
He also made the intro video that I recently posted to my IG. We are currently in the works to shoot for a new company out of New York called SpiceBeast, a new sunglass company called SouthernMost Shades, and my friend/ model Olivia also hooked me up to shoot her new campaign with Bex Sunglasses! It's taking some time, some sleepless nights, and lots of work but we are slowly starting to move forward. We are starting to put our stamp on the market. Keeping this one short, but remember to book your session while there is still some time to do so and see how we separate ourselves from the masses. We love collaborating, so if you are someone wanting to work with us, please let us know. We are still taking on some small business to capture their product for advertising purposes as well. What are you waiting on? This is your sign, this is us saying HEY, let's create something together. You get one shot at this life, let's live it up and remember those times!
Go check out our updated site at www.throatpunchpros.com and let us know what you like, and what you would prefer to see differently. 

All images are samples and teasers from the session I shot after writing this 2 days ago!

Cant let big sis have all the fun! lol

Cant let big sis have all the fun! lol

I love how much this feels like film

I love how much this feels like film

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. 

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. 

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"



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

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


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



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