No Fluff

A sample from the session I refer to later in my ramblings. 

A sample from the session I refer to later in my ramblings. 

I want to try and write more freely and more regularly but hey, life happens.  We are currently preparing for court in the morning where we make the adoption of Austin official and we couldn't be happier about it.  I have just sat down and decided now is the best time to try and get my thoughts into print.  First thing first though. I shoot mirrorless and since switching over ( best decision ever ) I find myself shooting much less in general.  Normally because I like the system and it works exactly how I like to shoot so getting the shot I want is easier to capture. Thus leading me to shoot less for the desired result. That is what I am talking about in this article. I volunteer at our church and I am on the Photography Crew that helps capture moments and events. We recently had a team meeting and while conversing someone asked why I shoot mirrorless, and I explained like I did above and they responded, " I bet you shoot light huh?"  On an average wedding day, this person said they shoot between 2000 and 3000 images, while I shoot between 500-800.  I explained I don't have a need to exhaust my equipment, clients, and self to have multiple images of the same moments from the day. He then replied " well I prefer to shoot for the emotion and not a perfect moment", where I replied Yep me too.  I completely understand what he's saying. It's easy to see a moment and snap with proper exposure and compensation but miss a feeling.  It is easy to assume you have it and move on to something else but I do not do that. I strive for feelings in my work, not perfection. I strive for unique moments in time, not the average posed imagery. I'm in no way saying he does this and it was a great talk and I was happy to discuss it and still am.  There were no "church league softball fist fights" over the topic LOL
I love everything related to photography, and I am finding a new passion for shooting video even though it makes me want to smash my fist through my monitor every single time I try to edit one. Why is that crap so friggin hard?
Speaking of I am working, with much-needed help from Wes, on a new BTS video from my latest session now. I love shooting video while I shoot stills, and I think the video editing may need to be left to the pros.  While they are doing that I am going to keep on shooting, throwing light at people, rewinding time by shooting film, and making my clients feel like the Rock Stars they are! Thanks for reading and as always be sure and follow all of our Social media accounts. I did the legwork so just click the link below you lazy bum.  

IG @jeremy.gouge




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.