#outdoorlifestylephotographer

Hungry Mother State Park and Love!

Love and canoes

I have had the pleasure of speaking to Sarah for months, planning her wedding to Leonard and getting to know them along the way. I was actually blessed to be referred to them by my friend Jeremy, who was unavailable on the big day. They live over an hour away from me and we had never met, that is until Sunday before last! We tried several times to plan the engagement session, and with the crazy weather we have had here in the South, it was harder than it should have been to put into works. We finally found a day that worked for us both and in the books, it went. I started the day at Church, followed by a meeting also at the church by our media director to plan some volunteer opportunities.  My family went their separate ways, so I headed on toward Virginia, en route to my session. I had a little time on my hands, so I swung by one of my favorite places and took a few photos for myself. Those can be seen here.

After a short relaxing walk in the woods, off to Chilhowie, I went.  This is exciting for several reasons for me.  I was meeting them both for the first time, and hoping to visit Hungry Mother State Park for the first time as well. All the first's! I was pleased to drive up to Sarah's parent's house and there were jeep's everywhere. My kind of people. Leonard even had an axe mounted on his roof rack, and I took this as a good sign.  A good sign it was as we talked music and the park and they really are like minded people and enjoyed being outdoors as much as I do. At one point during the shoot, Leonard's son ran his hand across the bridge and ended up with a nasty splinter. Leonard was quick to pull out his trusty pocket knife and free the debris caught in his son's hand. This may seem like a silly detail to include but, if you know me at all you know I have a passion for knives myself and have done this same thing for my own children ( and clumsy self ) multiple times, so the moment resonated with me on a deep level. 


We easily got lost in our journey and our mission to capture the love between them while exploring the beautiful park that it is. We overlooked the lake, waited patiently for the wind to work with us and not against us, and then ducked in behind a wall of kayaks and canoes. I truly enjoyed meeting and working with them both and look forward to capturing their wedding in a few short weeks. 

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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

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