#portraitphotographer

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Re branding and stuff

Droplets-east Tennessee - Appalachian Mountains

Droplets-east Tennessee - Appalachian Mountains

This post is going to be pretty boring, but it has to be said. As a photographer or any business really, its vital to stay current and fresh especially in todays social media ocean we are trying desperately to tread water in. 

Ok that was a bit dark and ominous but that's pretty much how it feels to start a new site, a new brand and pursue clients that you dream of. Clients that share your passion and trust. I have recently decided to do just that. Scrap my Wordpress blog, Scrap my old website, and as a Phoenix, rise from the ashes. ( What is happening to me and all these metaphors tonight? ) The only thing I'm refusing to part with is my logo because I still love it  as a representation of my photography. 

jgp1.png

I ask you to be patient as I put all of my efforts in my newest work, designing something I am truly proud of, and at the same time being a Dad. I truly love being a father and even though the boys remind me often how much I need the Lord to be a decent one, I wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world.  

I am also looking to work with a bride, or anyone really with a bridal dress to use for a styled shoot soon. If you are, or know of anyone interested please have them contact me via my contact page on here!

Enough stalling and I have to get back to the grind. The fall is shaping up to be incredibly busy so if you are looking to work with me, you should get in touch sooner than later!

J

Fuji Love

I have written about this some in the past on my previous blog but as I use the FujiFilm system more, I love it more. Is it perfect, well no, but its perfect for me and my need! It feels like home in my hand and I find comfort in that. I find myself wanting a camera with me at all time for no exact reason but the un-forseen and un-predictable moments we call Life. 

Photo Credit goes to my friend  Haniel Singh

Photo Credit goes to my friend Haniel Singh

Its a pleasing camera to see, to use and to own. The image quality is amazing from the newest sensor but I refuse to get into the tech specs. I just want to say I am finally at piece with my equipment minus one lens, and a few flashes.. That is a great feeling! The moments I have captured in the short time with the Xpro-2 ( which I need to name I think ) have been nothing short of magical. As a parent, taking images of my children for myself, nothing is more rewarding. 

Atlas modeling for me in Target, because I always have a camera with me now!

Atlas modeling for me in Target, because I always have a camera with me now!

If you have followed any of my blog posts in the past week,  you have seen these images already but as Im transitioning to my new site I can't help but write about this amazing camera once more. What better way to start my new blog than talking about my newest camera?

As the sun was setting for the day we spent in Asheville and my love for basketball collide!

As the sun was setting for the day we spent in Asheville and my love for basketball collide!