adventure photographer

Imagination Mountain and being outnumbered

home for the weekend

It is currently Tuesday and we are back from another weekend in nature. This was back to back weekends of camping with friends. The weekend before last was spent in Hot Springs, NC with Wes and his family, and this past weekend was spent in Cosby, TN at Imagination Mountain with the Terry's. We stumbled upon this campground a few years ago and Natasha and I loaded up our 2 boys at the time for the weekend. It rained most of the time then but we still had a great time. Since then our family dynamic has changed for lack of a better word. We are foster parents if you didn't know and currently are only days away from adopting Austin who is 17 and currently annoying me by playing Fortnight. Garbage game in my opinion LOL.  We also have a 10-year-old girl and I know nadda about raising a girl.
But this isn't about that.  This is about spending every second of the weekend with friends and cramming as many activities as physically possible into 3 days.  We have known Brittney forever, and Derek and their boys are more like family than friends. I could probably write an entire blog about knowing Brittany but I'll save that for another time maybe.  Between our groups, we were 4 adults vs 6 kids plus we ran into one of Atlas' best pals from school, Aiden. He was allowed to hang out with us most of the day as well. So the kids played in the creek, made friends with neighbors, terrorized the playgrounds, heated up the b-ball court, played putt putt, watched a movie, played chess, swam, had ice cream, and even visited the arcade. I'm still tired.  So tired in fact that I will stop writing and do what I do. Tell our story via imagery. Hope you enjoy and as always feel free to comment below your thoughts. All images below shot with my Fuji Xpro 2,  my xf16mm, xf 90mm, and vintage Minolta lenses. 

As always, I also took the film cameras but those will be shared another time. :)

Grayson Highlands Adventure

The clouds where heavy and everywhere all day! 

The clouds where heavy and everywhere all day! 

It's Monday morning and the beginning of July.  I have been up for over an hour, had a shower, and have my coffee made so far, so good. I'm writing this as I wait for Wes to drive up. Today is the first official shoot of Throat Punch Productions and I am excited. We are shooting a product that you will know more about soon if you follow us. If not well, your loss. As I sit here considering what and how to shoot today, I also finished pictures from a hike my family and I have been trying to do for months, Grayson Highlands, VA. I have always heard how beautiful it is, and how unique it is seeing as how its inhabited by wild ponies.  After many failed attempts to make it, last Saturday was our day. We loaded up the kids after breakfast at home, and planned our route to have lunch prior to hiking. We found a great gas station/ dinner just a few miles from the entrance to the park. We filled up on double bacon cheeseburgers, chicken salad, corn dogs and fries. FUEL. Then we were ready.  I will plan better on our next trip as we didn't get to see many ponies, other than the ones walking by the side of the road on our way out and the lighting was not ideal for the photographer inside me. Nevertheless, it was a pretty amazing day with those I adore. Jaryn almost died, because as much as I love that child, he's hella clumsy. I watched in slow motion as he bounded from one rock to the next, where he lost his footing and disappeared off the edge into the forest below. My heart sank, and I immediately yelled to him. He was quick to assure me he was fine and laughed it off. He was extremely lucky that he landed between to large rocks below his fall from about 6 feet above.  Luckily this was the worse part of the day as we collected our selves for the multiple overlooks and beautiful park that it is. We did get turned around once which led me to walk an addition 1.2 miles to collect "Valak" ( our Sequoia ) but it was a  walk I would gladly make again for my crew. We explored for over 4 hours and our Chacos where starting to leave their mark. We decided to try and drive down to the campground looking for ponies as the older boys and I opted for the additional mileage here again. I can't wait to explore there again with my motley crew, but next weekend we are off to Hot Springs, NC!  Stay tuned for those pictures next week, but below you will find the images from our last adventure! I'll post some from the Pentax 645n to my IG soon as well.

Different Approach


I just finished up prom season here in East Tennesee and moved right into wedding season. I'm writing this as a part confession, part growth.  I will start with the confessing. I hate prom season.  I did in the past is a better way to word that. I found myself feeling that prom season was something I was expected to do but often found myself feeling constrained by it.  Young adults dressing up in clothing they would usually not wear,  wearing flowers that make their movement cumbersome, and some of them are together but others are not. The latter also present's it's own issues in posing and making them comfortable. I don't feel that I charge enough for the service I offer but I also know these prom photos may turn into senior portrait session's and I can't get enough of those! So this year I made a point to myself. I made it a goal to find a better way to shoot prom. I promised myself, that I would provide something different for my clients, and I'm glad to say I crushed that goal like a boss. What did I do differently you may ask?
Ok so if you have ever read any of my blogs, or any of my Instagram post's ( come on are you still not following me? Really? Go on then. )  you may know that I love portraiture. I love all lighting and finding the light in every situation.  So I took some time to myself and decided that prom pictures are simply high fashion portraits. Then it clicked! Approach these sessions like I would a fashion session. I didn't concentrate on the clothing the same way but I wanted to shoot every couple as I would a model. I took this approach to every prom session I booked, and hope every gallery expressed my new method. I hope this new technique was evident in the final products. I hope that we made Prom memorable and unique. I had the extreme pleasure of working with new people, returning clients, and made future clients as well. One client was eager to book again, the moment she saw the first sneak peak. This is what makes what I do worth every second.  I'm not flooding this post with images, flip back to my Prom Season is bringing heat blog or my IG ( because you actually went and followed me right? ) to get a glimpse at those. I'm simply writing this to remind anyone else that reads it, there is always another way, a different approach, but always stay true to who you are. I hope everyone has an amazing Holiday Weekend.

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. 


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