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.

Real talk, unfiltered

Pentax sexy

Well, I am home from vacation and more motivated than ever. Not that our trip was especially relaxing, too many kids for that LOL, but because of its timing. Today I am going to write without much of a filter and just get to the brass tacks of the matter. I am currently constantly listening to a new to me podcast by Andy Frisella called MFCEO.  He has no filter and talks some hard truths and that is often what I need most. No fluff, no shit, just realness. I also get that from my friends, especially Wes. My wife rather enjoys putting me in my place too but that isn't today's topic LOL. I have been listening heavily and still have tons to check out but in a nutshell what I have taken away is this:
 Surround yourself with a strong team of friends and people who will be 100% honest with you. 
There is a massive difference in a Goal VS a dream and how to separate the two.
No one is going to walk up to you and hand you everything you want to accomplish. You have to take a step of faith ( if you're religious ) put on your big boy pants and DO THE DAMN WORK!
Most importantly so far, believe in the product you sell. In my case, myself and my vision. If you know me at all, my confidence is often my biggest hurdle. I see only the flaws and the cracks in my work. Enough of that. It ends now. I have far too many clients, friends, and people supporting me to let doubt slow me down. 
There are many more points but you gotta go give him a listen, this isn't a free pass to his insight. Quit being lazy and check him out. 

Ok, here is where it gets dicey. I am an avid follower of Christ. We are members of our church, and volunteer as often as possible. This fact often leaves me, for good reason, watching what and how I say things. It keeps me grounded, but it also makes me un-authentic at times.  Hold on. Here me out. Pastor Derek spoke Sunday about being honest. In our prayers and conversations with Christ and something clicked. I'm not honest enough. Anywhere in life probably. In my faith, opinions, and dislikes.  I often find myself being too nice for my own good or anyone else for that matter. But I am also far from perfect, and you know what, that's ok. He sees me in my failures and when I'm losing my shit during a road rage fit and love me anyway. One of my absolute favorite quotes is " I love Jesus but a cuss a little". TRUTH. I strive to be better every day but I am going to fail, but I am also going to get up way more times than I am knocked down. I don't know how to quit and refuse to even consider it anymore. Yep, that's right I have almost put the camera up too many times. I get frustrated when business is slow and when I feel like I am undervalued.  Long story short, Throat Punch Productions coming, and coming in like Ricky Bobby in his underwear, on fire. I will make no excuses or apologies for being genuine anymore. Get on board or out of our damn way. I can't wait to see what we create collectively and the friends we make along the journey.  The Facebook page is up and live and the site is in the works so follow along early and stick around for the fireworks people!

“Hate it or love it the underdog’s on top
And I’m gonna shine homie until my heart stop
Go head’ envy me “

First experience shooting 35 mm and I'M SOLD!

Today as I was working and hanging with the kids, my inbox alerted me that one of my best friends, Wes had written a new blog post. This is cool for several reasons. To see what I mean you will simply have to go check it out for yourself, HERE. He is much better at writing regularly and at writing in general. It reminded me, I haven't written all week. While I love sharing my work with you, I also love expressing my thought's and such just as much. I have said it in the past, but for me, writing is also a release and therapeutic in nature. I have been rambling about my new fascination with shooting film, and this week when I received my scans from The DarkRoom Lab that took on a whole new meaning for me. I was so damn excited to see if my cameras were actually working, but to see those images that I cant flip through on the back of my camera. They were all brand new to me once more, and man that is a lot of fun. They are also tangible, as my negatives are being mailed back to me now. They also required little, if any work in post-processing after getting them. Are they perfect? Only in the way they make me feel, and how they let me relive those small moments in our life together. Because isn't that what we as photographers are supposed to be doing? We provide this for everyone else, so it was refreshing to be on the receiving end of an online gallery. Even though I took every shot, it was still amazing to get. I felt like I had finally found a meaning and purpose. So I am going to run with it. I'm going to shoot lots more film. I am also offering prints of past work and specific prints of my film work. It needs to be held, admired and displayed. Ok so in keeping this short, all images below were shot on 35mm film, with my Minolta Dynax 5 ( thank you Robin Collins ) and processed at The DarkRoom. The black and white is either Kodak tri-x 400 or Ilford HP5, and the color shots are Fujifilm Superia 400.  If you are interested in prints, there is a new tab located on the top of my home page.


As always, I am grateful you stopped by. I always appreciate comments and suggestions. So until the next one, #filmsnotdead