I like to wake up and photograph places before sunrise. I enjoy being there when the world wakes up. It’s peaceful, and lets me

My most recent trip took me to Kenton, Tennessee. Home of the white squirrels. I didn’t see any of the white rodents, if you’re curious.

My plan was to photograph the grainery behind the downtown shops. It was going to be a beautiful sunrise image. I planned it out in my head on the way there.

When I got to Kenton, I found the 

vantage point I wanted to shoot from. I started setting up my gear. While digging in my 

camera bag I found my son’s Hot Wheels truck, one of many. He thought my camera bag was the ideal place to park it. I instantly missed my little 

buddy, who was at home, asleep in his race-car bed. I tucked the truck in my pocket and got shooting.

After a few shots I knew the photos I planned for my Kenton shoot weren’t panning out. There is a magic tingle when you know you’ve photographed something special. The tingle just wasn’t there. The harder I tried, the worse photos became.

Giving up, I gave the Hot Wheels Jungle Jeep a tour of the small town. We walked down the main street, placing it in front of various store fronts. I parked the jeep at different signs. We even visited the cannon in front of City Hall.

Walking around any small town with a camera will get you some strange looks. Imagine the looks I got while photographing a Hot Wheels car at a stop sign in the middle of the road.

The truck allowed me to add a focal point to a lot of images. It also gave me the chance to add a bit of interest to what were some very ordinary scenes. The little Hot Wheels truck allowed me something else. After what was becoming a wasted morning, I had something new to turn my attention on. Like a reset button. It gave me focus.

Adobe’s Photoshop and other computer photo editors are a great way to enhance images! Editing times are reduced. Thanks to digital photography it is costless to shoot and edit thousands of images a day. But sometimes it’s almost too instant for me.

 
That’s why I love the work of photographer Jerry Uelsmann. He has been my hero since I was in highschool. I love his style and his dreamlike images. The thing that sets his work apart is that he does it all in a darkroom. He doesn’t use Photoshop or any other computer program to cobble his photos together. He spends hours in a darkroom using masks and up to 12 enlargers to make one image.
 
He inspired me to give montaging in my personal darkroom a try. I don’t have his skill level but I wanted to see what I could come up with.
 
I had to be very deliberate about what I shot. There was a limited number of images on my roll of film. So I visualized what my

 

 
end result would look like. That’s not something I always do. I knew I wanted to include the old globe in the image. I wanted to give the images a sense of wonder and a longing for new experiences. But as long as they stir something in the viewer I’m happy.

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”

– Andy Warhol

Braving The Heat

with Hudson, Mary margaret and Munk

     Saturday afternoon was really hot, 99 degrees hot according to weather.com, but Hudson and Mary Margaret were great sports! We had a great time and I got to show them one of my favorite places in Martin. We jumped and we danced, then we had a foot race and explored a little bit.

     Hudson brought his bunny, Munk who had his portrait made too. Hudson and Munk definitely had a Christopher Robin and Winnie-The-Pooh dynamic about them. I was waiting for Piglet and Eeyore to walk out of the bushes.
     Mary Margaret took a little convincing but with some help from her big brother we got her beautiful smile to come out! She even blew me kisses.
These two kids and so awesome!

      I think this was definitely a shoot that caught special moments in their childhood. Catching a finite subject is what a makes a photograph special. For example, early childhood joy and the sweet friendship between a little boy and stuffed animal.

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.”

 

Portrait photography

Stopping Time For Houses!


I always feel fortunate when I shoot Real Estate. I’m invited into people’s homes and personal spaces. I get grand tours of wonderful houses that people take great pride in! Then I get to photograph them. It not only allows the seller a way to showcase their home in a visually pleasing manner but in a sense it’s like a series of portraits for the house itself. In a few months when new owners move in, it’s going to look very different.