Category Archives: stunning

Our Hike to Clingman’s Dome

This particular journey started many years ago…

As a teenager I was turned onto the idea of summiting the highest peaks of each state, becoming a “peak-bagger” as it were.  This past summer I finally got to check off the first peak, at truly magical place called Mount Rogers that sits near the southwest corner of our lovely state. (I’ll post pics from that later on, wild ponies included!)

As the wife and I travel the country, if the schedule and mileage warrant it we will tick off these high points as we go and this time our travels had brought us to within spitting distance of Clingman’s Dome (highest peak in Tennessee!).

We started the day early to beat the heat and hopefully any crowds.  The moon was still high in the sky as we began the short but strenuous trek to the top,

At an almost 13% grade it was not the easiest half mile ever!

The views make it all worthwhile though as you look through the valleys of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

On top of the summit is a spiral ramp raising you up 45 feet above the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest (one of only a handful of sites in North America) affording the views below.

We missed sunrise by a few minutes but were treated to a gorgeous show nonetheless.   Not too crowded at all, the air was quite chilly and the wind was unrelenting at that altitude.

The tower itself is beautiful as well, doesn’t quite fit in with the surroundings but isn’t an eyesore either.

The Crosstrek enjoyed the view while we summitted!

Prints are available, please email for more info at

Let me know what you think in the comments!  Have you been, what was your experience like?

Kara (boudoir, fashion bridals…)

  Kara replied to a casting call that I posted on a modeling site regarding boudoir images…

  We have found that every woman we have ever photographed (brides, maternity, seniors, family portraits, etc.) is VERY self-critical before and during the beginning of the shoot, but by the end of the shoot they always feel better about themselves, seeing themselves in a new light (no pun intended!), to see this transformation is amazing, the posture is a little better when they leave, a little smile stays on their lips, an air of confidence surrounds them.

  We are adding boudoir sessions because we feel it will be a great gift for brides to give to their fiancé as a pre-wedding gift the day of the wedding, or for an anniversary, birthday, and so on.  Imagine the look on his face when he sees these tasteful images of you, a very special gift for him merely hours before he takes your hand in marriage.  Now imagine how good you’ll feel having been posed professionally and images captured with dramatic lighting that feel like they could be an ad in Vogue or Elle…

  We met Kara and discussed what we would like to get for our portfolio and she for hers, where the locations were, what clothing to bring etc.  This pre-meeting also gave us a chance to get to know each other a little bit, joke around, and loosen up a week or so before the shoot.  To make things a little smoother we started the shoot with a sun-dress outdoors downtown…


Kara braved the bugs and heat with us to capture some fun images…


Now, a little more sultry, turn up the heat a little…

IMG_0052Pow!  There we go, that all comes together for a pretty smashing series!

  Next we wanted some images in a wedding dress that we picked up a while back.  To shoot some Trash the Dress Fashion Bridal images, so we stayed downtown, reset lights while Kara changed (in our pop-up changing booth) and she helped us create these images…

This one was just begging for some sepia… IMG_0067-2

Flirty fun in front of the municipal building…IMG_0069

Ummm…  WOW!  Kara pulled all the stops for this sultry look…IMG_0073   IMG_0084

So, these are NOT your mother’s bridal are they?  We thought not!  The dress is barely dirty but you get some great images in it that you probably won’t get on your wedding day…IMG_0089

I love the blue sky in these as well as Kara’s beauty…IMG_0094

This has a bit of a grungy dirty feel to it…IMG_0099

After that great warm-up we headed to some space that I have available to shoot the boudoir images.  I had previously set everything up to save time and get right down to shooting…

     A simple white shirt, some great lighting, we’re off to a great start…IMG_0125 Some bedroom eyes, a black and white treatment, wouldn’t your man love to have images like this of you?..IMG_0126 …shirt off the shoulder, flirty smile, direct eye contact…IMG_0128 did she catch the scent of your cologne on the shirt to trigger memories?IMG_0130  More direct, fun, sassy…IMG_0134 Wow!  Well Hello, Kara!  A very simple yet high impact pose here…IMG_0138 Kara had asked if we could get some shots that showcased her tattoo (that she designed) so we started with an image that shows off the design but also has a soft feel to it…IMG_0144  Then we got a little more dramatic with the lighting and brought out the tattoo more…IMG_0156 and finally a less direct gaze and a wonderful set of images!IMG_0161


Thanks Kara!  We still plan on a trip to see you and shoot some more soon!

What do you say Ladies?  Are you ready to feel great about yourself?  Celebrate your upcoming wedding?  Your anniversary?  Give your man the perfect gift?  Want to celebrate a milestone in your life?  Let us know, we can meet and discuss your session!


  This post is about more than just images, this is about collaboration with an unbelievable artist.  It’s about a long relationship with a sweet beautiful girl and watching her development in dance and in life.  Jessi is an amazing dancer and makes my life as a photographer easy…  no, really.  Jessi is so aware of the graceful lines she forms as a dancer and of her expressions it’s like working with a professional model or actress, and she’s a sweetheart!

  After seeing Jessi dance at her recital a few years ago I was floored (by the whole recital) these kids were pouring their hearts and emotions into dance and sharing it with the world, I teared up a few times during the recital (I’m a big softie!).  We asked Jessi (and her parents) if she’d like to help us make some unique images in some out of the way locations.  Stark contrast of beautiful dance dresses and costumes in the woods or grungy areas, sounds like a good idea…  It was a great idea!

  We started with Jessi at sunrise (in the middle of the summer, that’s really early) and a bit cool, but Jessi was a trooper…




  After our sunrise fun, we warmed up a little in the car and headed to the woods for more ballet themed images…




  These images are from a while ago and we contacted Jessi to go out again…  These are more senior portrait-like, but have a dance feel to some…

piercing eyes…IMG_0034

love the contrast of the red, and Jessi’s fierceness IMG_0041

breaking loose…18-19 loved the grungy wall…20-21 my favorite!22

After seeing our work with Jessi (and the website), Divine Dance Studio contacted us to do portraits for their annual recital as well as group shots of all the dancers, this is for a later blog post, but I’ll share a few of Jessi’s here…

such elegance and graceIMG_0192IMG_0197 IMG_0201 IMG_0231 IMG_0235 and attitude to spare!IMG_0237

  We’ve already discussed another session when her dance schedule and our shoot schedules slow down, I’m sure it will be amazing!

Holding out…

Yep, that’s right, I’ve been holding out on you…

Between meetings and shoots I’ve left you hangin’… Well let me see if I can fix that…

Early at the arboretum Shannon turned on that beautiful smile…
I'm getting married!!

then we headed on to a beautiful wooded setting…
reflection of bridal beauty

…where Shannon turned into a fashion model and rocked the runway (…err, woods, I mean)
Shannon fashion

She worked every angle with her dress!
workin' it

and straight out of Italian Vogue…

Wow! I still need to post their wedding images for you blog readers, and we are looking forward to a Fahion Bridal session with her and Jeremy that should be uber-cool!

Shannon and Jeremy at Mabry Mill

Shannon and Jeremy asked us to meet them at Mabry Mill for their E-Session with us a few weeks back…

The mill has quite a charm (some old-school sepia treatment doesn’t hurt!)

And a more modern treatment…

Next, the couple turned on the heat for some fun in the woods (they could totally be models right?)

Then we stopped by an old structure for a quick bit…

And Shannon’s shoes stole the last shot (how could they not!), Jeremy got mad props for picking these out! What will Shannon be wearing on the big day?!? We can’t wait to see…

You’ll be seeing them again soon after the wedding, and Shannon will be doing bridals before to long.