Taking a Minute to Highlight the Hard Work of Others.


I have decided that I peruse the interweb looking for inspiration from other photographers and I am a part of so many forums meeting tons of great talent that I should highlight that amazing work that is out there.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeremy Echols from Jeremy Echols Photography.  What really stands out in his work is his landscape work.  He makes the world look like a dream land, straight out of a movie, so bright and vibrant in color and my friends know how much I love color.  

Meet Jeremy and his beautiful wife, the face behind the camera.  


I of course had a few questions for Jeremy because of course I just had to know more about his journey into photography and what inspires him to do what he does.   When you have the opportunity to interview someone who inspires you make it worth your while, learn something from them, learn about them, you never know there might just be a reason behind why their work is so appealing to you.  So here goes.

1. Your landscape work is incredible and it is evident that is where your heart lies in your photography, am I correct to assume that?  If so what is it that really excites you about creating those images and if not where is it that your true passion lies?

Thank you for the compliment!!

Landscape and urban architectural photography is where I got my feet wet in photography, so to speak. As such, it will always have a strong hold on my heart when I think about my photography work (even as I continue expanding my skill set and work). It is really helpful for me that I live in such an incredibly beautiful city. However, even within a city with so much character and beauty it is easy for us to live our lives and pass through it without stopping to examine it's beauty. That's what I like to do - show off the beauty that we simply pass through. There is also something incredibly relaxing for me to toss in a pair of headphones and go out on my own finding my next great shot. 

2. Along with landscape photography you also photograph families, what is it that you love about capturing the lives of your clients?

I do also photograph families, couples, weddings, etc. My favorite thing about capturing the lives of my clients are the moments where they forget that a camera is even present. During those times is when there is the subtle glance with the authentic smile is passed from one person to another. These are the moments in life that we love to experience and by capturing such a moment, it can be cherished forever. These are the times that I hope for in every session because the authenticity goes so much further than any posed shot that I can create.

3. How long have you been a serious photographer and what did you first begin photographing?  

This is an interesting question to answer for me. I bought my first actual camera in May 2012 with the sole purpose being my wife and I could take better pictures of our two daughters. I figured that I should actually learn how to use the camera outside of "Auto Mode" - so I started spending time walking around the city and taking shots playing with various settings and options in the camera. This led me to begin to experiment with long exposure photography to capture the flow of Seattle traffic. In my excitement, I would post various shots online to share with friends and family. Not long after, I started to get orders for various prints of my photography. Maybe I shouldn't call them orders - more like inquiries asking if I would be willing to sell particular images at various sizes. Having no idea what I was actually doing, I began to research where I could get prints made for them. This led me to starting a website to have a wider reach of sharing images. About six months into owning my camera, I was then asked to do some portraits of members of our church to use in the art walk for an upcoming sermon series. Having no idea how to take pictures of people, I said "Why not?" That led to me getting booked for my first family session, then a maternity session, and next a wedding. It was around that time that I realized that I might be onto something! All that to say, I have kind of stumbled into this whole photography world (and am still stumbling for sure)!

4.  A lot of people are often curious (photographers) what other photographers inspire you; I am wonder who or what inspires you?  It's not always another artist that is the inspiration and a lot of times it's not a person at all.

I will state the obvious answer - Ansel Adams. That man was a master of finding beauty in landscapes, for sure. What is often missed is how brilliant he was with his editing in the dark room. I find a lot of inspiration through his burning and dodging work and find myself as of late trying to emulate some of those tricks in my post processing work. There are a ton of other photographers that I look to and am inspired by as well, so I will include them in a quick list: 

Niki Feijen - I am amazed by his adventurous photography and unreal ability to make decaying landscapes look gorgeous.

Jeff Marsh - I am constantly challenged by the simplicity in his portrait work and how it consistently produces incredible results.
Victor Zerga - His lighting work in his wedding photography is simply jaw dropping.

Various "Rooftopping" Photographers (such as: Tom Ryaboi, Joseph Carnevale, and Vadim Makhorov & Vitaly Raskalov) - I am blown away by the work they put into getting the perfect shot. I want to be able to pull off the shots (and stunts) they do!

5. I recently read your post about rooftopping.  Wow, incredible images, but viewing the images brought quite a bit of anxiety to me.  How long did it take you to complete this project? What was your inspiration for it? How many people did it take to accomplish such a large project? What equipment did you use? And finally, how did you feel during the process and seeing the final results?  

This actually wasn't my project. I was doing a similar feature of the work of Tom Ryaboi for that rooftopping blog post. I've done a handful of shots from various rooftops (namely most of my panoramas are from some form of an elevated place)...however "Rooftopping" is different world for sure! 

Jeremy is a Seattle based photographer and he has captured the city beautifully here, below are also a couple samples from his portrait work.

If you wish to view more of his work you can visit his Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Google Plus page. Plenty of places to find his awesome work.

If you love these landscape images you can purchase them here.


Don't dwell on the negative, work toward the positives. {Murfreesboro Children's Photographer}

Yet again today I was trying to find something to write about, I looked to my life and community to see what was available and inspirational.  I was going to write about making lists and how if I write something down there is a better chance of completing it or feeling down about my business only for a Michael Jackson to come on the radio and boost my spirits again, about how music can really make or break anyones mood.  Then something happened, I was reading my facebook feed and saw that not only a fellow photog, but friend had been robbed.  This is twice in 9 months.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Earlier today I was slightly depressed about not being booked as much as I had hoped and just overall sad with my place as a business, I wish I could be as busy as them (other photogs in my area).  I wish I was more successful than I am, but the minute I saw this post and I read the feed to determine the full extent of the situation and by doing so I quickly found out that this person was robbed of all of the equipment it took for her to photograph the newborns, kids, and families.  I then read a little further and this was the comment that made my heart drop....."this might just cost me my business."  So quickly you might wonder, why? what about insurance?  well how about that lapse when you are switching and your first payment may or may not have made it.  This got me motivated, what is the first thing I can do to help?  I quickly messaged her offering up any equipment I have so that she can complete sessions she currently has and then gathered a few of the local photographers to do the same if they were willing and available to do so.  So with all that I wrote the lesson learned here for myself and others is don't kick someone when they are down.  This is a terrible way to lose a business and no one should have to deal with this, but it happens and this is another great example why it is a great idea to friend others that offer the same services as you.   Oh and did I mention she is also my families photographer and the one person I looked up to when learning about photography.

Photo credit: Christina Campbell at  Eternal Treasures Photography

Photo credit: Christina Campbell at Eternal Treasures Photography

Murfreesboro TN photographer stuck in the NY snow......

Currently stuck in NY due to crazy weather, so when life gives you lemons.  We are NY natives and our children born in TN so this is a rare occasion for our boys.  We have spent 2 awesome weeks with our family for Christmas one of which we were all sick.  Of course this is when the snow came and no one could go outside to play.  We finally all get better and the snow disappears, but we are in NY so of course it will come, right? The days came and went with no snow in sight, the morning arrives that we are suppose to journey back to TN and we awake to a winter wonderland, thus leaving us stuck in NY.  My oldest son was so excited, he said he had dreamed for all this snow.  Well sweet little one dreams do come true, or at least his did. 


His little feet and BIG snow pants, of course I couldn't resist but to capture it.  


and of course I had to pull out a selfie when I saw my reflection in this building.


These images below were not taken on the same day, but we did play in a little snow before embarking on another adventure.  This is something I want to carry on with my kids and hope they do the same with theirs.  My grandpa who is no longer with us, but has left some amazing memories behind would always eat ice cream, but I would ask him how he could eat ice cream during the winter?  He would walk to the local convenience store on cold, snowy, wintery days and have himself a cone.  He loved it, especially in the winter, but why?   His response was, because it doesn't melt as fast and then he would chuckle under his handle bar mustache that had bits of ice cream in it.  There are plenty of things that my grandfather did that I remember, but this one really takes the cake or ice cream in this case lol.    


Murfreesboro Photographer- Where have all the clients gone?

Why am I not busy???

I have pondered this question for a very long time, but have since found the answer to my question, however there are still plenty of photographers or just business owners in general wondering the very same thing.


In this case the question usually is, I am a good photographer, but why the sound of crickets when I open my email?  

You have done all the work learning and mastering your craft so that you have a sellable product, so why is it that nobody wants to come to me, but this other photographer that is mediocre at best so busy?  Well for starters you are too busy tracking what other photographers in your area are doing that your own business is failing to thrive because your focus is elsewhere.  Sitting on the internet, especially facebook posting your favorite images of your kids is not bringing the clients.

So why do you do it?

There is always that one person who contacts you for photos the gives you that slight glimmer of hope, but guess what, that one client who books you is not bringing in all the clients you need to run a successful business.  For starters you need to figure out what type of business you want to have and who your ideal client is so you can market to this type of person.

There are a few types of clients, but you need to decide who is your ideal client.

1. The price shopper (the second you up your prices they are quickly onto someone who can do it cheaper)

2. The pinner ( they value photography, but only in the realm of things they have seen else where and they want you to recreate another persons session)

3. The Art Appreciator (this person is on the search for not just any photographer, they are looking for something that really matches who they are as a person and family and they are interested what their photographer can create unique to their family).


Now all of these clients can help to create a successful studio, but next up you need to decide what kind of studio you are interested in running.

1.  Boutique style (you put all your hours into just a few clients a month at a higher price)

2. High Volume (You bring in a larger number of clients in a month in order to bring your price down to a more affordable rate)

Neither way is wrong, you just need to figure out what is best for you.


Still the question, why am I not busy even after I have figured all of this out?

The answer is simple, the other photographers that are mediocre at best are just better business people, they understand how to run a business and successfully at that.  So while you have been mastering your craft (not a bad thing) they have been shooting and marketing circles around you, so just imagine the type of business you can have once you become a better business person.

What do I need to do?

You need to hit the streets, you need to connect with local business's and see what you can do for them in exchange for advertising space. You need to donate your services to local charity events.  You need to mingle with local photographers in your area.  You can help each other out more that you know and if you really think about it YOU are your only competition, YOU get in your own way, YOU decide how you run your business and if you are too busy worrying about what everyone else is doing then you will fail to succeed.  Get some marketing materials and start talking yourself up, yes it's okay to brag about yourself you are a walking ad for your business (don't get carried away though, it can leave a bad taste), find something that sets you apart from everyone else, something your clients can't get anywhere else, but most importantly BE CONFIDENT in yourself, your work, and your business.  

If you don't believe in your work and your business then who will?

Yep, totally posting one of my favorite images of my kid lol, I dub myself a hypocrite.

Murfreesboro Photographer

Photographing your Christmas tree - Murfreesboro Photographer

Everyone wants to have a beautiful photo of their Christmas tree, but are very unsure how to achieve the beautiful results.  It is very easy, even if you are not a professional, the results may not be the same if you are unable to control the settings, but this will definitely improve you annual tree portraits.  For starters many people make the mistake of using their flash when trying to photograph their tree, we want to maintain dimension and we also don't want to over power the lights on the tree. 

What you will need:

-tripod (you can easily find one at Walmart, Target, Kmart for about $20 or more)

(a tripod is not even totally required assuming you have a surface that you can set your camera on that will be at the desired level for your photo.)


yep that's all folks


First turn off any ambient light (any background light) For non-professionals you will need to turn the flash off on your camera, then mount it to the tri-pod and fire the trigger ( I like to use the timer so when the camera does fire I have not moved it by pushing the trigger), if you can't figure out how to turn it off find some black gaffers tape, you can find this at your local hardware store and put a strip over you flash.  Your camera will automatically choose the settings to compensate for the loss of light, thus the need for a tripod because it will automatically slow your shutter down.  For professionals you can play with your settings to achieve the results you are really looking for and don't be afraid to play around with all the components to achieve something really cool, that is the great thing about photography, not one setting is right unless of course it's totally over or under exposed and all information is totally lost, but maybe for you that's perfect.  Below are two images I captured with my Nikon D600, Wide angle 28mm 2.8, F10, .80 sec, Iso 1000.  Maybe not the most ideal setting, BUT I loved the results and so it worked for me.   Also I chose to slowly move my camera up and down while the shutter what open to create the image to the left, just play around with it.


Good Luck and remember just have fun, now onto better Christmas tree photos.

Murfreesboro Photographer

Posing!!! I can do that, said no child ever. -Murfreesboro Family Photography-

Photographing children is no easy feat, trust me I know.  I started out photographing my child and friends children, I didn't take a shot unless they were posed and smiling because that is what I thought was right and it's not totally wrong, but if you want the kids to have fun getting their photos taken then that is not the path to take.  

I am going to touch base on the ages I photograph the most and that is 1-7 or 8.  First things first, you MUST gain that child(s) trust.  You will not capture the true spirit of a child unless they trust you.  Imagine for a second yourself going to get your photos taken, lets even break this down to a boudoir session, something even more uncomfortable than normal, never met your photographer and you show up to have your clothing brought down to quite a bit less than what you are use to, you then get into position, maybe having not created a relationship with your photographer and then a camera is shoved in your face.  This is kind of what a kid feels like.  I never limit my sessions to just 1 hour unless I know the kid and have worked with them before.  Kids need time to warm up to someone they don't know, kids DO NOT do well under pressure and so rushing them because you have a time limit is not going to fly, you will not be successful in photographing younger children.

                                                                                        HOW TO BUILD TRUST:


For starters you introduce yourself to mom and dad, right?!  Why not do they same to the kids.  Get down to their level so you are less intimidating, ask them some things they like to do.  Ask them about their day, let them know something about yourself ( I have a little boy who is the exact same age as you, I bet you both like the same cartoons).  What is your favorite ice cream?  "Chocolate"  ooo mine too with rainbow spinkles on top.  All this is really great to get started before ever picking up the camera.  I have found that little girls are really great at sitting down and talking where little boys really want to run and play and get dirty, you really need to understand how to hone in on each child as they are all different, especially siblings.  When the kid(s) has made their way over to you and a way from mom and dad that is when you know they are comfortable with you.  This is all really great with 3 and up.  



For this age you really have to go with the flow, you have to be really gentle with your introduction, this age is less talk and a little more action.  Bubbles, balloons, lovies, tickles.  They don't quite understand the power of conversation and their attention span is extremely low. 


                                                                                       GETTING THAT SHOT!!!


Now this requires quite a bit of ninja skills and lots of running and playing.  I really try hard to not get shutter happy, however sometimes it's required.  The point of having portraits done is to remember how your kids are at that specific time in their life, so if that means their hair is wild and crazy, scrapes on the knees, they loved to be silly, or snuggle on their lovey, then that is the photo that should be captured.  Also remember that kids need a break from time to time so if one minute you are having fun and playing and the next they are done, give them a break and find something NEW and EXCITING for them to do.  Another question that always comes up from time to time is how do you get that genuine smile??  Well I know how I do it and it works well for me so give it a go and see if it works for you.  I tend to ask quite a bit of questions, and not just any questions, you have to really remove your age from the equation and turn yourself into whatever age the kid(s) is that you are photographing.  Does mommy feed you worms instead of cereal??  Do you think your beautiful dress will fit me??  Why not am I too small for it??  and so on, get creative, they will love it. 




Now parents really have a hard time throwing the parent card out the window (I know I do).  You know what makes getting photos even harder for a kid?  When mom and dad are correcting them to do what the photographer says.  This can really close a kid down and make them absolutely uninterested in having photos done at all.  Now this is not saying that this is mom and dads fault, because it's not.  They are just being mom and dad, it's what they know how to do, so as a photographer of children you need to let the parent know what is okay and how you work with kids.  Now hitting mom and dad and overall negative behavior in that way, I do not condone, that is not okay, but this is when as a photographer you try something new, separate the child and mommy or daddy and just do portraits of them for a bit and revisit that set up later.





The Digital Age -Murfreesboro Family photography-

Everything is so much easier now in the digital age.  Photography being one of those things on the top of the list.  I started out as a shoot and burner (hangs head in shame), and if you are a photographer you know exactly what that is.  I am not proud of it, but we all start somewhere.  Could you imagine before computers, if your photographer handed you your film and said have a great day?  We as photographers should be proud to have our images printed and if we are handing them over to our clients just on a disc then I feel we have done a disservice to them.  Life gets busy and we easily forget to do something as simple as print photos and before you know it, it's next year and you are starting the process over again.    

Technology is forever changing, just 20 years ago you saw VHS everywhere, then it was CD/DVD, now we are transitioning to flashdrives.  All that in just 20 years, if you wait to have your images printed from a disc just imagine what will happen in 10 years from now, will it be a challenge just to get those memories.  

You have worked so hard to learn photography, shooting until your arm falls off just to get it perfect in camera, go home and pull it up on your computer, edit for hours, hand a disc to your client and all that work you have done has a high chance of never getting displayed, serioulsy what was the point, all your hard work, for nothing.

As for your client, what a shame that their family photos sit on a disc.  The walls in your home are meant to display art and to me that is your family.  You have worked so hard to have your family, take care of your family, love your family, grow your family, all of that hard work should be displayed in your home.  Be proud and show your family off, don't just hire a photographer because they are going to give you a disc, pay the extra and let them create a gallery in your home for you, they are the expert on products that will help archive your photos for your family in the future, they have access to the best products available out there that you cannot get, they know visually what looks good (they are a photographer after all), and they know what products their images will looks best on.  

P.S. Your photographer MAY keep your images forever, but there are no guarantees


Camera invades the docs office -Murfreesboro Family Photography-

Today we started our day arguing with big brother, then off to the post office, then to grab mommies addiction (Starbucks) and then play date with our friends.  We arrived early for our play date and so a little practice in the drivers seat for Kason was just the ticket to keep him occupied.  He was all smiles and we were the only car in the parking lot with the headlights on and windshield wipers going (it was not raining in case you were wondering).  Our friends arrived and we headed inside for a day of fun, or was it???  Kason sat on my lap the whole time, I felt so bad that our friends had come all this way to visit and I didn't want to leave early so we held out as long as we could, poor little guy was so exhausted, I didn't even get out of the parking lot and he was sleeping.   

Below are a few pathetic images of the little man at the docs.


All snuggled up and tuned into the cartoons on tv

All snuggled up and tuned into the cartoons on tv

Mouth wide open due to congestion, poor little boogy boogy.  (yep that's what I call him)

Mouth wide open due to congestion, poor little boogy boogy.  (yep that's what I call him)

Oh yeah and his awesome sunglasses and the big bear yawn that took me a few times to get.

Oh yeah and his awesome sunglasses and the big bear yawn that took me a few times to get.

and of course the $45 visit to the pharmacy after the hour visit to see the doc.  Outcome of it all, slight ear infection, cold, and wheezing.  Has anyones kid had RSV and their lungs just don't seem to be as strong after having it??     And so there you have it, the kids are not safe from the camera no matter where they are.  Sleeping, doctors, potty, tub, NOWHERE!!  The life of a photographers child. They will appreciate it later.        

and of course the $45 visit to the pharmacy after the hour visit to see the doc.  Outcome of it all, slight ear infection, cold, and wheezing.  Has anyones kid had RSV and their lungs just don't seem to be as strong after having it??  

And so there you have it, the kids are not safe from the camera no matter where they are.  Sleeping, doctors, potty, tub, NOWHERE!!  The life of a photographers child. They will appreciate it later. 



Preparing your child for portraits, is there such a thing? -Murfreesboro family photography-

As a parent you are unfamiliar with how to "prepare" your child(ren) to get their portraits done.  You know how to be a parent to them and so when having their photos done it's no different, or is it??  I am a firm believer in letting all the rules go out the window when it comes portrait time.  I guarantee speaking as a parent you are going to be much happier with the results if you let you kid(s) be Kid(s), let them run, play, and be silly and you in turn will enjoy the experience even more.  I think the only thing you can do to prepare your kids for portraits is feed them, choose a time that is not nap time, and be sure they are not sick, the rest is left up to your child and the photographer.  These portraits are of my boys, I am sure by now they are immune to the camera, but I still have to work for the results.  How did I prepare my boys for this?  Well I  took my own advice and said lets go to the park and play, they threw leaves at me, jumped to try and reach the sky, played in the gravel, and so on.  The photographer wants a genuine smile just as much as you do, now maybe you want those shots where your kids are posed and looking so sweet and that is fine, but that goes into choosing your photographer. 

 How to choose a photographer that fits your family? 

My friend asked me why do you value your photographer over another?  I answered this with a simple, I love how clean the images are, the way she captures my family and all families, I like how down to earth she is and how helpful she is.  Now I am sure there are other photographers out there that offer this as well, but why continue to search if I already have what I like?  I guess that is how you know if your photographer is right for you.  

How did you choose your pediatrician or Family doctor?  Why should choosing your photographer be any different?  






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