Taking a Minute to Highlight the Hard Work of Others.

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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.  

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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.

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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

You are unique, your business should be too. {Murfreesboro TN Childrens Photographer}

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2 years ago I began my venture into photography and when I say began I mean really started to learn and understand all that is photography.  I really began to learn that just because I owned a nice camera didn't AT ALL qualify me as a photographer.  As I am writing this I think 2 years, wow that is all, but ask me 2 years ago and I probably would say I can't wait to see what my work will look 2 years from now, I will be so much better.  I am just that, so much better, but in no way where I want to be.  Yes I want to be that photographer that others can come to and ask advice, I want to eventually teach my skill one day, I want others to be inspired by me, but the one thing I don't want is to ever be done learning.  I don't want to know every single thing there is to know about photography, I want to be able to go out, shoot, try new things and be surprised with the results that follow.

Becoming a photographer, especially a portrait photographer, doesn't mean that all I have to learn is how to take photos, use my camera, be creative, and just understand all the elements that is photography.   I had to really learn how to run a business and be a business person.  Many might think that being a photographer is going out shooting, coming home and edit and then share with your clients.  I WISH, I am a business owner and with that comes marketing, taxes, budgets, researching, answering emails/phone calls, customer service, sales, and so on.  I really struggled in this area of being a photographer, I am an artist, why in the world would I need to know business.  In order for your business to survive understanding how to run a business is just as if not even more important than being a photographer.  I spend my first year learning how to simply use my camera, find clients, draining myself in post, changing my prices, adjusting my business plan.  Why? because I was terrible at business.  I then began to learn, but not fully understand, I looked at other photographers in my area, what products they offered, what packages if packages at all they offered, do they have a studio, what equipment do they have and so on.  I then worked my price list and my business plan around what everyone else did, so what is wrong with this picture?  My business is no different than the other photographers in my area, why should they come to me over the other photographers in my area?  What sets me apart?  

Be unique, you as an individual are unique, your business is a refection of you and so why should your business be like everyone else.  Don't stop shooting. Instead of researching equipment, looking at other photographers in your area, and finding locations; understand business 101. No matter what kind of business they own, everyone needs to know the basics. Just because you are a photographer doesn't mean your business basics are different then other types of companies. I am currently at the beginning of my 3 year and I am ready, I am offering products that  reflect my personality, at prices I need to make to run my business, my brand is what I like and not something I found on another persons work, my services are what I want to offer not because someone else is.  It's okay to look at your "competition", but not look like your "competition".  The reason I used "" is because I don't see other photographers as my competition rather my colleagues, befriend them, they are not your enemy, YOU are your enemy.

How do you benefit from friending local photographers? Not every photographer offers the same services, if they like you and your work they will refer clients to you, who knows they may even be your client.  Another aspect of business 101 how do you think stores get products?  Vendors from other businesses pay to have their products of their shelves, plenty of businesses work together to advance each other, why would photography be any different?

Get off the other photographers sites, step away from B&H for a few days, let google be your friend, visit your local bookstore, grab a coffee and visit the business section.  You can be successful if you want to be.  

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. 

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

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

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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.    

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