The Blue Ridge Mountains

I feel so fortunate to live in this area, in Northeast TN, close to the VA and NC borders. We are surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains (part of the Appalachian Mountain Range). Here is just a taste of our mountains:


Why I “became” a photographer

Many people ask me how I got into photography. Well, here goes:

I’ve always been a photographer.  I’ve taken pictures for over 40 years, for as long as I can remember, definitely since grade school. I have old fading photos of friends sporting their orange and white safety patrol belts, hanging upside down and doing handstands on the playground and just hanging out being kids. I was fortunate to be raised in a neighborhood reminiscent of the “Wonder Years” back in the good ole days of the late 60s and the 70s. I know I’m now telling my age! To you “youngsters,” I must sound like I’m ancient, but you know what “they” say, “50 is the new 30…?”  😉

Many friends say that if it weren’t for me, they would have very few photos of their families. I always have a camera with me, so they expect me to be there to take photos of whatever we’re doing. I have countless albums of cruises, trips, just cats, tons of flowers, sunsets, family and friend get-togethers, and thousands of loose photos stored in boxes.

I remember the first camera I used had the cube flash. 4 flashes, and you had to change the cube. Then came flash stick. I think you got about 10 flashes with that one — amazing!! Then came the camera (film) w/ a BUILT IN FLASH!! Woo Hoo! I’ve gone through several point-and-shoot digital cameras (both film and digital), the handy dandy Polaroid and countless disposable cameras! And, how can I forget the iPhone! I can’t imagine the money I’ve spent on film and prints over the years. Thank goodness for the invention of the digital camera!

In the 90s, my uncle gave me my first SLR, a Canon EOS 10s. I was thrilled! However, I never had the sense back then to take the thing off auto. Cringe! What a waste!! My uncle is an awesome landscape/ wildlife photographer and I had admired his work since I was a tike. He did try to explain Aperture, ISO and shutter speed to me, but for some reason it seemed too much like algebra to me (NOT my best subject in High School). He is a doctor, so I knew he was probably a lot smarter than I was!

Last year, I finally got my first DSLR, a Canon T3i. I decided it was finally time to take my camera of auto and actually learn how to use it! With the help of several mentors and hours and hours of studying, I now shoot in manual, RAW, and have decent editing software. I recently updated to a full-frame camera, a Canon 6D, and LOVE it!

Now I have thousands of photos stored on my computer and back-up hard-drives! More on all of those photos in my next blog…….

PASS Galleries!

PASS galleries are a wonderful way to share your photos online; post to facebook, twitter and pinterest; share your whole gallery with friends and family (you can even choose your favorites to share); download photos to your computer; make your own discs; create an app on your phone of the gallery, and order VERY affordable prints from a professional photo lab!! Your online gallery is available for 10 (yes 10 years).  No more searching for discs or flashdrives! With the advent of new technology, discs and DVD’s will soon be a thing of the past. Client-Guide-SS

Magic Hour Foundation

I am so honored that I was recently accepted by this wonderful organization to provide free photo sessions to families who are fighting cancer. Please go to the link posted below if you would like to nominate a family to receive a photo shoot. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help these families preserve precious memories.

Magic Hour Foundation:

Vision- Family and memories are two of the most valuable treasures in life. They should be celebrated in the present and captured for the future.

Mission- We are a national network of professional photographers who want to serve the individuals and families who are fighting cancer by providing them with the ability to celebrate the truly important things in life through photography. These charitable portrait sessions will provide an opportunity to be normal – just relax, smile and have fun with loved ones. Above all, we will strive to express compassion and love as we support them and pray for God’s grace in their lives, no matter the outcome of their battle.