100 Best of the Decade – Part 5

Finally, the last section for this blog feature. I have been a working photographer for 25 years. The last year and a half at the Univeristy of Tennessee has seen the biggest transformation of my portfolio. It is amazing to be at a job that allows me to melt the different parts of my career as a photojournalist, portrait and adversting photographer on a daily basis. Needless to say, these last 20 images were the hardest to narrow down.

Sometimes you show up for an assignment and things are not working in your favor. This was one of those days. The weather outside was gray and nasty. So a clean blue sky portrait was out of play. What I decided to do was place a light outside the kitchen window with a warming gel. This would imitate a nice golden morning light to give the photo a nice warm feeling. I thought it worked out well.
Kathy Keefer was featured in The American Legion Magazine for a story about Fort McClellan veterans fight for recognition and VA care. Keefer and her family have suffered a long list of unusual health problems consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals since she served at Fort McClellan, Ala., adjacent to one of the most contaminated places in the country.
Advertising images for Silver Dollar City Time Traveler commercial in Nashville, TN. The plot was about a father and daughter working on time travel in the 1800s. This was the most elaborate set I have been apart of. The Spining Group really out did themselves when coming up with this spot.
An advertising image of the Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. We were really challenged for this shoot. Being the new ride of the season, the client needed images of it right away for promotional usage. Unfortunately the season starts in early spring and all of the trees and grass were still dead. By using low angles I gave this image a clean palette and happy blue skies. The special feature of this ride was that the cars spin while riding along the rails. I loved this shot of the primary actors visible in the first car and everyone else turned in different directions. FYI, you would have never know it was snowing the day before.
Environmental portrait of Dr. DiPietro for the opioids issue of Tennessee Alumnus magazine.
This Orange Man photo shoot in the communications studio was one of my first assignments at UT. While I had shot in plenty of studio spaces before, this was the first time it was considered my studio space. It will forever be one of my favorite images because of this.
I have spent many years setting up lifestyle images for different companies to sell their products. Since working at UT, I love to go out and find feature images of real students unposed on campus. Here is a prime example of a real life unposed image of campus life. It is so perfect, I couldn’t have set it up this good if I tried.
On Veterans Day, an Army Sgt takes time to remember those that gave their life for our country as the National Gold Star Memorial ‘Remembering Our Fallen’ is displayed along the pedestrian walkway.
A simple beauty shot of Ayres Hall as leaves change on the Hill.
People walk around the rotunda of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy where Howard Baker’s bust marks the center of the room.
Portrait of co-worker Brooks in the Communications Studio. I was wanting to test some different lighting setups for an upcoming portrait session. When Brooks came in with this hat and scarf, I knew he would be perfect for my testing.
Althea Murphy-Price works with a student in a School of Art classroom inside the Art and Architecture Building.
Interim Chancellor Wayne Davis jokes with Provost David Manderscheid and Tyvi Small, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement, while serving students during a Pancake Supper in Hodges Library Galleria.
A mother protects her children from the rain with her gown while leaving commencement. This is a prime example of being in the right place at the right time and because of that I captured one of my favorite images of the year.
Interim President Randy Boyd and Chancellor Donde Plowman cheer after a touchdown during a football game in Neyland Stadium. Once again, turning away from the main action that everyone else captured, allowed me create an image that no one else did.
On September 11, 2018, I was up at dark thirty in the morning to cover a 9/11 Remembrance Run with the university’s ROTC programs. I made this image as the guide carrying the American Flag, led his group through Downtown Knoxville.
In my early newspaper days I was required to find daily features for the front page of the paper. This would typically end up being a kid or construction photo. Funny how my career has come full circle.
Our athletic’s photographer texted if I wanted to make a skyline photo because we were suppose to have a nice sunset. I said sure. He replied “Do you have a spot to go?” I scrambled and with some talking and jumping through hoops, we were able to access a good position at Hotel Knoxville.
Finding relevant features for our social media account is a big part of what I do. When driving into work one day, fog had blanketed all of campus. As soon as I got into the office, I grabbed my camera and went searching for the contrast of a student walking through the fog. I got lucky that the trees outside of our building where still full of fall color.
I find a lot of my images come from keeping my eyes open and not being to busy to stop and take a photo. This photo was made while leaving an assignment in the library.

I realized one thing while going through all my work from the last decade. The University of Tennessee began using me as a freelancer at the begin of the decade. By the end of it, I became a part of their staff. This is something I never dreamed of or saw coming, but now I feel like I am living a dream. Every day I get to work with a creative and energetic staff that feels like family. Stay tuned for future work.

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