Knoxville’s 45th Annual ADDY Awards

A few weeks ago I sat in this exact spot & questioned myself, “Should I really do this? Am I going to get my hopes up?” I was trying to psych myself up to enter a brochure I designed, “2009-2010 AACA Arts Guide,” into the local ADDYs competition. I don’t know about you, but I am always a bit hesitant to enter competitions. This was certainly the case. Although I thought (& many others) my design was really nice, I wondered how it would pan out against the big-time agencies. I kept padding my thoughts in the chance that I would get my hopes up, “I am foremost a photographer then designer,” I assured myself.

Well… I did end up entering (with the very kind logistical help of Susie Norris of Orange Apple Branding) & to my delight I received a letter in the mail indicating “Congratulations! Your organization has produced award-winning advertising…” I followed-up with a loud “Yeah baby!!” & a fully-extended fist pump that made the older couple walking by my studio quite happy! Awkward!

Fast-forward to this past Saturday evening, February 20. Joy & I were excited to attend the 2010 Addys Awards Gala at the Knoxville Crowne-Plaza. We were stoked about it being a “black-tie” gala & the opportunity to be out on the town without the boys. Btw… Joy was looking as beautiful as ever… absolutely great!

Mom caught this pic just before we left for the gala.

We arrived at the gala & immediately ran into our great friend & the uber-talented, Franny Priestley, a designer with the accomplished Pyxl team. She is so talented!! We walked the gallery displaying the award-winning pieces & ran into my friends, Chris & Bridget Hornsby, of Hornsby Brand Design. They have scores of design industry awards & produce some of the best work around… a real pleasure to be around. Also, I must give a shout-out to another friend, Jackie Newman. Jackie is finishing up her degree in Design & works at Orange Apple Branding. She is a constant source of smiles, laughs, & great conversation… view her design portfolio at Jackie Newman Designs.

It was a fun night! We kind of felt like we were at a mini-Grammys. The jazz band was smokin’, food was excellent, & the company was enjoyable! Not to mention, we won our first design award. It was a great reminder for me to continue to pursue my dreams & to surround myself around others who a better than me… who encourage my growth… who pursue excellence in what they do! Cheers to the Knox Addys!! Hope to see you again next year!

The Wears | Abbi & Lilli

As I sat here editing these photos from this morning’s session with Abbi & Lilli Wear, I caught myself grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t help it. I’ve photographed for the Wears a few times now (here’s some pics from those sessions: Part 1 & Part 2) & always enjoy our time together. Like others, the session resulted in me rolling around on the ground for the “right” shot & Abbi found it the perfect occasion to twirl & dance. I love it when children are so uninhibited; I could learn a great deal from them!

Due to the snowy forecast & my refusal to reschedule another photo session, we photographed these beautiful little girls at my studio. We simply opened the blinds & started shooting! Kelli, Abbi & Lilli’s mom, is such a pleasure to work with & simply let’s me be creative as I see fit. Thanks again Randy, Kelli, Abbi, & Lilli!

Here are my favs… proceed with caution, these girls are cute!!!



Dave Ramsey | The Momentum Theorem

It was such a pleasure to sit under Dave Ramsey’s teaching this morning ( Countless lives have been impacted by the business, ministry, books, cd’s, radio, etc. of this financial coach. We’re proud to say that he’s a TN native & his wife grew up in a small community next door. Plus, he’s a University of TN alum (yeah, yeah!). I’m just trying to give props to my home state.

This morning, our Leadership McMinn Alumni Association was able to host Dave Ramsey as he spoke on “The Momentum Theorem.” Here’s my notes & a few quotes:

“I didn’t want employees, I wanted a team. Employees need a boss, teams need a leader.” – Ramsey

The Momentum Theorem: Momentum is never an accident, it is a process… here is the formula:
{Focus + Intensity} over {Time} multiplied by {Infinity (God)} = Unstoppable Momentum

  1. Focus: When you lose you’re focus, you’re dead meat… “much like a squirrel in the road.”
    “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8
    Illustration | Upon meeting a future Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver, Dave asked the guy why do professional receivers drop the ball. The receiver responded, “you drop the ball because of lack of focus… for 2 reasons. 1. Fear… because you hear footsteps & know you’re about to get hit or 2. Greed… because you already are looking towards the end zone.
  2. Intensity: Everyone is intense about something. The example he gave was the intensity of those who stand outside in the freezing cold at a football game with no shirt on. It makes us wonder, what if we were to put the same kind of intensity into our marriages, kids, personal growth, jobs, etc. It would make a profound difference.
  3. Time: It takes time to be successful. Referring to Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers: The Story of Success,” Gladwell says the #1 quality of those who are successful is relational intelligence… the ability to relate to people.
    Those who are considered experts in their field have put in 10,000 hours of practice/applied skill. This doesn’t happen over night… as Dave said, “Brad Paisley did not just occur.” You win over TIME… 90 seconds of focused intensity wont’ cut it, but years of focused intensity will put you among the best.
  4. Infinity (God): The Lord’s work in your life compounds results.

“Capitalism only works on a 3-legged stool… economic freedom, political freedom, & moral restraint.” – Michael Novak

“What causes greed to go away? Naturally, through time, the greedy will eventually pay the price… people will quit using their services.” – Ramsey

“Profit is the applause your customers give you.” – Blanchard

I really enjoyed the story Dave told concerning a meeting he had with a Billionaire from North Carolina. The wealthy man gave Dave some advice: “You’ve always gotta be a giver.” And, after enormously building up a must-read book, the man said, “Also, you must read ‘The Tortoise & the Hare.’ Everytime I read that book, the tortoise wins.” A testimony of those who are focused!

What a wonderful opportunity to hear Dave this morning. I’m inspired by his leadership & ability to think with reason & wisdom. His financial wisdom is unrivaled & is a testimony to what the Lord can make happen over time with someone who is focused & intense. Dave, thanks so much for your time with us today… the pleasure is ours.

You can follow Dave on twitter at @ramseyshow

The Nacks: Andy & Leslie

This Saturday was a first for me: I was an associate shooter for a wedding. I met the lovely & talented Lillian Prince at our church & we became quick friends with her & her husband, Ryan, & their two kiddos: Ella Reece & Dean. She is such a gifted photographer & we’ve been talking about collaborating when we need 2nd shooters. We exchanged some dates to see when it was possible for us to shoot together. Well, this weekend was our first opportunity & it was a great pleasure to shoot alongside Lillian. I look forward to shooting several weddings together this year. Thanks again Lillian!!

I was able to spend an extended amount of time shooting details & candids… this was so much fun (warning: I got a bit carried away at ring shots!). These are some of my favs:

The reception was held at the historic L&N Station in Knoxville.

The view of the World’s Fair Park from the reception site.

Snow Days 2010!!!

By the time Friday rolled around, the anticipation for snow was to an all-time high; 3-5 inches were to be expected. Schools were releasing students early, folks were making their panic trip to the Supermarket for bread & milk (which… I don’t understand, milk-sandwich anyone?), & the local power company was placing phone calls to local businesses. Meanwhile, I was a naysayer thinking, “they always make a big fuss about snow & it never happens… ugh!”

Fast forward a few hours & it’s starting to smell like snow. Next thing you know there are flurries coming down which moments later transformed into mammoth flakes. Hallelujah! I then proceeded with a brief snow celebration dance before deciding to give myself the remainder of the day off. I jumped in the car & went to the hacienda for some serious family quality time. The rest my friends is history… the proof is below.

Joy captured this image of Brennan & I as we began to to build “The Man” (aka. snow man).

When it comes down to it, all Brennan really cares about is eating the snow.

My snow building skills are quite lacking, hence, Joy had to take over.

We went “all out” decorating the snow man. Can’t you tell?

Knox stayed warm inside. We made him a pallet in front of the front door so he could be in on the fun.

Seriously, Knox has one of the best personalities I know. He is such a pleasure.

Brennan wanted to wear one of daddy’s ties. He was also jealous for our dog, Bailey, to wear the tie.

With two boys under the age of 2, I try to squeeze in naps whenever I can. These snow days have absolutely worn me out.

Every time I lay down, little ones are sure to follow.

I could watch this for the rest of my life!