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1 year, 1 month ago 4



At the end of every workshop I hold a postmortem.  Jim and I talk about what went well, what did not go so well, and we discuss how the bad stuff can be prevented in the future, a postmortem.  This last workshop with Joe McNally and Anne Cahill went so well it is being deemed, the best we have ever run, by many attendees, and both Jim and I!  So this postmortem takes on a new meaning, why did it go so well.  I’ve had several days to think it through, and I think I can share at least a few things we learned!


1.  Joe McNally has a magnetic personality and warmth, (Anne to!), that makes for a very special atmosphere.  Every person that attended expected to meet and get to know one of the greatest photographers out there today, and they did, but what many found out, that they did not know, was that Joe is a really humble, honest, down to earth guy, who becomes all the more likable when you get to know him.  So first Joe set a wonderful tone.  Jim was also in high form, sharing, as always , some of his great shows and his incredible talent, kindness and support for everyone.


2.  The spiritual content was ramped up a notch.  This being the celebration the opening of the Christmas Season, the Holy Spirit led us to share some very deep, important and spirit lifting content.  Many attendees remarked that they felt they left a stronger, better person, changed fro the better!  Always our goal!


3.  Wilson and his merry gang made the Tremont Lodge a wonderful setting for this very meaningful gathering.  I’m becoming a huge fan of Wilson’s staff and support team!  They went way out of their way to make our guests feel welcome and at home at the lodge.  Big fires in the stone fire place, beautiful decorations and simply the warmth for which east Tennessee folks are known for, was on full display!



4.  We were blessed with some beautiful conditions to enjoy the Smokies!  It was magical on several occasions!  Here are several of our attendees shots!



5.  It was a great group of attendees.  Really wonderful people, with many good friends, and some new people that were delightful to meet.  Everyone got into the spirit of the event and we all drew closer together, and Joe and Anne made that easy with their open and loving manner!



The big question is can this be duplicated????  You can bet I will try, but I also just have to be thankful that every once in a while, a magical, blessed event takes place and I got to be there along with everyone else!



Blessings and Merry Christmas from,


the pilgrim


More scenes of the fun!





1 year, 1 month ago 8




The image above is of the Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove.  I know it well, very well.  My daughter Catherine and my son-in-law Clint were married in this very church!  I’ve photographed it many times, but on this last workshop I saw it in a new way, for the very first time.  Joe looked up as soon as he got out of my car and described what he saw, and it was not what I’ve seen in the past.  It was clear as a bell that Joe had a unique and different vision.


I immediately tried to capture what Joe described, admittedly it was his vision, but I had to try and capture it.  I’m pleased with the result, but I’m more pleased that he opened my eyes to seeing something in a new, and fresh way.  A gift is something you give out of love to someone that truly wants to have the gift.  I really want to have the gift of Joe’s unique and special vision.  Joe gave it willingly.


After a four day period with Joe I came to see something I hadn’t seen before in all the years I had known him.  His greatest talent is that he sees what is there, but that few others recognize.  Vision is more than what our eyes see.  I’ve known Joe’s heart for a long time, but it came into clearer focus this week, it’s  gold and it thinks of others, always, before himself.  Sharing his vision with us this week may seem like a small thing, after all he is a teacher, a really good one, but that would be denying the bigger point.  Gifts, true gifts can only come from the heart, a heart that wants to share what it owns, even a vision.  It is Christmas and what better time to  give a gift, receive a gift and recognize a giver.  Merry Christmas Joe, in every sense of those words.


Let us all learn how to give in this season!




the pilgrim


1 year, 1 month ago 10




I just got my Christmas wish!!!!  For most of this year I’ve been looking forward to my last workshop of the year, the Celebration of the Opening of the Christmas Season with Joe McNally and Anne Cahill!  I have looked so forward to this event, and time with Joe and Anne who I love so much.  Two of my best friends, and two people I admire more than I can describe.  Joe is one of the most admirable photographers I know, a man of real substance and integrity, a man who has done so much for others and is famous beyond belief, but still a regular guy, a truly humble man! Anne is one of the greatest women I’ve known, and she and Joe got to come and spend an evening with Sherelene and I,  it can’t get better than that!


To start my Christmas Season, a very blessed season for me, with them and the truly great group that assembled in the Smokies was, well, divine!  For Jim and I to join them and do a workshop, was truly a great honor!




Joe’s teaching was incredible, everyone was blown away!  One  thing he did that was the icing on the cake was teach portrait lighting by photographing “all” the attendees, everyone left with a portrait made by no less than Joe McNally!  Let me share a few with you!


Wilson Reynolds, the lord of the manor, the Tremont Lodge!


A magic moment between Jim and Sue Haverstock that only Joe could capture!


Mike Early gets a great smile out of some Canon teasing!  Joe just knows how it do it!


Joe got a great serious expression for a truly great guy, George Flanagan!


A classy guy, Miles Smith, in a classic informal portrait!


The First Family of His Light, the Oakleys!  Nina, John and Ralphi.


Most of all, laughter that came from deep down inside!  Merry Christmas!



Our wonderful group!


So what do I want for Christmas?  Nothing!  I already have all a man could hope for, a year filled with workshops with great friends like Jack Graham, Jim Begley, Jim Haverstock and lots of other  folks!  A beautiful bride and family.  Then to top off the year, four great days with Joe and Anne and at the our gang!  Life could not be better!


Thanks Joe and Anne for giving me my Christmas wish!




the pilgrim


All Portraits by Joe McNally, the group shots of the team by Chuck Barnes!


Workshop Group and Bible shot by the pilgrim.


Top image of my great grandfather’s Bible shot in the Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove, with the Fuji X-T1 and the 90mm f 2 lens at f 2.



1 year, 1 month ago 2



I was presented with list of “honey dos”  today by Sherelene when I made a trip to Townsend to set up for the workshop.  I picked up some gifts former, and one stop was a yarn shop, didn’t even know they existed.,  Wow the color was outrageous, had to share a few quick shots.  All made with the Fuji X100T.  H ow about adding some color to your Christmas Season!








the pilgrim