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1 year, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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

1 year, 4 months ago 19


Photograph by Joe McNally


This coming Sunday we start our last workshop of the year in the Great Smokies with Joe McNally and Anne Cahill!  I’ve looked forward to doing a workshop with Joe for years and now it is less than a week away!  Not only is Joe one of the most successful magazine photojournalists in the world, he is also one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and his wife Anne, was one of my best buddies at Nikon!


Joe and Anne are dear friends and they are what has been the best thing about photogprahy for me, the great people it puts in your life.  I was with Joe and Anne on their first meeting, was at their wedding, and have had many great times with them.  This will be an epic time and to top it all the opening of our Christmas Celebration!!!


My dear friends Jim Begley, Jim and Sue Haverstock, Miles Smith, Mike Early, Mike Roberts,  George Flanagan, Donna Martin, Ralphi, Nina, and John Oakley will  all be there too!  I can hardly wait.


I hope and pray that your journey in photography has blessed you as much as it has me!




the pilgrim