2016 and 2017 were milestone years for me, full of personal growth that brought me a new outdoor adventure family and a new personal project I am extremely passionate about. This project illustrates female athletes who are forces of nature in their respective sports, bringing awareness to a small corner of the adventure and extreme sports world. I wanted to show that strength and beauty coexist within a female athlete; we can get dirt under our fingernails one day and go out the next rocking our best pair of heels.
The athletes worked hard and collaborated with me to create a portfolio of images that stood out among standard adventure photography...dynamically lit and full of vibrant color, featuring the best and strongest athletes in the business. After a while, the message started reaching several media outlets, including my favorite outdoor adventure magazine. Normally, photographers are asked to submit previously photographed work to a photography magazine and covers and feature art are chosen from that pool of work. Never in my wildest dreams would I have known that my first cover would be one where they asked me to photograph the cover, featuring the one thing I'm most passionate about!
I am thrilled to share with you guys that my first cover shoot with Blue Ridge Outdoors is on newsstands now! You have no idea how excited I am to not only get this opportunity, but for it to feature what I am so passionate about: bringing awareness to amazing women who are making waves in the outdoor adventure community. Wow...that's all I can say! I'm humbled, honored, and thrilled to have this opportunity. Thank you so much to Blue Ridge Outdoors for allowing me the pleasure of photographing and fellowshiping with five amazing women and for working so hard to highlight this area of adventure sports!
Check out this video for some behind-the-scenes footage of our cover shoot and let us know what you think of the shoot, then click on the link below to check out the online version of the article. Make sure and visit your local outdoor retailer to grab your own copy!
Photographer feature: http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/go-outside/instagram-takeover-cathy-anderson/
Behind the Scenes: Forces of Nature cover shoot
The clouds got in my way on the Total Solar Eclipse in August, 2017. This morning wasn't much different. Today's lunar eclipse...which is the first "Trifecta Moon" since 1866...began around 5:51 a.m. EST and was supposed to reach totality around 7:35 a.m., but where we are at that time, the sun is up and the moon is dropping below the horizon. Not to mention, clouds rolled in at 6:45 this morning, so I had to pop off a few frames right at 6:40.
The "Trifecta" means that it was a blue moon (the second full moon of the month), a blood moon (total lunar eclipse), and a supermoon (8,000 miles closer to Earth than usual).
Despite the cloud cover...thus the softness of the image...you can definitely see the shadow from the Earth as it begins to creep over the top left portion of our satellite neighbor, but as soon as I got my last frame, the cloud cover began taking over. Around 7:20 you could see through the haze that this "triple threat" moon was very much in shadow. Would have made for some great images...but thus is the life of an astrophotographer :-)
Amanda gets HOTTT (chicken)!!
Every year, the TPS Photography crew loads up for a road (or sometimes plane) trip to Imaging USA, the largest professional photography convention in the world. We are there for education and networking, but you know we have to have some fun along the way!
This year, we loaded up the mini-mini van (no, that's not a typo, our company Mazda 5 is like the clown car of minivans, but it gets us and all of our equipment to any destination) and headed to Music City, USA...Nashville, TN.
This year was a little different than most because two of us at TPS had earned degrees through the Professional Photographers of America, and we got to walk the stage and receive those degrees from the PPA president, Rob Behm. Cathy received two degrees at once, which is nearly unheard of. She received her Photographic Craftsman degree, along with her Master of Photography degree. Chris also received his Photographic Craftsman degree. The Craftsman degree is earned by garnering PPA credits through speaking and educating other photographers. The Masters degree is earned by accumulating PPA credits through excelling at International Print Competition...where the cream of the crop put their best work up against other photographers from around the world. These degrees are an addendum to Chris and Cathy's existing PPA status of Certified Professional Photographer. TPS now has the only Certified Professional Photographers in Morganton, the only Photographic Craftsmen in Morganton, and the only Master Photographer in Morganton. We earn these degrees not for self gratification, but with the intent of upholding the standards of our industry, mastering our craft along the way, and...most importantly...creating a superior product and value for our clients.
Exciting as this was, though, the BEST part of our trip (all of us can agree) was an impromptu lunch trip on a snowy day to Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish. This place is literally a tiny hole in the wall just outside of downtown Nashville. There are some other bigger restaurants which surround it, but based on some local knowledge, we knew we had to try this place. Chris is a spicy food lover, so he walked in and ordered Grouper "hot." The cook, Tracy, immediately strutted out of the kitchen, stared Chris from head to toe and said, "Nah. You want medium." Not to insult the cook, Chris ordered the medium...and it is a good thing that he did, because "medium" in Bolton's world means "holy moly this stuff is blazin'!" As our crew typically does, we quickly made friends with Tracy and his fiance, Keianna, who was the cashier. There were only two other people in the restaurant (Nashville is like Morganton when it's snowing...the whole place shuts down), so we got to spend lots of time chatting with them. Tracy even gave Cathy a free Diet Coke when hers ran out and her mouth was still on fire. He then let us try some of their "hot" spices on some chicken tenders and...well...just scroll to the bottom for the video after you look at the photos LOL.
Needless to say, we will definitely be back to Nashville sometime soon for some Bolton's, and the Nashville Hot wording on the KFC marquee is just sort of offensive now...no way could it live up to the awesomeness which is real Nashville Hot Chicken.
Here are some highlights from TPS Photography's journey to Imaging USA, 2018!
Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish - the best of the best of the best when it comes to some Nashville Hot Chicken!!
They're not joking here, ya'll. Don't rub your babies!!
A tiny place...but it packs a punch!
This is what Nashville Hot Grouper looks like!! Mmmmmmm!!!
Tracy & Keianna...the best hosts ever!!
TPS Photography was WELL represented at the Richmond Pro Lab booth in the trade show. A huge thanks to Ted and the rest of the crew at RPL for supporting TPS in our speaking/education endeavors, as well as being the best lab in the industry! We couldn't provide the same level of service for our schools and sports without Richmond!
Ben obviously likes taking selfies in the trade show, as well as stocking up on parm cheese and crushed pepper packets!
All dressed up for the Degree Ceremony! Cathy and Amanda clean up great, and Chris is not afraid of judgement :-)
PPA's newest Photographic Craftsmen AND Master Photographer!
Just before Christmas, we were able to get Miss Hadley in the studio for a portrait. Hadley's grandparents wanted just one portrait which summed up Hadley's sweet, solemn personality. The request seemed so simple, but was actually quite complex. This actually required two trips to the studio. The first day, it turned out that Hadley was sick and we didn't know it...but she was acting very grumpy. One of the best things about TPS Photography, though, is that we absolutely guarantee our work. If a child isn't cooperating during a session, we gladly reschedule the session for another day at no additional fee. The second day that Hadley came in was a different story. She was feeling better, and was much more open to being in front of the camera. We always try to "read" a child's personality at our complimentary portrait consultation, which happens a week or so before the portrait session. It was evident that Hadley was extremely sweet, but also very pensive. Her grandparents were thrilled with the result, even calling a week or so after the portrait session to thank us again for capturing her in this way.