Here’s a sneak peek of a recent bridal shoot with Brooke Waddell. Brooke’s big day is one week from tomorrow, so I thought I’d get these up as a preview. Brooke is obviously beautiful, and she was so much fun to shoot. Her inner beauty exceeds her outer. She is so at ease in her own skin and if you find yourself in her company you’d better be prepared for a lot of laughter. My jaws actually hurt when I got home that day. We spent nearly five hours in studio and driving around to lesser known corners of Knoxville for the shoot. Brooke was game for anything we threw her way. We ended up spending a beautiful evening at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens for the final shots. Wonderful location and a great setting to showcase this lovely lady. I can’t wait for the wedding. In her words, it’s a “redneck” themed affair, complete with moonshine and a bluegrass band. Sounds like my kind of wedding. I think it’s going to be featured in Knoxville Magazine, so stay tuned. I guess I’d better stay away from the ‘shine though!
Mother’s Day weekend is fast approaching and I’m looking forward to traveling with my wife and our friends Liz and Dean to see and photograph the Zac Brown Band and friends at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta. Thought I would take this opportunity to make a few posts from a Zac Brown Band Show that I covered back toward the end of last year. This series is of course none other than Kid Rock who showed up and put on quite the performance with Zac. Hope he shows up again for this show!
A few shots of some more of Zac Brown Band’s “friends”. Artists include Nic Cowan, Sonia Leigh, and Levi Lowrey. You might also recognize Shawn Mullins and Little Big Town in the mix. These were shot back in October 2009 at Zac’s show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Awesome time and honor and pleasure to shoot. If you get the chance to check out one of ZBB’s shows do it! You will be blown away. Also, be sure to check out the incredible live DVD from the show here.
The ACM’s are fast approaching and my friends Joey and Rory need your votes. In an attempt secure more votes, Rory put together this hilarious video. This is Russel, J+R’s bus driver and all around great guy, taking one for the team and doing what he does best, making you laugh. Enjoy, then go vote! You can VOTE HERE.
Today’s post is two fold. First a call to action. Second a small highlight of some of my recent commercial work.
So, let’s begin with the call to action. Many of you know that I shoot for Joey + Rory. While they are clients, they are also great friends and supremely wonderful people! So, I take great pleasure in informing you that they recently won and ACM Award for Best New Vocal Duo. Woo hoo! They were presented the award at the Grand Ole Opry by none other than Trace Atkins himself. Way to go guys. Now they move forward as one of three acts nominated for the Top New Artist ACM. You can vote at http://voteacm.com. Please vote for them if you can. Trust me, there is no one who deserves it more!
Now, on to the self promotional portion of the postI recently completed shooting the work for Joey + Rory’s upcoming second album. It’s really good and I can’t wait until it comes out. I was honored to shoot their album imagery again and we had a blast doing so. We shot all around their farm and farmhouse again and then did a session in studio and at an incredible five start resort near the Smokies called BlackBerry Farms. Anyway, some of the imagery has started be put into action so I wanted to highlight a bit of it. I’ll post more when down the road following the album release. For now, you can see some of the new images on their tour bus, their new website, their merchandise and sponsorship promotions, and their PR and marketing materials. Look for even more on the album itself.
So, here are a few screen grabs. Check out their new web site, go see them on the road by themselves or with Zac Brown Band, and most importantly vote for them for the ACM. Come on . . . share the love. You can do it!
I saw a lot of amazing work and met a ton of incredible people at WPPI again this year. By far, one of the most moving things I saw there (and have seen in quite some time for that matter) is this album by Dawn Shields. I’ll just embed the video and you can experience it for yourself. Be sure to turn on HD and let it load and then view full screen. It’s worth the wait!
Just a quick post of some personal pix this week. I just returned from a whirlwind trip through Salt Lake City, Austin TX, and finally Las Vegas for WPPI. Lots of fun in each location for different reasons and may have a few posts from each spot in the future. Today I just wanted to post a few fun picks from my last two hours in Vegas. I really didn’t shoot too much in Vegas this trip. WPPI exhausted me every day and my gear was in for repair via CPS for the first two days. The net result was that I ended up doing a quick two hour photo walk with my roommate Brian Bastinelli before rushing to the airport just in time to hear my name being called over the intercom. Yikes. Anyway, here are a few fun shots. Thanks for the great time Brian and Ted. Really looking forward to Mozambique with you guys!
My good friend and fellow shooter, Jamie Abart, recently produced some behind the scenes videos and interviews from my Location People Workshop which was held in Knoxville, TN last Fall. Jamie along with his brother Jerit and several volunteer crew members, followed us through the 5 day workshop experience and really captured the experiential and immersive nature of the workshop. The interviews with me and two participants also add some interesting perspective. Part of the excitement of the workshop environment is that everyone is coming into the experience with such diverse backgrounds, personalities, experiences, and aspirations. The challenge as a teacher is to meld all of that along with the curriculum and exercises into an uplifting, supportive, informative, and inspirational growth experience for all.
Thanks to everyone who particpated in this workshop including the participants, the models (courtesy of 18 Karat Model & Talent), the hair and make-up artists (Courtesy of Salon Visage and The TN School of Beauty), the mentors (Dennis Keim (dK), Josh Berardi, Alec Johnson), the volunteer staff (courtesy of The University of Tennessee Continuing Education Program), my assistant (Allan Mueller), and the video crew (Jamie Abart & Jerit Abart). Also, thanks to Cindy Swicegood with 18 Karat Model & Talent for presenting her industry perspective and contributing all of the models. Finally, hanks to HP Video for the use of their incredible studio and facility
I had an absolute blast and cant thank you all enough for making the workshop such a success! Many of the participants this year had taken other workshop from me in the past and many are now on their own paths toward realizing their dreams as photographers. It is so fun and rewarding to watch that happen. I wish each of you all the best life has to offer!
If you are interested in attending this year’s workshop, here is a link to the listing. It will be held October 12-17 here in Knoxville again. There are only 3 spots left as of this post so contact me or register quickly if you want to sign up.
Here’s a teaser clip . . .
Here’s the main feature clip . . .
Here are the interviews . . .
I awoke this morning to a very sad message from my friend Sandi. She had FaceBook’d me to tell me that legendary photographer Charles Moore had passed away. His iconic civil rights images which were published in newspapers and ultimately LIFE magazine and are justly credited with playing a major role in raising the national outrage toward the treatment of blacks in the segregated South.
Several years ago, I had the great fortune thanks to my friends Sandi and John to spend the better part of day and a half with Charles discussing his life and work. He welcomed me into his head, his heart, and his home and took me on an emotional journey that I will never forget and from which I will remain forever inspired.
As a small tribute to the great visual artist and man, I thought I would reprint and article that I wrote for the Knoxville News Sentinel shortly after I met and visited with Charles. Here is that article.
Rest in peace Charles Moore!
+++++ Original Article +++++
Images as implements of change
by BRYAN ALLEN, February 24, 2008
Can a photograph change the world? A few years ago, LIFE Books published a book titled “100 Photographs That Changed the World,” which pondered just that question and presented 100 iconic images to make their case. I have not read the book, but as a photographer, I have certainly considered the premise of the book. For me, the answer is an unequivocal yes! I hold that images provoke and alter human thoughts and that thoughts are powerful things. Thoughts continuously influence us and impact our actions both consciously and unconsciously. If an image can change the thoughts of enough people or the right people at the right place and time, then I would contend that an image can indeed change the world.
So, who then, is Charles Moore? Moore is a photographer who captured one of the 100 iconic images selected by LIFE for the book. His image, titled “Birmingham 1963,” depicts three young blacks, two males and one female, being pummeled against a brick building by a high pressure blast of water. That image, along with many more of Moore’s images from those tumultuous days in Birmingham, was published in LIFE, which at the time was read by over 50 percent of the adult population in the United States. As a result, many credit Moore’s vivid imagery with elevating the county’s social awareness and repulsion toward the ongoing treatment of blacks in the South and ultimately influencing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Truth be told, I didn’t know Moore, at least not by name. But, when one of my best friends gave me a copy of his book, “Powerful Days,” for my 40th birthday, I immediately recognized his images. After thumbing through the book and examining some of the incredible shots, my friend pointed me to the inside cover, where I discovered Moore had signed the book and written me a note encouraging me to continue to pursue my photographic passions. “Wow, what a gift,” I exclaimed. However, there was more. My friend then informed me that he had arranged for me to actually spend a day simply hanging out with the legendary photographer at his home in Florence, Ala.
My delight quickly transformed to anxiety as I contemplated spending a day in the presence of such a legendary and influential photographer. All kinds of thoughts and questions raced through my head.
Eventually I managed to get a grip on my own thoughts and set about researching Moore’s work and life. Of course, I read “Powerful Days” multiple times and studied his images intently. I also examined his extensive work covering other conflicts around the world. Finally, I canvassed my photography peers and mentors as to questions they would ask if presented with this same opportunity. Soon enough the big day came and, now confident in my preparation and convinced this opportunity had come my way for some purpose, I was off to meet Charles Moore. Nothing could have prepared me for the actual encounter.
Though we were not scheduled to meet with Moore until the next day, my friend and I had decided to visit a local gallery in Florence, where some of his work was on display. To our surprise and delight, in walked Moore. Impromptu introductions followed and then came a most memorable handshake. Moore is wiry, passionate, energetic and a former athlete who’s still in great physical shape for his age. His handshake is, as you would expect, firm and strong. However, the surprise is that he doesn’t let go so quickly. He tends to hold on to your hand, jerk you around by the arm a bit, and even turn you in a circle sometimes before releasing. When Moore agreed to accompany us to a coffee shop for a snack and a chat, I quickly found out that his handshake very much mirrors his communication style.
As we talked and I began to ask questions, Moore’s answers were seldom short or direct. Instead they were often fascinating trips through time and place, taking many turns and twists, but complete with vivid recollection of every detail of situational context, social climate, and technical detail. Eventually, he would come back to the initial question and answer it point blank. But getting there was often like enduring his handshake.
Moore was gracious, candid, unguarded and unscripted with me. We spent hours in that coffee shop and then spent nearly the entire next day together. He invited me into his home and his basement, which serves as veritable national archive of decades of work. Moore spent hours with me recounting the details of print after print. Images were printed and lying or hanging all about. He would simply pick a framed or mounted print from a stack or take one that I selected and go back in time, narrating the image capture as if we were right back in that place and time.
While I could have relished in this experience for weeks, it was clearly emotionally draining on Moore. By the afternoon, we decided to grab a late lunch at a local diner. At the diner, I summoned the nerve to ask one of the big questions I had been waiting to ask: “Where were you when you received word of Dr. King’s assassination?” He managed to communicate that he was not with Martin Luther King that day. His recounting of that day was cut short, though, as he was moved to tears and could barely go on. His girlfriend stepped in to change the mood, but in that instant, I had my answer to that question and so many more. Moore once stated in an interview, “I fight with my camera.” This conviction was palpable in my time with him.
I’m not sure why this opportunity presented itself to me. The universe has not yet revealed its plan to me. I remain convinced, however, that there was a reason for it. Maybe the simple act of writing this article and bringing some small amount of attention to this great photographer and his work will start some ripple of impact. Who among us can know mystery? One thing I know for sure though is that meeting Charles Moore changed me and convinced me that a photograph can indeed change the world.
Bryan Allen began his love affair with photography at age 7, when he bought his first camera. He is a part-time professional photographer with a passion for capturing people and their stories. The Virginia native and his wife, Brooke, and their daughter, Harper, live in Knoxville. He works for the E.W. Scripps Company
© 2008, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Hey everyone! Just wanted to point you all to this press release about the upcoming DVD release by Zac Brown Band who just won a Grammy for Best New Artist. I had the supreme pleasure of photographing their live show at the Fox Theatre down in Atlanta a few months ago. What’s even better is that I ended up getting the cover and several others iamges on the DVD. Woo hoo! Need to send a big thanks to Joey and Rory for having the confidence in me to bring me to the event and to ZBB and their managment for giving me the run of the place all day. Also, thanks to my friend Ted van der Linden for all of his help behind the scenes. The guys who shot this DVD were awesome and I’ve heard the DVD is just fantastic. The show was incredible and 4+ hours long and they shot every second of it with about 12 different cameras so I’m sure the footage is stunning. Definitely check it out. I can’t wait to see it myself.
Click here to see the press release . . .
My friend JT Smith over at SuperShoots.net has asked me to serve as a mentor at this year’s Hit The Lodge (HTL) Workshop. I am honored to do so. I attended this workshop many years ago now and have been going back to help out behind the scenes every year since. This will be JTs 11th year of putting on this signature event, his biggest workshop of the year. If you are a photographer that follows my blog, I’d encourage you to take a look at the workshop. This is a big event with 25 or so attendees and about the same number of models it seems. MUAs and equipment are in full force. The location is exceptional. You will have ample opportunity to shoot and learn from a diverse group of mentors and instructors with a wide variety of backgrounds. The workshop is glamour oriented but with the diverse background of attendees, instructors, and mentors there is lots to learn for anyone.
Click here or on my mentor bio card below to visit the workshop listing . . .
Here’s a teaser clip for a video shot at my Location People II workshop which was held last Fall. The video was produced by my good friend and fellow photographer/videographer Jamie Abart, his brother Jerit, and several others. Many thanks to them for all of their hard work and the beautiful results. Jamie has done all of the editing and the full video should be ready soon.
I’ll post more on the workshop itself when the full video is available. I do have another workshop scheduled for this coming fall. Here’s a link to a listing for the workshop on The Mindful Eye. If you are interested in attending and have any questions, please let me know. The workshop is filling up fast, thankfully!
My work was recently featured on a wedding community blog. Here’s a snippet from the article. You can see the full post at Pink Book Community.
An Eye into Knoxville Photography
I hope that you have enjoyed our series on photography this past week. Hopefully you have found some great ideas and a photographer for your Knoxville wedding! It is also fun to use the different images I have shared, and twist them into a way that works for you and your wedding day.
If you missed the post yesterday, I talked about doing a photography session after the wedding is over so you can capture more images, and of course get to wear your gorgeous dress again. I also gave some tips about assistants…always check with your photographers if they use an assistant, because the extra camera can help capture more images of your wedding day.
One thing that each photographer I spoke with agreed on is that you need to find a photographer that you are comfortable letting into your life and the wedding planning process, because it really will show in your photographs. You will be working hand in hand with this person (or team) throughout the stages, so make sure that your personalities match and that you are comfortable telling them what you want out of your wedding pictures. This relationship is one you want to cultivate, because you will work with them after your wedding and hopefully continue to use them to capture the moments of your life together as a married couple.
Bryan Allen Photography wants to please the modern bride, a bride that wants it all! Bryan strives to include it all, everything from the “details, story, killer portraits, romance and fashion”.
The “exit picture” is one that every bride must have in her collection. It shows the newlyweds surrounded by those wishing them well in their new journey together. I think that color scheme of this photo fuses “modern and traditional styles”, one of Bryan’s talents.
The detail of the two rings are what stand out to me in this picture. These symbols of the marriage are what show through, while the emotion is captured on the bride’s face.
The color and background in this shot capture the essence of nature and are the perfect frame for this couple.
Tags: Knoxville photographers, photo, photography
I’ve been wanting to make this post for some time now because I tell this story all the time. People always ask me how long I’ve been a photographer or how I got into photography. My answer is always the same. I tell them that I’ve been a photographer for as long as I can remember and that the first thing I ever bought with my own money was a camera.
This is true story. My first camera, a classic Minolta SRT-101 fully manual little gem, cost me $150 in about 1973 or so when I was 7 years old. I borrowed the money from my father with a promise to work for him on one of his surveying crews for the summer to pay him back. I earned $1.50/hr (still convinced that was a 3rd world labor rate even then) to cut brush for all I was worth with men 4 and 5 times my age in the hot sweltering Virginia sun. I remember thinking I’d have Pop paid back within a few weeks but I failed to factor in expenses (lunch, a mid-day dr. pepper and a pack of “nabs”, etc.). This proved to be a valuable life lesson but nonetheless my entire summer was spent EARNING that first camera. It proved to be one of the most cherished things I’ve ever purchased partly because I worked so hard for it but mostly because it opened up a whole new world of technical challenge and creative pursuit for me. And, it has proven to be one of the most enduring pursuits of my life.
About a year ago, I decided I would procure a working model of that first camera and after a little research and digging locally and on e-bay, I finally found what I was looking for. My new “first camera” has been refurbished and calibrated to work with modern batteries and all of the moving mechanical parts are lubricated and in working order. The most amazing thing is not that it works. I could really almost care less. The amazing thing is the memories and connection with my past that the camera restores.
I still remember the smell and feel of the camera. When I first picked it up it was like traveling back in time to visit and old childhood friend. I so fondly recall those days. I still remember the smell of the film canisters which I collected and put pennies in. I remember getting photography magazines and wishing I could make images like the ones I saw . . . and of course own all of the equipment in the back of the magazine . . . some things never changeI remember wanting a dark room so badly I could taste it but that was out of the question at the time.
My father would pay to develop as many bad images as I could manage to make and on occasion at first a good one or two would show up in the pile. Sort of like golf where that one good shot brings you back for the next round . . . so it was with my photography at first. I just kept coming back and back and back. Maybe I can call myself a “scratch” photographer now! Wish I could say the same for my golf game.
Well back to my story. I spent many years trying to figure out the technical side of photography and learned as much as I could absorb from books, magazines, and friends in those pre-internet days. I remember photographing anything and everything from insects on flowers, to sunsets at the beach. But my favorite thing was just chronicling our family events, trips, and life in general.
I recall a big change happening for me when my youngest sister, Liana, was born. I was about 10 at the time and evidently my fascination with her coincided pretty well with my gaining a basic understanding of the camera and she became my muse. I loved photographing her and so wanted to capture all of her milestones.
Today I have my own children. We just brought a new baby boy into the world last week and these feelings were stirred again which prompted me to finally make this post. I have loved photographing people since those early days and owe a huge debt of gratitude to my father for the opportunity and just the right amount of life lesson in the process and to my sister Liana and my entire family for serving as my practice subject then and to this day!
The first photo I’ve included below is of my new “first camera”. The second is one of my favorite shots of my mother and sister. Shots like this were fewer and further between for me back then but fortunately frequent enough to keep me coming back for more. I have always loved the power of that moment frozen in time and the potential impact it has when viewed later on. That power, the feedback loop, and the unknown potential is what continues to drive my work to this day.
But this is where it all began . . .
Sorry I’ve been away from the blog for a few weeks but I have a great excuse this time! As you can see, I’ve been a little busyMy wife and I welcomed Doyle Becks Allen (we call him Becks) into the world at about 8:30pm on 1.21.2010, four weeks ahead of schedule. The early arrival definitely caught us off guard and threw our world into a bit of chaos. Thanks to friends and family support though, we have emerged on the other side with a happy and healthy bouncing baby boy. Here are a few shots from his “birth day” and the week or so since.
You can see more images here.
Click on the image below to view the web gallery of images . . .