I was recently asked about redoing a wedding photographer’s attempt at business photography.
Recently, I had a consultation where my customer was asking all the right questions. They asked questions to determine if I had the expertise and experience to do the job. It almost seemed as if they had heard my client presentation before and seemed to be closing themselves. As I was leaving, they mentioned that they had previously hired a wedding photographer to do the job and had really wanted to use the images as they had dedicated not only money but a lot of time to them. Unfortunately, the images did not have the quality or feel that their ideal clients would be attracted to. Their customers, after all, were not brides!
Questions to ask a photographer:
• Who is your primarily clientele?
• What percent of your overall business is like my project?
• Have you done this type of a job before?
• How many times?
• Tell me about the most recent job?
• What are the biggest challenges for a job like mine?
• How much and what type of support will you need from me?
• How long have projects like mine taken in the past?
A commercial photographer has a different point of view from a wedding photographer. Their images must match your company’s branding and attract your ideal client. They cannot have strong, stylized, and dreamy images which are appropriate for brides but don’t hit the mark for business clients (unless you are selling to brides). The equipment needs are also vastly different, depending on the type of photography. Business photographers have a lot of lights, specialized wide-angle and macro lenses, a model portrait studio, and much more. Business photographers need to be team players working with other creatives, able to handle complex projects that rely on effectively communicating between clients, models, venues, and more. They have to be mindful of how the imagery is being used. The goal of a marketing photographer is not to just create a pretty picture but to create an image that will emotionally engage your ideal client.
Water and electricity don’t mix. Hire a specialist if you want images that are an investment instead of an expense. Contact Colby’s Photography if you are looking for a a specialist in commercial, business and marketing photography. You can also learn more about Colby’s Photography or read comments from their satisfied customers.


Knoxville food photographer
Knoxville News Sentinel recently did an article on the clients and prize that I won. It was written by Adria Amos and you can see it on their website by clicking here.


“When Mike and Robin Maddux of Karns hired a photographer for their new business, Moonshine Mountain Cookie Co., they didn’t expect to receive an award-winning photograph.

The couple wanted quality images to use on the business website,, so they hired West Knoxville’s Colby McLemore based on their website designer’s recommendation. What they didn’t realize is McLemore, owner of Colby’s Photography, often submits his work to local, regional and national contests and has won many awards. This spring, the photograph he took for the Moonshine Mountain Cookie’s home page won Best in Show in the commercial images division of the Professional Photographers of East Tennessee’s annual competition. Robin and Mike, 53, were thrilled when they heard the news.

“I thought that was awesome,” Mike, who also owns FunMakers and Rocky Top Dog Fence, said. “That was a pretty big honor for him, and obviously pretty good exposure for us, too.”
Robin added, “I thought it was very impressive for Colby, and it confirmed the direction we were going in and that he was able to capture it.”

McLemore chose to submit this photograph because he knew it was a strong image. The Madduxes provided the vision, cookies and props but gave the photographer creative freedom to “play.”

“When somebody has the trust in my capabilities to say, ‘Here’s the vision. Here’s the look. You run with it,’ there’s a certain joy to that because there’s often strong teamwork,” McLemore said.

Moonshine Mountain Cookies, owned by Mike, Robin and their close friend, Rick Dunlap of Nashville, has been in operation for only about three months. Robin said it really started in 1988 when the couple owned The Pizza Doctor. On Halloween of that year, they decided to send some free, freshly baked cookies with each delivered pizza as a special treat for customers. The response was overwhelmingly positive. The cookies, which are thick and chewy, became a sensation with customers, family and friends, including Dunlap. Mike believes the success is wrapped up in the cookies’ secret recipes, which include good, wholesome ingredients such as real butter and fruit. Several of the cookies now feature something you might not expect in a cookie: moonshine. “We use Tennessee moonshine in the cookie,” he said. “We only use flavored moonshine. … It really is an enhanced flavor burst, and it helps keep the cookies moist.” “It makes for fun cookie flavors,” Robin added. Currently, they offer four flavors: Berry White, a strawberry and white chocolate cookie; Happy Pappy, an apple and oats cookie; Rocky Top, a creamy chocolate chip; and John Lemon, a lemon blueberry cookie. Two more will be offered beginning in June. But don’t worry. The alcohol bakes out of the cookies in the oven, so they are safe for everyone to consume.

“If you get a buzz off these cookies, it’s from the sugar,” Mike said.

The company recently sparked interest when the owners participated in the “Shark Tank” casting call during the show’s recent visit to Knoxville. Mike said they are currently working through the
process, but it’s too early to know whether or not they’ll make it on the television show.

“They really liked what we were doing, really liked the cookies,” he added. “They asked us to give them a follow-up video presentation about a week later.

Orders can be placed through the company’s website, and delivery is free in Knoxville.”


Knoxville Photographer is PPA member

I’m excited to announce that I was recently nominated to be on the national council of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). PPA is the largest professional trade organization in the world. If elected, I’ll be representing Tennessee’s professional photographers at the national level in the organization.

I have been very active in promoting professionalism within the industry at the local as well as the state level. I’ve been very active and instrumental in transforming the organization’s local affiliate, Professional Photographers of East Tennessee (PPETN). When I first joined the PPETN board, membership and funds were down and the affiliate was in danger of folding. During my tenure on the board, the organization grew to more than 50 members and became fiscally strong.

I’m now serving on the board of the state affiliate, the Professional Photographers of Tennessee.

If I’m elected, I look forward to helping Tennessee’s photographers to have a stronger voice at the national level. I’ve always appreciated being surrounded by some of the best photographers in the industry.

Knoxville food photographer

I was recently commissioned to do food photography for a local artisanal cookie company that has been growing rapidly. It was a great project that required images of individual cookies for the company’s e-commerce site as well as another image for their website banner that had to tell their story and product at a glance. Quality imagery is especially important for those selling primarily through their website (especially something as complicated as food photography), and the clients knew it. We discussed what made their cookies attractive to their customers and what set their company and products apart from their competitors. Photography designed to convert viewers into customers takes a marketing perspective that calls for images that convey the exact story that customers can connect with. Not only do the photos have to be pleasing to the eye but they also have to be enticing enough to lead to an action.

When it is time for the photography, I often work as a team with all the decision makers, whether that’s a solitary owner or a large group including the creative director, graphic designers, marketers or others who will be using the imagery. This time, the client knew that we were on the same page and trusted me enough to let me do the photography completely on my own, using my creative vision. Although I love working with teams, it was incredibly fun to experience the freedom that working solo provides. In the end, the clients were really happy, the website development firm who referred them looked good, and I had the best time.

The professional photography guild of this region just had its annual competition on March 12, 2015, and I submitted the cookie image I shot for my client’s homepage. At the beginning of the competition, the guild announced that this particular competition had received more submissions than ever before. Great! I thought. The images submitted to this competition generally require amazing amounts of editing, planning throughout the year, as well as numerous reshoots. That being said, I was very hopeful that my image would do well, but I also realized that artists often become overly attached to their images and cannot see them for what they really are. Apparently, the judges loved my image as much as I did. They awarded it the Best in Show for the entire commercial division. I am so proud to have won with an image that not only was one of the most fun images that I’ve taken in a while but also with one that is going to continue making my client money.

To commission food photography, please contact me. Also, feel free to learn more about me and my team by checking out these customer testimonials.



knoxville photographer earns craftsman degree

Knoxville photographer Colby McLemore of Colby’s Photography was awarded a Craftsman Degree at ImagingUSA—the annual convention of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA)—held this year in Nashville.

PPA president Susan Michael presented McLemore with the degree, which recognizes him for helping to advance the photography industry through his continued and consistent service to the photographic professional community as a speaker, author, and mentor. McLemore has also held every PPA board position on the local level, including President and Chairman of Professional Photographers of East Tennessee (PPETN). He is presently on the board of the state affiliate of PPA, Tennessee’s Professional Photographers Association (TNPPA).

McLemore has taught classes, delivered presentations, and given workshops to enthusiasts and professionals throughout the state and the southeastern U.S. He teaches photography at the University of Tennessee and is an active member of several local photography groups. In addition to this most recent award, McLemore has been continually recognized for the quality of his photographic work over the years. His many past awards include a Top Ten Commercial Photographers award given to him at the International Print Competition run by PPA, TNPPA’s Photographer of the Year award, PPETN’s Top Ten Tennessee Professional Photographers award, the Fuji Excellence award, and the Kodak Gallery award.

“It is through the inspiration, encouragement, and associations that I’ve made with others photographers that I am the photographer I am today,” McLemore says. “It’s a pleasure to give back to a community that has given so much to me.”

About PPA  Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit association in the world created by professional photographers for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA’s roots date back to 1869. The nonprofit assists more than 27,000 members through protection, education, and resources for their continued success. For more information, visit