Joan Genest’s critique of my photo was very detailed, advanced, and done in a very compassionate way. She never says that it sucks. It is a great image that is going to be used for a marketing campaign for the Seymour Fire Department and everyone on social media loved it. And, she points out a lot of things that I should have considered and will be much more likely to consider next time.

Colby McLemore has been blessed with winning numerous awards that could be considered useless.  He is an award-winning photographer, who has won numerous accolades over his career, including Tennessee photographer and East Tennessee Photographer of the Year, and a litany of others. While they have been good to help him build confidence, the awards themselves don’t have much value.

The critiques that one gets with detailed comments and feedback, though, are invaluable. The top winners are the ones that need the intricate criticisms of their work–an incredible value of the professional level competitions. During the competition and immediately after the contest, as well as later, video critique is invaluable. When you hear the critique in the video above, you might feel it was overly critical but such critiques have to be to help skilled photographers.

It is important that the feedback comes from connoisseurs of imagery instead of just the general public. Anyone can get a thumbs up on Facebook. At professional photo contests, only the best photographers can judge and critique. In the competitions I compete in, these judges must be consistent award-winning photographers themselves. They must undergo intensive judging training. It takes this level of ability to have the experience to take on their roles. The more advanced the people entering the competition are, the more advanced those critiques must be.

With this level of feedback, experienced photographers can apply the lessons learned on their next shoots. The more advanced you become, the harder it is to improve. Classes and workshops tend to have less meat than they used to. Learning mainly through experience can be time-consuming and expensive for your clients. Through consistently getting critiques from advanced peers, photographers can develop their craft quickly and efficiently.

OK, maybe the awards themselves are not totally useless. Awards are also great for marketing. You can put out there that you are an award-winning photographer. Although winning any award says something, some competitions are harder to win and more respected in the industry than others. So while awards may have some legitimacy, it is how the feedback affects future work that matters most. This is the real award for consistently doing competitions at a professional level.

If you have a specific project you wish to discuss, click here.

American Advertising Federation photographers

Thank you for all of your continued support. It is that time again for the Big Wigs competition, and this year I am eligible to win as I’m no longer running the competitions nor on the board! The American Advertising Federation of Knoxville is the most prominent advertising society that often uses my genre of photography.

Beside hiring or referring me, spreading the word is the best way to support me and my business. Your vote helps garnish more attention for my business and creates more buzz, which directly translates into more customers.

  1. It will only take about 5 minutes, tops.
  2. Click
  3. About two-thirds of the way down, select Colby McLemore – Colby’s Photography for Best Photographer.
  4. Look through the rest of the list as it is likely you will find other people who you know and might want to support.
  5. At the bottom, type in your first name, last name, and e-mail address.
  6. Select Yes or No if you’d like to be placed on their mailing list.
  7. Check the CAPTCHA box.
  8. Click submit.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

  • Dee Murphy - Colby is a true professional and generous with his knowledge.

    He should be the winner for the News Sentinel’s Readers Choice Award.

    There is none finer in the field of photography.ReplyCancel

  • Jim Evans - Colby has developed on of the best photography studios in East Tennessee. He is the type person that strives for perfection in all he does. Call Colby for ALL your personal and professional photography needsReplyCancel

  • Terri Vasofsky - Vote for Colby.ReplyCancel

  • Mike Spear - Gives a lot of time to helping others to become better photographers. A very special person!ReplyCancel

Imagine trying to get property management portraits for rebranding your website. What should you look for? That was the same thing Hank Fennell thought. Hank needed property management portraits for the rebranding of his Knoxville company’s website. He wanted quality, natural-looking, professional photos, but he wanted them without any hassles. And because he had worked with Colby’s Photos & Videos in the past, he knew exactly where to go for his realtor headshots.

Colby’s processes are seamless; he uses top-notch skills at his work. You enjoyed working with him again!

Hank Fennell

Working with creatives can be a headache. Few can consistently produce quality real estate portraits, and far fewer can also make the experience from the initial call to the final delivery a breeze. Hank was familiar with this challenge before working with Colby’s Photos & Videos. Hank’s team had expanded. He required individual portraits, as well as a group shot of his property management team. He wanted everyone to be happy with their portraits and wanted the delivery to be without delay or surprises. Colby was able to get the property management portraits right, as well as everything else.

Hank Fennell owns and runs Fennell Property Management. This is an outfit that specializes in Knoxville property management as well as real estate. The company has years of experience, and the team of professionals is ever-ready to help. Whenever you need professional property managers within Knoxville and environs, Fennell Property Managers remain your best bet. They are easy to work with and their staff is friendly and responsive. You can reach out to them on their website and social media platforms. 

If you’d like to learn more about our services, click here. If you have a specific project you wish to discuss, click here.

There are many advantages to compositing images. First, it can add moods and feelings to the image that would have been difficult to capture with a camera. Second, this allows us to include elements in the final image that would be too cost-prohibitive or inconvenient to do in the actual shoot. This is often done with backgrounds, people, or items placed into the image that were not available at the time.  

Images used in composites must be high resolution. A primary requirement for making a composite is the resolution and clarity of the images. Whenever you use low resolution or blurry pictures, the quality of the final image will be affected. Moreover, blurry or low-resolution photos are difficult to edit. Hence, the client spends more money whenever they don’t use high-resolution images.

Composited photos need to have the same perspective. If the perspective of one of the images is looking up then all other images need to be from the perspective of looking up. The same as down, level, or anywhere in between. It is hard to composite an image where we are looking at a group of people straight on and the background is as if you are looking up. This doesn’t make it look real, as you might expect.

It is best that images used for composites are taken by us, then a stock agency, and lastly taken by the client. Having all the pictures taken by Colby’s Photos & Videos provides the best option. We take into consideration everything needed for a seamless composite, such as perspective, and lighting color and direction, focal length, distance from the camera, and many others. Stock agencies require a bit more investment but can provide a lot of creative variety. We can help you with this. If the client takes some of the images, it is good to provide them as early in the process as possible. Then we can match our images to yours.

Clients must have permission to use images that we composite. Due to federal copyright laws, one cannot use or edit images without permission from the photographer. While one can download pictures from the internet, it does not mean you have the right to use them commercially. As we do not police where clients get the images, they indemnify us in our Terms of Service. This means that clients will protect us against any legal liability for images that they provide. This is another reason it is best to use our photos, stock agencies, or images taken by the client.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, click here. If you have a specific project you wish to discuss, click here.

Certified Professional Photographer

Certified Professional Photographer certification was another step along the way to becoming a better and better photographer. Colby feels one should hone their craft no matter how long they have been in the industry. Creativity becomes stronger through use. Skill is refined by exercise and development. The photography industry is typically self-taught and is generally characterized as swiss cheese: When you start there are lots of holes in your knowledge. With experience as well as studying you can fill more and more of the holes.

Colby works hard to fill these holes. He worked hard to obtain his Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from Professional Photographers of American (PPA). He is already a certified photographer by the University of Tennessee for taking a bunch of classes. Colby is also certified by the Tennessee Professional Photographers Associations (TNPPA) for consistently succeeding in professional competitions. He was also certified by Adobe, the makers of Photoshop, for his knowledge of some of their software.

Of all his certifications, the Certified Professional Photographer was the most comprehensive and took the longest to earn. It is an intensive program that measures artistic as well as technical competence. It starts with a daunting written test that he passed years ago. The second part consists of following specific and detailed directions in creating a series of images. He never seemed to have the time to tackle this part. COVID slowed things done to allow him to focus on it.

Colby has taught photography at the University of Tennessee for about seven years. He also does presentations and workshops for professional as well as enthusiast groups. TNPPA has recently asked him to teach a CPP Test Prep for the written test for their 2020 annual fall convention. You can learn more about TNPPA and the class by clicking here.