I was presented with the Presidential Award by Sarah Ward with Frame Theory, this year’s president of the American Advertising Federation of Knoxville. I was totally taken by surprise and didn’t have a clue when she named me at this year’s Addy Awards Gala. Please don’t tell anyone but I was so shocked that I didn’t really absorb the beginning of what she said. When I started cluing into what she was saying, the first thing that I remember hearing her say was that I was always asking, “How can I help?” She had no idea how deeply that would touch me. I had been taught early in my spiritual development how important service to others was. It has been a common theme in my life with many layers. It is hard to feel down and sorry for oneself when focusing on others; I feel the most authentic when I’m giving because I feel less of a need to protect; you grow closer to God when you open your heart as opposed to closing it. This has been a concept that I strive to live with my family and friends. I have had various levels of success and usually, upon reflection, I see how important this is. This is something I strive to nurture in my volunteer work, and obviously Sarah recognized it. At times I’m more in the spirit of it than others, and I try to be true to myself and maintain healthy boundaries. It is a concept that I am very focused on in developing my business. How can I help? I often say it when answering the phone and in replying to e-mails. I verbalize it as often as I can. It keeps me focused on our relationships being mutually nurturing and less transactional. What do I like the most about receiving this award (beside being able to put another award on my shelf, which I must say I do like)? It is that it was a reminder to look at what it means to be of service and where I can grow it further.

To learn more about me, my experience, and qualifications, click here. Finally, to read my testimonials, click here.

Knoxville Studio Portrait of Joyce McClellan

Joyce mentioned right away that we had worked together in the past when I took a business portrait of her son years ago. Repeat customers are a vote of confidence. They know the quality and service that you provide and recognize its value. Joyce came back for her own studio portrait. I knew it was going to be a good time. We had already built a level of comfort and she was already confident of my skills and service.

I was delighted that she still remembered me. She said that she had kept up with me and mentioned that she had seen various articles about what I have been doing. She needed a studio portrait for her business cards and social media and wanted to look her best. It is such a pleasure being with someone who appreciates what you do. Thanks Joyce–it was a real pleasure seeing you again.

“Colby had done an excellent job providing the best professional studio portrait and social shots of my son, so when I changed professions, I knew who I was going to call. However, being an older adult, I was not excited about this appointment. From scheduling, directions, his professional photography hints, appointment time, to receiving my actual photos (15 minutes after I left his studio), it was so easy and so fun! Colby provides a photo that is in line with how it will be used. He is a master of his profession and if you ever have a need for a professional photo, however it will be used, then Colby is your answer, in my opinion.”–Joyce McClellan.

If you’d like to learn more about my studio portrait services, click here. To learn more about me, my experience, and qualifications, click here. Finally, to read my testimonials, click here.

Advertising Photo - trucks

Sarah Wilkins, the marketing director at Skyline Transportation, hired me to be her advertising photographer for an upcoming campaign.

Initially, I asked questions to determine the subject matter and purpose of the photos. The company recently invested in a new fleet of trucks and was creating a campaign targeted at potential new drivers. As the labor market has tightened, many companies are doing more recruiting advertising, which I appreciate.

We then discussed where she would be using them. Different types of images should be taken, depending on where they will be used. For example, cell phones and magazine/pamphlet covers should be done in portrait mode, while computer screens should be in landscape mode. We created a shot list of images she would actually use and that would be helpful for the company’s campaign. Afterward, I would be extracting the trucks from their backgrounds for the most flexibility. 

Once we knew what we wanted to capture visually, we discussed how to do the actual photography. It was difficult to schedule the trucks as well as the workers, as they are always on the go. This forced us to do the photography in their super muddy parking lot, which also had a lot of distractions. We chose to have the trucks close to one of their washing bays because they got dirty quickly with all the mud. We chose a time when a driver would be available as well as a good time for the light.

It was raining for the last few days before the shoot. As Sarah already knew, we had to delay the job an hour or so because we had initially timed it with a clear sky in mind. The light shifts depending on the weather, and everyone has to understand this ahead of time. The driver showed up and started moving trucks in coordination with our shot list and we were done in no time–allowing the driver and Sarah to get back to work.

Back at the office, I extracted the crazy parking lot with all the distractions to make some very solid advertising images. There are still crazy reflections in the paint. I bet you didn’t notice it and no one would notice them in the ads that we planned either. We could have met different needs, restrictions, and goals for the client. Photography can often be about problem solving and making sure that the end results give value to the client–this is where a lot of fun come in of being an advertising photographer. 

If you’d like to learn more about my advertising photography services, click here. To learn more about me, my experience, and qualifications, click here. Finally, to read my testimonials, click here.

interior photography timing is key

Eddie Hopps with Hopps Woodworks reached out to me to do some advertising photography of their work for magazine ads in West Knoxville Lifestyle.

Going to clients’ past customers to do interior photography is always tricky. You have to schedule it with everyone and try to time it so that the light is good as well. This timing can shift dramatically depending on how many and how large the windows are, as well as the direction they are facing. If the lighting is less than optimal, the photographer has to have the knowledge, gear, and editing skills to overcome it and still produce exceptional marketing images. Interior photos in these situations take more time to create and therefore are typically more of an investment for the client. So, it is important to communicate the advantages and disadvantages of timing to produce the best images for the least investment.

If you’d like to learn more about my architectural and interior photography services, click here. To learn more about me, my experience, and qualifications, click here. Finally, to read my testimonials, click here.


Tami Hux headshot testimonial

Colby made quite the impression on me. Not only was the session succinct and surprisingly easy-going, but the me he took on the front end made all the difference in the final product. My headshots portray exactly the look I needed for social media and our website. Thank you for being so efficient! – Tami Hux



Tami, an Executive Director at Cornerstone Healthcare Group, came to us for new headshots! It was a pleasure working with Tami on her photograph. If you’d like to connect with Tami on linkedIn click here! Or to add Tami on facebook click here!


I hope to see your testimonial here next! If you’d like to schedule a headshot click here. If you’d like to learn more about my portrait services click here. To learn more about me, my experience, and qualifications click here. Lastly, to read more of my testimonials click here.