For as long as I can remember, I’ve been heavily influenced by movies, television, and photography. Back in 2000, I began working in television and film production for a Knoxville advertising agency. Since then, when I watch a movie, I usually end up paying more attention to the production quality and lighting than the actual plot. With that said, I’m always searching for new locations for Knoxville photography shoots.
Insert my friend, Michael, who was searching for lakefront property. He wanted to show me a few lots he and his wife were looking at, so we drove into a new development that had no houses in it yet. That’s where I found a huge old tree that had fallen and was covered with the coolest old vines! The tree is positioned perfectly where the sun sets behind it, and I knew I had to shoot there one day soon!
About the Erika Cole Photo Shoot
I wanted the shoot to have the feel of a film production. Plus, the truck had to look like it had been sitting in that spot for 40+ years (not 30 minutes!). This meant bringing in detail. Sticks, vines, rocks, bricks, we brought it all to make it more authentic. For the “epic” shots, we shot at f11 or smaller aperture to keep more detail in focus. We used a 3-light set-up most of the time and gelled our backlight to look like the sun after it went down behind the hill at sunset. We used glamour and clamshell lighting for some of the close-up portraits. We had another set of photos we wanted to do with an old Shure 55 microphone I borrowed from Dylan at Murlin’s Music in Maryville. We hung it from the tree with xlr cable wrapped in vine and Erika put on a concert (see video below). Needless to say, the hills were alive with the sound of Erika Cole music!
Erika Cole: Behind the Scenes
We would like to thank Erika Cole for the mini country music concert she provided for all of us as we were getting shots of her singing and playing her guitar! Also, many many thanks to our crew: Jayson Mullen, Shane Hawkins, and to Tyler Oxendine for providing behind the scenes footage. Thank you to Scott Kreis for the truck and also, many thanks to Capri Nashville!