A day at the Ranch

Earlier this summer, Katie and I drove up to Wears Valley Ranch in Sevierville, Tennessee to take some pictures for the Ranch and for their summer camp director and our good friend, Seth Houser.  Wears Valley Ranch is a year round boarding school environment for children from families in crisis.  These 100+ acres at the base of the Smoky Mountains are a refuge for at-risk kids.  It’s also the place where Katie and I first met in the summer of ’04 when we volunteered as camp counselors.  This little slice of paradise has a special place in our hearts.  Check out their web page: www.wvr.org.  And if you have kids and are interested in summer camps, the summer camp program, www.camparrowwood.org, is honestly world-class.

Needless to say, we don’t need much persuasion to take a day out of our increasingly hectic lives to spend a day at the Ranch.  So with cameras in hand, we made the trip.

This assignment was actually more challenging than I expected.  Lots of outdoor photography under a cloudless sky is always hard.  The goal was to create photos for the Ranch that illustrate the facilities and can be used for promotional material.

The second objective was to capture the entire Houser clan together before everyone scattered all over North America.  This was also challenging because large group shots are difficult by definition.  Add some tired and uncooperative infants and toddlers, and the level of difficulty skyrockets.

We also took this opportunity to use “Frankenstein,” a two flash, one 60 inch reflective umbrella setup that includes some jerry rigged brackets to hold both flashes on one umbrella adapter.  I’ll have to write a post on that later…

Difficulty level aside, it is always a pleasure to give back to an organization that lives for such a powerful calling.


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