BRO: How long have you been taking photos?
TM: About Christmas time last year is when I made the decision to purchase a camera and actually start taking real photos. I had just gotten back from a trip to Canada a month or two before and several friends and family kept asking to see pictures, but all I had were iPhone photos to show them. I realized that I had no good pictures of years worth of adventures I had been on and that’s when I decided I wanted to start capturing these beautiful places I love. This past year has been full of adventures all over the country and my Nikon has been by my side for every step. I’m hooked and now find myself learning anything and everything I can about photography, and shooting every chance I get.
BRO: What kind of equipment are you using?
TM: I’m shooting with a Nikon D5500 and most often a 35mm prime. I swore that I wouldn’t spend any money on new lenses until I mastered the ones I have and actually use them to their maximum potential. I have held true to that decision so far, mostly because I’m too cheap to fork out the money required for better lenses.
BRO: Do you live in the Blue Ridge?
TM: My home base is in East Tennessee near the Sevierville area. I’ve been blessed to grow up close to the smokies and always seem to migrate back every time I leave.
BRO: What’s one piece of outdoor gear you can’t live without?
TM: First aid kit. I never leave home without one because I’m the most graceful person you will ever meet.
BRO: If you could only recreate in one state park, national park, national forest or wilderness area for the rest of your life, what would it be?
TM: This is an extremely tough question to answer but I’m inclined to say the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. I just can’t get enough of that area and one can push their limits any way you can imagine in the outdoor recreation world.
BRO: Tell us about your craziest experience while out on a shoot or just out in the woods in general.
TM: I work in the outdoor field so this is tough to narrow down to one crazy experience, but this summer I was out on a training run preparing for an upcoming trail race I had planned to run. It was extremely hot and I had planned to do a 16-mile loop this particular day. I must have miscalculated my hydration and nutritional needs because at about mile 12 I turned into a zombie. Cramps, hearing killer bees that weren’t really there, and the mental game took over and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back to the trailhead. Fortunately, I did but it was crazy and a humbling experience to say the least.
BRO: What is your all-time favorite outdoor pursuit?
TM: Paddling whitewater has always been my passion, and I still can’t get enough of it to this day. I have slowed down a bit due to some shoulder injuries that have really limited my paddling over the last few years, but it will always be a part of my life. A friend that got me into paddling once told me that paddling rivers would change my life, and 15 years later I guess I have to say he was right.