This monthly blog from The Maker City features a look at some of the Knoxville area’s outstanding makers – artists, crafters and custom builders. This month’s blog introduces three area makers who excel at the art of photography.

Colorful Gay Street With Cars and buildings Marina with boats at dusk in Knoxville, TN

Bruce McCamish of McCamish Photography

Bruce McCamish with a camera
How did you get started as a photographer?

I’ve had a camera hanging on my hips since I was 8. I started photographing birds in my backyard; my mom would give me some money and I’d pedal to the Kroger for birdseed. I set up stations at different distances to learn how to use the zoom lens and photographed them sitting still, in flight, wings blurred, stop motion. Lots of trial and error, lots of learning from mistakes. I have never studied photography, though I teach it at UT!

What do you make, and how?
In photography there are so many different ways can go with that. To pay my bills, I’ve photographed real estate in Knoxville for 15 years. That allows me to create and promote art via canvas or metal prints. It’s truly a blessing when you’re able to have a hobby and a profession as the same thing, and it’s also a curse when when you’re able to have a hobby and a profession as the same thing! I’m happiest with the unplanned images - the impromptu.

Where are your products offered for sale?
Facebook and Brown Squirrel Furniture. I’m a big proponent of personal touch - when you’re an artist and you sell canvases online you’re not able to sign them. I like being in touch with my clientele.

Bruce McCamish grew up in Chilhowee Hills and the West Town Mall area, graduating from Bearden High School. He pursued studies in forestry at UT. A licensed realtor since 2008, he hopes to have a gallery downtown to promote local photographers. “Knoxville has a great art community for its size, and we need to promote other makers in the photographic realm.”

Jasmine Newton Photo Jasmine Newton Photo

Jasmine Newton of Javon Renee Portraits

Jasmine Newton
How did you get started as a photographer?
 
I was fired from my customer service job and my friends suggested I start a photography business since I seemed to have a good eye for it. I didn't know anything about photography or business, but I did have a camera. I got fired in April 2015, learned how to use my camera in May and got my business license in June. I have been a full-time photographer ever since then.

What do you make, and how?
I create portraits, mainly of women. Business portraits, boudoir, personal, family, whatever they need. I make sure to make them feel beautiful throughout their photo shoot and show them how amazing they are. I love showing women their own brand of beauty and who they are at their core - without having to worry about all the labels society has bestowed upon them.

Where are your products offered for sale?
It's more of a service I sell, but items and info can be found on my website. The portraits can come printed in a keepsake box or matted and framed for your walls in your home. Either way, it's a beautiful experience I provide for women who just want a day to have the non-judgmental space to find themselves and feel beautiful, free and confident.

Originally from Chicago, IL, Jasmine Newton brings a level of sass and creative ideas to her work and loves to give the experience of beauty and confidence to the women who find themselves in front of her lens. She mentors female photographers from different parts of the country, helping them to discover their worth and take their business to the next level. She is a wife and mother of two.

Kara Hudgens Photo Kara Hudgens Photo

Kara Hudgens of Kara Hudgens Photography Co.

Kara Hudgens
How did you get started as a photographer?

When as a kid I was captivated by the glossy images of National Geographic magazine. I spent more time buried in the stories told by the pictures than in the written words. As a teenager I devoured the editorial photography in Rolling Stone and Vogue - full of action, emotion, color and fashion.  About that time my dad, who was a photography hobbyist, gave me his older Minolta XD-11 film camera and several lenses so I could learn the ropes and I was soon hooked on making my own little bit of photographic magic.

What do you make, and how?
I create images for brands and entrepreneurs who want dynamic and vibrant custom photos. From headshots, portraits, and product images to social media content and model portfolios, I’m passionate about making photographs that help my clients show their character and value in eye-catching and innovative ways.

I’m inspired by color, bold simplicity, unique beauty, and collaboration! Every photo project begins with collaboration with my client to define the need, audience, and the look and feel we are working to achieve. In a photo shoot, I may use colored gels, prisms, strobe with natural light, and any number of indoor or outdoor environments to create unique and modern looks.

Where are your products offered for sale?
Individuals and businesses can contact me for custom work through Instagrammy website, and kara@karahudgens.com.

Originally from Charlotte, NC, with stops in South Carolina and Washington along the way, Kara Hudgens has lived in Knoxville since 2009 with her husband and their Chesapeake Bay Retriever. After years of honing her craft, including training with world-class photographers in Santa Fe, NM and right here in Knoxville, TN she moved full-time into her photography business in 2016, winning the Professional Photographers of East Tennessee Photographer of the Year award in 2018.


For more on The Maker City photographers, please click here.
For more on where to find goods by artisans of The Maker City, please click here.