I am a landscape and nature photographer based in Franklin, TN. Originally hailing from a small town called Lenhartsville, PA, I have made the Middle Tennessee area my home since 2005. Whether exploring the beautiful Middle Tennessee countryside, the magical Great Smoky Mountains nearby, or anywhere else I happen to be, my goal is to create dynamic and inspiring imagery that wraps viewers with wonder, and instills a sense of calm and connection with the natural world around them.
When I'm not out lost in the woods somewhere, you'll likely find me turning my camera towards the many wonderful people I get to meet in the world as a commercial portrait and child/family photographer. You can view my work with humans at www.wessnerphotography.com.
Perhaps like many photographers, I didn't set out on this journey originally seeking to be an "artist" per se. There was no official embarking to head off and become a fine art landscape photographer. Everything was much simpler than that. I was feeding a hunger, deep in my soul, to chase beauty, and to be creative. I was searching to see just how beautiful the outside world could really be. And, at times, I was simply looking for something pure and alive to contrast against the stresses, aches, and wounds we all experience as part of our shared humanity.
Over time, as I encountered more and more enriching moments out in nature, I kept wondering if there was somehow a way I could bottle them up and bring them back home with me. And so my journey into photography unfolded, and my artist heart began to ignite.
It wasn't long into this journey until I discovered that despite my best and most mastered attempts, a camera—a machine—could not always produce a faithful result that did justice to what my human eyes were witnessing. If you've ever tried to capture a picture of a sunset resulting in the ground appearing too dark (or the sky too bright) compared to the details your eyes could perceive, then you'll understand some of what I mean.
How could I bottle up the dynamic scope and emotion of such scenes with limited technology? I was determined to find out, and eventually my persistent searching led me to some of the most tasteful, time-tested techniques within the art of photography: dodging and burning, manual exposure blending, graduated filters, and many more technical terms began showing up in my creative processes over time. And with much practice outdoors and in today's digital darkroom, these became and remain common staples in my efforts to tell the story of each new scene, and tell it tastefully, faithfully, and with excellence.
All of this has slowly progressed over time towards a familiar style woven throughout my imagery. As I reflect back on my overall journey, though, it strikes me time and again that any particular “look" my images have is not really founded upon any fancy tricks or techniques I’ve learned, but rather the willingness and drive to show up, do everything I can to be at the right place at the right time, and simply be on location when everything is finally coming together. There really are no substitutes for that. And despite the continual advances in photographic technology, I will always know deep down that the real magic awaits those who are determined to follow in the footsteps of the many great landscape photographers of today and yesterday, get out into nature as much as possible, and be especially available and intentional towards whatever enfolds. Not every day nor every moment is magic, but the ones that are, will be remembered for a lifetime…and I bring my camera, and everything I've learned along the way, to help make sure of that.
In closing, I hope that in viewing my work that you'll be moved to take more notice of what goes on in the outside world around you. And even if you can’t venture out again and again, perhaps you'll at least be inspired to wait in one spot for just a little while longer before throwing yourself back into a busy life. Maybe now and then you'll allow a sunrise or sunset to sway you more than a schedule. And quite possibly, you'll find yourself slowly being transformed by something--even Someone--much bigger than yourself, as I have.