Choose your Workshop!

Your instructors at Smoky Mountain School of Photography live daily in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

What better way to learn photography and the Smokies than from those who enjoy and photograph it as part of their daily lives!
Choose your Workshop!

Meet Your Instructors

TYSON SMITH, M.Photog., Cr., CPP, ASPPhotographer
Tyson’s love of nature developed early while camping, hunting and hiking with his family as a child. His mother was descended from an original Cades Cove settler, Robert Shields, so they spent many weeks in the Cades Cove Camp Grounds and many nights listening to the ranger programs. His heart was never far from Cades Cove but his career in healthcare as a pathologist and hospital administrator kept him working inside too many hours. Photography became the vehicle to tie his interests together and spend time with his wife who was already an accomplished photographer.

More than 10 years ago he began learning the technical aspects of photography so that he would have a foundation that allowed him to compose images that use the subject and light to tell the stories he sees in nature. After spending so many years in school, (medical school, law school and business school) he couldn’t help but start with the technical understanding of how the equipment helps the photographer capture the picture even though he believes it is the least important component in the long run. More important is how to arrange what will be included in the frame and most important is how light interacts with the scene.

When a photographer understands the equipment and has practiced with composition and light, he develops a style. Tyson’s style is to focus on the details of the story, probably from whatever personality traits led him to pathology as a career. His images are typically macro, close-up or portions of a scene that attempt to give a paragraph of the story rather than write the whole novel.

Tyson’s images have hung in several galleries including the Emporium in Knoxville. His work has been published in books and magazines including Rich Community: An Anthology of Appalachian Photographers. His images have won many competitions including acceptance into the general and loan collections of the International Photographic Competition of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Tyson is a Craftsman, Master and Certified Professional Photographer through PPA, as well as a member of ASP. He founded and is the editor of the Smoky Mountain Journal of Photography. In addition to nature photography, Tyson enjoys pet photography and helping his wife, Kathy, with her wedding and portrait photography. He now spends his time in Townsend photographing and sharing the local experience with others.

Website: Wild and Wonderful Photography

JERRY WHALEYPhotographer
Jerry Whaley is an East Tennessee writer & photographer whose images are marketed worldwide by Getty Images, Alamy, age.fotostock and several other stock photo agencies. He also promotes and markets his images on his PhotoShelter website.

Jerry’s images have appeared in Sierra Club Calendars, National Geographic Traveler, Blue Ridge Country, Outdoor Photographer, Peterson’s Photographic, Reiman’s Country, Backpacker, Southern Living & many other books, magazines, postcards, calendars, prints and trade publications.

Throughout his photographic career Jerry has taken every opportunity to teach others about photography through the local school system, in photography studios, and during workshops sponsored by Canon. He is a presenter at the annual Wilderness Wildlife Week and also does photography programs for various clubs and organizations. Jerry’s images can be found locally on postcards & in books sold by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Jerry transitioned, along with the commercial photography industry, from film to digital – and embraces the enhanced level of control photographers now have over the post-production processing of their images. New technology did not change what it takes to make a good image – a lot of hard work, commitment to the process, and experience. Jerry has these traits and uses them to share the beauty of the region through his photographs. His goal with the Smoky Mountain School of Photography is to help others make their best images of this region by sharing his techniques, insights and experience.

Jerry Whaley Photography

Jerry Whaley’s Photoshelter

Roger Trentham is an eighth generation native of the Smoky Mountains who expresses his love of the mountains and their inhabitants through photography, exploring and hiking. He has spent his life studying and photographing nature in all it’s glory. Growing up hunting, fishing and exploring in the forests of East Tennessee has given him unique insights into the many moods and seasons of the Smokies.

Roger’s educational pursuits have lead him to a Master of Business Administration and various professional certifications. He began teaching nature photography workshops more than thirty years ago in the days of print and slide film which has given him a basis for today’s digital era.

Roger’s images have been published and shared both regionally and nationally and he continues teaching nature photography through workshops, seminars and nationally recognized events such as the annual Wilderness Wildlife Week.

Roger considers himself a generalist nature photographer whose subjects cover the gamut from macro to wildlife to grand scenics.

Website: Roger Trentham Nature Phototography

KATHY SMITH, CPPPhotographer
Kathy Smith specializes in people photography. She enjoys photographing weddings and portraits of families, children and individuals. Kathy also photographs events and products.

Kathy is a certified professional photographer through Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She has placed in many print competitions at local and regional photography organizations. Kathy has merited and loaned at the International Print Competition and will be published in the 2015 PPA Loan Collection.

Other publications include the front cover of Homes and Land for her real estate photography and The Laural of Asheville magazine.

Website: Kathy Smith Phototography