Learning from Elementary Artists


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How important are the visual arts in our society? I feel strongly that the visual arts are of vast and incalculable importance. Of course I could be prejudiced. I am a visual art. -Kermit The Frog

Last week Bernadette and I had the honor of judging a photo contest for a local elementary school. We were very impressed with the entries. The images were to be judged on three things. 1) That the submitted image fit within the topic they were provided. 2) The creativity within the image. 3) The technical aspect of the image.

The technical part was the easiest to judge, of course. We are trained to notice those details when printing. However, the other two presented a lot more difficulty.

The topic the students were given was “The Magic of a Moment”. My mind automatically starts thinking of very complex scenarios. That is the angle I would take, because as adults we tend to complicate things, right? But, once those images were in front of me I was reminded that there is such beauty in the simplest of things! It isn’t necessary to have the most complex subject and the new trendy technique in order to create a beautiful image.

While being so thankful for the reminder to appreciate the simplest of things, such as a field of sunflowers or a writing spider hanging from its web, I was also appreciative that these students were given the opportunity to express their artistic side. So much emphasis is put on basic educational knowledge (reading, writing and arithmetic) that I think society sometimes forgets about the “right brained” people. Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly think that the basics are extremely important but I also know that not everyone excels in that area. And those that don’t deserve to be able to excel and take pride in the areas that speak most to them, like the arts!

So, all of that being said, f/32 is very proud to support adolescent art education and participation! We also proudly support simplistic beauty, so take a moment and take note (or photograph) the “magical moments” all around you!



It’s Finally Here!!!



If only you knew the back story of actually getting this camera into our hands…well, I won’t bore you with that.  The important thing is that it is here now and we are so excited to add this Canon 5dMarkIII to the rental program at f/32 Photo.  Since it literally just arrived, it currently has no reservations on the books.  So, who is going to be the first one to put it to good use?  It is available for this weekend (or sooner if you need it) as of this writing.  The rental rates for the Canon 5DMarkIII are as follows:  3 days – $150, 4 days – $175, 7 days – $199, and 10 days – $275.  You can make rental reservations by calling us at 865-934-0909 or emailing us at print@f32photo.com.  Wonder what else is offered through our rental program?  Check out the entire listing on our website by clicking here.

Thanks for renting with us! We will keep you updated here as we continue to add to our rental program as well as other services.

Meet Dustin…the newest addition to the Crew at f/32!



If you have been in f/32 in the last week, you may have wondered “Who is that guy behind the counter?”. Well, the girls are f/32 are happy to introduce you to Dustin! We are so excited to have Dustin on board with us and look forward to discovering the new perspective and depth of knowledge that we know he is going to bring.

Dustin is from Nashville and has recently transferred to the University of Tennessee where he is working on completing his Bachelors in Fine Art degree.  He has an Associate’s Degree with a concentration in Photography and the technical aspects of digital printmaking.  He also has several years experience in commercial photography and still enjoys shooting film:)  Dustin’s long term goal is to teach photography at a collegiate level.  So, we hope that his time and experience here at f/32 will help him grow toward his goal and help us grow in ways to better serve our photographic community.

Welcome aboard Dustin! Be sure to drop in and say hi and introduce yourselves!
– The Crew at f/32

One of Dustin’s favorite shots of himself:) We thought it was appropriate since we are all over the heat and looking forward to the cooler part of the year that will soon be upon us!

Gallery Blocks Now Available at f/32 Photo!!!



Center Stage

We are so excited to be able to now be able to offer Gallery Blocks to our customers!  If you have never seen these in person before, be sure to check out our sample display in the store.  The pictures online are nice, but the actual product is beautiful!

If you aren’t familiar with Gallery Blocks, they are constructed using a single professional print laminated over a solid wood constructed box.  They have perfect 90 degree corners and come in floating and single varieties.  The single Gallery Block is just that, one block (one inch in depth) with an image wrapped around it, ranging in size from 4×6 all the way to 24×36.  The smaller single blocks come in sets of three.  A “floating” Gallery Block is a series of smaller print blocks constructed together to create a one-of-a-kind piece of wall art.  The floating Gallery Block is manufactured to look like each individual Gallery Block is floating over a large image background.

We love the built in hanging system!  You can also purchase an optional hanging bracket that mounts flush to the wall with two drywall screws that are included in the kit.

The creative possibilities with these products are endless!  There are a wide variety of configurations available as well as a nice selection of templates pre-designed for each style of Gallery Block.  Click here to see our catalog of available options and templates. Please note that the sizes of the Gallery Blocks and the orientation of the floating pieces in the various styles cannot be altered.  However, the design can be completely up to you!  You can choose from a pre-designed template, have us create a custom design for you, or ask us for the template guides to a certain style if you would like to create it yourself in Photoshop.

Currently, Gallery Blocks can be ordered in person at our store.  We are working toward having these available through our online ordering system, but we just couldn’t wait to bring them to you!  This way, we can walk you through the process and help you figure out your configuration and design choice.

In addition to the Gallery Blocks, we are also now offering Cube Decor.  These cubes come in 4 and 8 inches and can be ordered individually or in multiple quantities.

And finally, we are also now offering a line of frames called “Sweet Frames”.  They come in two styles: Classic and Ornate, five sizes : 5×7, 8×10, 8×12, 11×14, and 16×20, and four color choices pictured below.  Currently we are ordering these upon request.

Wow, that’s a lot of new stuff at one time!

If you are a professional photographer and would like to be able to offer these products to your clients, please talk to us and we will be happy to provide you with marketing information and sizing templates to create your own designs.

A Great Example of our Photographic “Community”


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I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, this thing we call a “photographic community”.  While Knoxville may be the third largest city in the state, it’s really one of those “large small towns”.  Most photographers (and there are a LOT of us) here know each other, or knows someone who knows someone else.  It may only be on Facebook, but most of us are connected in some way.  When we work together to support each other and the craft, that is a powerful community.  And while it used to be that photographers did not want to share their “trade secrets” or knowledge with other photographers for fear of training their competition, I really don’t see much of that anymore from my vantage point in the industry, which is refreshing.

That brings me to the point of this post.  A couple of weeks ago, the national AYSO soccer tournaments were in Knoxville and we had several people come into f/32 Photo to rent equipment for shooting the games.  One day, we had two Dads with cameras who had brought their kids all the way from Utah and needed help in selecting and renting equipment that would allow them to accomplish what they wanted within their knowledge base and budget.  So, as we talked about what bodies they would be shooting with, their overall photographic knowledge, and what they wanted to be able to capture in the time they were here, I was doing my best to draw on all of the sports photography tips that I have learned to help them make the best decision.  Let me qualify that these were two incredibly honest and humble Dads who freely admitted that they had nice cameras but mostly shot on scene modes because they didn’t understand the manual creative modes.  Hey, we all had to start somewhere.  It’s much easier to work from the place of where someone actually is in terms of skill level and not where they think they are.  So, I’m explaining how to shoot in Shutter priority (because I didn’t think I should throw metering and Manual mode at them in the beginning) and why it would be beneficial to them for what they were shooting.  Now, I’m not a sports photographer, but I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with a great sports photographer in our area, Hobe Brunson, and he had taught me a thing or two that have really helped me.  So, I’m trying to recall and regurgitate the things that Hobe has taught me when in he walks through the door.  I asked him if he was in a hurry and if not, would he mind giving these two gentlemen some pointers.  He graciously agreed and began discussing the best lens options for them, how to set their cameras, and how to shoot to get the best results.  They took lenses outside and practiced with them, Hobe set up their cameras for them, and we even had to look a few things up since they had camera bodies that neither of us shoot regularly.  At the end of the discussion, I even heard Hobe give them his cell number in case they had any trouble once they got to the games and couldn’t figure something out.  He said that he didn’t know if he would be able to help them over the phone, but he would try.  These are two people he had never met, would probably never see again, and gained nothing from how well their images turned out or not.  Totally altruistic.  It did my heart good to see a photographer that I respect and admire passing it on in such a way.

A few days later, Hobe came in the store and told me that those two guys had sent him an email thanking him for all of his help.  They also said that he made it look much easier than it actually was:)  Hopefully, they captured some amazing memories for their kids though.  That was their goal and what it was all about. I’m thankful that Hobe was there at the right time to help make that happen!

Introducing our new Photo Kiosk!


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Many of you have requested it, and we have now been able to fulfill your wish…

Come in and try out our brand new touchscreen Photo Kiosk!  If has the same ordering format as our ordering system on our website, so you may already be familiar.  If you can order it online, you can order it at the kiosk in store.  That means not only prints, but cards, collages, buttons, magnets, and more coming very soon!

Many of you may remember the old kiosk that used to sit on the front counter.  In a word, it was terrible.  So, we decided the best thing to do was just remove it and help everyone with their on site orders through on of our computers until we could find a better solution.  That has worked pretty well, but many people don’t want help and just want to come in and place their order on their own.  Now, that is an option once again!  However, if you like having someone help you and walk through things with you, we certainly still offer that service as well!  We understand that sometimes making decisions on images and enlargements can be tough, so we are perfectly willing and able to be the objective third party that you sometimes need.  So, please know that you are by no means ever expected to use the kiosk!  It is certainly your choice as to which type of service better fits your needs.  We are just happy that we can provide both.


So, come on in and give it a try!  We are more than happy to walk you through any part of it that you need assistance with as well.  Oh, and see that awesome shot of Lisa (our lab manager) hanging above the kiosk?  That is a 20×24 print that was made from an image taken with an iPhone 4s!  Take a close look at it when you are in the store.  It’s pretty amazing what you can do with files from the newer cell phone cameras!  By the way, we print those as well.  Look for a mobile app coming soon, but as of now, we can print them in store for you (or you are welcome to email them to us at print@f32photo.com with print instructions).  Soon you will be able to connect your iPhone to the kiosk and print straight from there!

More awesome things coming soon, so stay tuned!

New Items in the f/32 Rental Program!!!

Well, we alluded to one of these things earlier, but it is actually here now…

That’s right, a Nikon D800!  It is fresh out of the box and we are so excited to introduce it into the rental program.   The rental rates for the D800 are $160 for 3 days, $185 for 4 days, $230 for 7 days, and $305 for 10 days.  Call now to reserve your spot!

In addition to the Nikon D800, we have also added 2 new lenses to our rental program. If you have been curious of how the Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 lens compares to its counterpart in Nikon and Canon glass, you can now test it for yourself.  We now have a Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 IF EX DG HSM for Nikon and Canon in the rental program.  The rental rates for each of these lenses is $35 for 3 days, $40 for 4 days, $52 for 7 days, and $70 for 10 days.

Renting a piece of equipment is a great way to give it a test drive if you are thinking of investing in it.  In addition to providing Sigma equipment in our rental program, we are also Sigma dealers, so if you are thinking about purchasing Sigma equipment, we would love to talk to you and see if we can help you with anything you might need.  We offer an incentive program as part of our rental program for anyone who rents a Sigma lens from us and then decides to purchase one.  More details regarding this can be found here on our website.

Sigma is also having a Sizzling Summer Sale on a variety of lenses.  Now through July 31st you can receive a $75 instant rebate off the 24-70mm 2.8 lens!  The MSRP is listed as $1400, but we have the 24-70mm 2.8 lens priced at $899.  Add another $75 instant rebate to that low price and that is an amazing deal!

Exciting Things on the Horizon!


Wow, my head is still spinning from everything that I learned and saw last week at our annual IPI retreat (that’s where all the photo lab people get together to share and learn new things)!  It is so nice to work in such a creative industry where people are willing to share and help each other grow.

Now that the retreat is behind us, I have a to do list at least a mile long!  That means lots of new and exciting things will be happening at f/32 Photo, so be sure to stay dialed in to our blog and facebook pages as we announce all the new happenings:)

While it is great to get away and gain some new perspective on ways to grow and improve, I kept finding myself thinking of everyone at home.  When I was looking at various new products, I could envision each one of them with work from our specific customers.  Again, one of my favorite things about being a local business is actually having a relationship and knowing our customers.  I can’t wait to see some of your creations and visions on products that are coming soon…

One of the things I can mention now is that we are actively expanding our rental offerings due to increased demand.  We most recently added a Sigma 24-70 lens for Nikon and next week we will be getting a Sigma 24-70 lens for Canon!  There are also a few more new items that should be here next week.  I’m going to hold off on their specifics though until I actually have them in hand…

Thanks to each and every one of you who work with and support us at f/32 Photo.  We will continue to strive to support you, your businesses, and your passions in every way that we can.

Oh, if you missed the 5:00 news yesterday on WBIR, check out this link to see a great segment on photography and how the digital age has affected it.  You’ll see a familiar face from f/32:)

Sizzlin’ Summer Sigma Sale


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What more exciting way to celebrate the season than with a new lens?! f/32 is a proud dealer and supporter of Sigma lenses, and we are excited to share with you some great savings for the summer!

We know that a lot of people are slightly hesitant when it comes to stepping outside of your Canon/Nikon box, and we completely understand. But, we aren’t just a bunch of sales people looking to move product. Everything we sell is something we believe in; after all, we are photographers just like you! But if you need a little more convincing come rent a Sigma lens from our rental department! Click here to see what we have available!

Check out these amazing deals, if you are interested in making a purchase or want more info swing by and lets chat!


A “Senior” Saturday



Wow, today was a hoppin’ day at f/32!  You never know how Saturdays are going to play out around here.  It’s funny because I had the privilege of taking my nephew’s Senior pictures this year and have been working with my Sister to get everything printed in time for her to mail out graduation invitations this weekend.  This must have been the goal of a lot of other parents in Knoxville as well, because I got to see a LOT of fantastic Senior portraits today as I was printing wallets for several people to go into invitations.  I saw lots of great work from Ancelet Photography today!  I kept thinking, “Wow, Senior portraits have come a long way in the last 20 years!”.  I remember having about 5 proofs to choose from and it was pretty much unheard of to have anyone other than the school photographers take your picture.  That is definitely not the case today!  And there are many talented photographers in the Knoxville area who can amaze you with their creativity and vision.  Need help picking one?  Ask someone at f/32 and we’ll be happy to make some recommendations for you based on what you need.

One of the best things about working in this particular avenue of the photography industry is that you get to work with people on so many different levels and with a variety of projects.  At one point today, I had someone in the studio for an impromptu “cap and gown” portrait, I was helping someone else finish the design on a graduation invitation, and then we added a third person into the mix who found 70 year old medium format negatives of pictures of him as a baby that he had never seen!  He told me that until he happened upon us, he could not find anywhere that could print them.  So,  myself and the customers who were in working on their graduation announcements, got to see the negatives of his family and a piece of his childhood that he just discovered after his mother passed away.  I’m excited to see him see the prints when they are ready.  Oh, and did I mention that all of the above happened at the same time?  Thankfully everyone was patient since we are minimally staffed on Saturdays:)

As many of you know, we also have a rental program for camera and studio equipment.  I got a call this morning from one of our customers who was out of town shooting a sporting event with a rental lens and was having a problem that she needed help working out.  After talking through it, we were able to narrow it down to a couple of things (and she learned something new about her camera in the process!).  I’m pretty sure we fixed the problem, which most likely turned out to be a camera setting not a lens problem, but we definitely came up with an alternate solution to get her through the event if neither of our scenarios were correct.

But the best part of the day was just getting to interact with and provide a service to some genuinely nice and thoughtful folks.  That really is one of my favorite parts of working in this industry.  The products that we produce and services that we provide serve to not only preserve precious moments in time and history, but to celebrate them and pass them on to future generations.  It is fantastic to be able to show your pictures off on your smartphone (which I also do), but that will never be able to replace  the feeling and reality of a print in your hand or a portrait on your wall.  No batteries necessary:)

Thankful for everyone whose path I got to cross today!