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Merit Member Adam Brimer

Web site: (currently under construction)
Current location/For how long: I am currently freelancing and working as an assistant and photographer for Patrick Murphy-Racey in Knoxville, Tennessee. I will be in Knoxville until the summer when I hope to have some sort of gainful employment under my belt.

All photos © Adam Thomas Brimer

School/Degree received: The University of Tennessee: Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Logistics. Graduation date: December 2007.
Recent awards or distinctions: University of Tennessee Department of Student Publications — Photographer of the Year 2007
Recent Clients: The University of Tennessee Athletic Department, Bechtel National, and Dollywood.

How long have you been working professionally?

I have been working professionally for about a year and a half.

What has been your favorite photographic assignment or project to date?

The 2007 Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship in Cleveland, Ohio. I know it may seem like shooting fish in a barrel being at such a high profile, high emotion event, but as a student photographer who was there to cover the University of Tennessee Lady Vols, it could not have been more fun or challenging on so many different levels. To start, it was my second time going to the Final Four to cover the Lady Vols, so I was already over the initial “Ooh, I’m at a big event, the pressure is on” mentality. As a result, I was able to take a step back and look at the event from a more objective point of view and just shoot. Most of my favorite images from the night came from off the court and in the locker room following the game. On top of it all, I had a test the next afternoon back in Knoxville. My editors and I had to make an eight-hour drive home immediately following our final deadline transmissions from Cleveland that night. After the dust had settled I came home with some great images and did well on my test.

What has been your most challenging photographic assignment or project to date? Why?

My most challenging assignment was to cover a memorial service for two university students who were brutally murdered last year. It was my first time to cover a memorial service of this type and it proved to be emotionally and technically difficult to shoot.

Please describe any special photographic projects or assignments in which you are currently engaged.

I am currently working on documenting the lives of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers which involves multiple overnight trips to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding areas as well as lots of hiking. Thru-hikers are those who hike the entire Appalachian Trail from the beginning at Springer Mountain, Georgia to the end at Mount Katahdin, Maine or vice-versa. The sub-culture in which thru-hikers are immersed involves changes in identity, “trail magic,” and a quirky community lifestyle. My goal is to finish the project in multimedia form. It will also include lit portraiture and audio elements from the trail.

What is your greatest photographic aspiration?

Whenever I am on an assignment or with a client, I think to myself, “Does this photograph move me mentally or emotionally?” I try to convey that with all of my images. If the image is not causing something to stir in me, then it certainly is not going to do anything for the viewer. Maybe that is cliché and has probably been said a thousand times before, but it works, so I am sticking with it. I may be young and inexperienced, but I know that if your heart is not into it, then it is not going to work. John H. White told us at the Eddie Adams Workshop this past October that “the most important camera is the camera of the heart.”

All of that is to say that my greatest photographic aspiration is to keep pouring myself into my work until I am ripe and old all while moving myself and the viewers emotionally, to take action, or otherwise. If I can do that, I believe that the rest of the good things will fall in to place.
Also, would it be too much to ask if I said that I aspire to shoot for Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated at the same time?

What is your primary source of news about the photography industry?

It is hard to choose one group or publication over another in this respect, so I will say ASMP, NPPA, and A Photo A Day .

In your opinion, what is the most critical issue affecting photographers today?

Ethics. Being a part of the generation of photographers who have been brought up in the digital age, it is crucial that we keep things honest and real. I don’t think that this issue is stressed enough at the university or student level. Since I did not attend a university that was heavy on photojournalism curriculum, I cannot speak for everyone, but the issue of maintaining ethical photojournalistic practices should be stressed all the time at the university level.

Were you aware of the ASMP before receiving a Merit Membership?


Since receiving your Merit Membership, have you taken advantage of any of the resources, services or discounts that ASMP offers to members?

I read the bulletins that I receive in the mail and I check the ASMP website quite often for updates, news, and galleries.

Do you participate in any of the existing ASMP specialty groups or listservs?

Not currently.

Do you belong to other photographic associations or online groups?

I belong to NPPA, A Photo A Day, and am in the application process for Sports Shooter.

What do you consider to be the most valuable aspect of your Merit Membership in the ASMP?

The networking opportunities and online information are invaluable.

Is there any particular resource or information that you would like to see ASMP implement as an added service to the members?

I cannot think of anything right now. The Web site and publications are great!