Ann ThoniSouth 40 Creative pro
Content & Feature Photography
Let’s Meet Ann!
The heart and soul of South 40 is resident photographer and dreamer, Ann. She shares some of what inspires her and how her expertise has helped shape South 40.
Ann, knowing that you have taken thousands of pictures, what would you say is your favorite photographic subject?
Ann: Although photographers can capture all types of images, my favorite subjects to photograph are any living things, humans and animals! Of those, I would have to say I really love being able to help individual athletes showing their strength, celebrate the amazing ability of the human body, and document a point in an athlete’s life when they showcase their strength, in both body and mind. At this point in my career, this is my focus. Shooting athletes, whether it be a professional player or an average Mom/Dad who’s completely fit in every sense of the word, is such a joy. I love to share in their achievements and hours feel like minutes when I shoot athletes of all types!
Where did you receive your training?
Ann: I studied at Nashville State College, concentrating on photography. My diploma is hanging proudly in my studio. I then went on to earn my master’s in photography, studying under several outstanding teachers; one of my favorites was Darton Drake, a master in textured photography in Chicago.
How long have you been a photographer and how did you choose photography?
Ann: I would say that photography chose ME; I have been taking pictures most of my life, and a professional photographer for over 25 years. Multiple outlets have provided me with the experience to deepen my love and skills in taking pictures. First, having been married to a wonderful person for most of my adult life and raising our two wonderful children brings the best hands-on experience anyone could ask or dream of! Professionally, I have been a wedding/family event/portrait photographer for over twenty years and before that, I did little league photography. This is a lucrative arrangement; one I would highly recommend for a base income as it’s a huge industry. My experience is completely priceless to me and I welcome the opportunity to share my knowledge of photography to anyone willing to learn.
Having taken professional photos for so many years, is there one funny photo shoot story you would like to share?
Ann: Oh, my goodness, photography comes with funny stories of all kinds! However, the first one that comes to mind happened about 10 years ago:
I was shooting a wedding engagement for one of the couples here at South 40. When I shoot, it’s a true workout, as I may have to get in a variety of positions to get the shot–squatting, lying down, face down, and sometimes even face up! Let me point out that this is a farm, we have animals—and animals poop–and I always remind my clients to watch their step. Well I was shooting lying down facing up, right in a fresh pile of poop, and I rolled in it, then lay there on top of it! Of course, the couple got a big kick out of it, but at the time, I was completely grossed out! I am always completely focused on my work when shooting, considering all the creative angles to use, oblivious to any surroundings outside of the pictures I am capturing, that I forgot to heed my own advice. But I captured their special day, even if it cost me a little bit of my dignity…I can laugh about it now.
Ann, what piece of advice would you give new photographers from your years of experience?
Ann: Although all photographers have their own special skills, one of the most useful pieces of advice I can share is to learn, listen, and work with other established Creatives in the industry. Most photographers are excited to share what they have learned with others who have the same love, so finding mentors offers newcomers experience and unique points of view which can help them develop their own styles.