Our Photogs’ Best of 2011

As we all prepare to celebrate the new year, here are the ImageAsheville photographers’ personal favorites for 2011 accompanied by their thoughts, because often the story behind the photo is as good as the photo itself .

Our picks are not necessarily all from the pages of ImageAshevillle, because we don’t just do event photography!

Happy New Year everyone! We thank you for your support in this first year of ImageAsheville and look forward to 2012 and showing you more of what makes our home the amazing place it is.

Bleu by Micah Mackenzie

I walked into Aerial Space on assignment. Looked at all the ropes wires and things that did not make me think i could take a good shot there, but as soon as I finished that thought. That little voice came in my head and said. “Relax…now Rock it” I opened my eyes and took this shot~

Occupy Everything by Michael Tracey

Michael shot this photograph on the first day of the Occupy Asheville rally at Pritchard Park.   Sarah, the first protestor that Michael photographed, represents the exuberance of the movement in it’s early days before the first arrests and encampment location problems. It was the first photo essay on Image Asheville to include audio interviews.

He Moves Into Light by Tracie Acreman

I spent an inspiring afternoon at The Urban Arts Institute in early July, photographing rehearsals of the Eternity dance group. Walking into rehearsal studio, loud hip hop was making the room vibrate, dancers were moving, working hard… Michael Hayes’ voice booming instructions and encouragement. I felt conspicuous, out of place, but I plonked myself down next to a sweet two-year old boy named Zion, caught big welcoming smiles from Michael and Djenne, allowed myself to sink into that moment and began to shoot. It felt like my arrival there was meant to be, a new pathway appeared,  I set off down it and it’s been the beginning of something good.

The moon, my hat and you by Bill Rhodes

The moon, my hat and you at the Mountain State Fair, riders wait to get off the sky ride, suspended between the fair and the moon.

Subject Matter Press by Zen Sutherland

The amazing thing about being a photographer is when seeing and looking become one. While this photo just seems like a photo of someone looking at the amazing poster show that was in Mars Hill, this is also us looking at the very same thing as an observer. To give dimension to the great variety of artwork that’s out there is a plus. — Zen

Aaron “Woody” Wood – CD Release Party by C.L. Kunst

Aaron “Woody” Wood at his CD Release party at Highland Brewery  in April.  A great night for Asheville music, Woody romped across the stage with this new Jimmie Vaughn Tex Mex Fender Stratocaster for most of the night.  He chose this image to use as his Bonaroo promo photo. Ironically this guitar was stolen from Woody after his Bonaroo performance and so this is it’s first and last promo appearance.

Thrashville longboard race start by Clark Mackey

Thrashville longboard race start Asheville

My favorite image is from a small weekend event last summer. A group of longboarders – a type of skateboarding – organized a downhill contest, pulled city permits for the event, and held a very successful competition using a steep, curvy stretch of road in the Kenilworth neighborhood. The event, “Thrashville,” drew about 25 participants from near and far – one drove from Atlanta, another from Virginia beach. Others, neighbors, just walked out their doors and volunteered the use of their driveways. Thrashville was well run with a nice, relaxed vibe that made me think, over and over, “This is why I love Asheville.” Around many corners of our city I find people doing something special, and I really appreciated the small band of longboarders and their can-do attitude. Here’s the link to full longboarding photo essay from Thrashville. — Clark

Bongo Joy by Alan Hantz

This shot captured Joe Craven playing his heart out on the bongos at the 2011 Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College. The light, the angle and the action make this a favorite shot. — Alan