Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Press Releases Sent Out

Press Release
I sent this out to every newspaper and TV station in our region. Let's see what kind of response I get.

Press Release

Clintwood Photographer to Publish Photo Book Depicting Southwest Virginia Landscapes and Landmarks

From an early age, j. Michael Hill has loved art in all forms. He’s made his career from art as a tattoo artist for nearly 4 decades. During that time, he has also been an avid photographer, even going back to college (Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas) at age 36 to hone his skills in photography. 

One of his goals after college was to photograph the Great Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian regions, but life intervened. Making a living stepped in the way of  living out a dream. On July 5, 2013, Hill’s daughter, Candy passed away in her sleep from complications from COPD. She was only 39. The realization that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, next week, or next year prompted Hill to begin the journey of fulfilling his dream of producing a coffee table book covering the Appalachians.

“I decided to start with a smaller goal first, and began the compilation of the book
‘Mist On The Mountains, Southwest Virginia’ as my first goal.” Hill said. “From there we go on to the full southern Appalachians from the Mason-Dixon line to western North Carolina. After those projects are done, I’ll tackle the big one, The Great Smoky Mountains. We live in one of the most beautiful regions of this nation and it needs to be shared with the world.”

Hearing a story on the Today Show, he heard about and the concept of crowd funding. After a little research, the decision to use crowd funding to publish the books was made. 

Crowd funding is a relatively new tool propagated by the internet. People choose to back a project and make pledges from $1 and up to fund the project. If a project is appealing to enough people, and they become sponsors, the project can be funded from their pledges. If a project fails to meet the funding goals, it dies and no money changes hands.

Mr. Hill began the campaign on Friday, July 25th, with the goal of $14000 to cover the cost of publishing “Mist on the Mountains, Southwest Virginia”. As of this writing, the project has achieved  pledges equal to 8% of the goal in only 5 days. More help is needed to reach the final goal and Mr. Hill has asked the readers to check out his project and to make a pledge to make this book become a reality. 

The project web address is:

Milky Way over Bark Camp Lake
Shot last night!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mist On The Mountains, Southwest Virginia

It's official! The Kickstarter funding push has been launched! Here's the link.

Be sure and make a pledge. Every little bit helps us reach our goal! Stay tuned for updates as the project progresses!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Project Set to Launch On !

     Okay! It's time to start living my life instead of just making a life!

     On July 5, 2103, my daughter, Candy (age 39), passed away in her sleep from complications of COPD. She was a very talented artist, but making a life for her and my grandkids got in the way of her pursuing her dreams as an artist. So many things have gone through my head because of loosing my daughter.

     One of the biggest things is the realization that I have been doing the same thing she did. Too busy making a living, I have failed to live out my dreams. I will be 60 at the end of this year and the time is now to take the bull by the horns, let go of all the excuses of why I can't accomplish my goals as a photographer and just do it!

     So here goes!

     Tuesday, I will launch The Southern Appalachian Series, Part 1, Southwest Virginia. The project is a series of 3 (maybe more) self-published photography coffee table books showcasing my landscape photography of the southern Appalachian region. The first in the series will be specifically the beauty of the 17 counties that make up southwest Virginia (the area I now call home). The majestic mountains, the fabulous waterways and waterfalls, and the stunning landmarks of the area will be the focus of this book.

     In the successive  projects, the plan is to extend out to eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, northern Virginia, east Tennessee and North Carolina to cover as much of the southern Appalachian region as I can. The culmination will be a book dedicated to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I fell in love with the beauty of the park in the early '80's during my first visit there and have kept going back as often as I can over the years. The GSMNP is the primary reason I decided at the age of 36 to go back to college to get a proper education in photography and I have been compiling images from the park for over 20 years.

     I will be posting updates here at least twice a week during the course of the projects, along with images from the progress. I would like to invite you all to come to as soon as I have the project listed, and make a pledge to help make this dream a reality.The rewards I will be offering will be fantastic and I would love to share the beauty of the southern Appalachians with each of you!

     For those that are not familiar with, it is a crowd-funding site that allows people to invest in ideas and projects from virtually every venue. Check it out because it is one of greatest concepts I have ever seen to help people move their dreams from simple concept to reality.