Cookeville Camera Club

Where people come to learn the fun way!


April 28th Meeting


Photography has changed a lot over the years. Bryan Allen has changed right along with it. From taking family photos as a child to being a much sought after videographer, Allen has evolved with the times.

“I got my first camera when I was eight years old,” Allen remembers. “It was the first thing I bought with my own money. My dad bought it for me for 150 dollars and I had to work for him for 1.50 an hour until I paid him back. It was my most coveted item.” As he grew up his family relied on him to take family photos at gatherings. “I documented our lives,” he says.

Allen didn’t seriously consider a career in photography. He got an education at North Carolina State and spent 21 years in corporate America. The advent of digital photography brought Allen back to his first love. “The darkroom was now in my computer,” Allen says.

The transition from corporate world to photography came naturally for Allen. He explains, “There is a crossover between the engineering mind and the artistic mind.” He was able to use the best of both to create his photography business, enjoying what he calls “people work” to build his craft.

Now the Knoxville resident does some wedding/portraiture work but limits that in favor of commercial photography. He has done lifestyle ads for magazines and worked on music videos and corporate commercials. He enjoys teaching at the University of Tennessee, showing his students that engineering and education are both about problem solving as well as creativity. “I want to make people passionate about shooting,” he says of his teaching. “There is a real market for it and people can develop a skill set in which their work resonates.” Allen says he understands community and the specific challenges involved. “Community work doesn’t intimidate me,” he says. Because of that, ad agencies seek him out.

His portrait work is in demand as well, voted Knoxville’s best for the past three years. “I like creating remarkable images of people,” Allen relates. “I like the esoteric creative process.”

Allen’s latest change with the times involves a new photographic challenge: video. With many SLR cameras now able to shoot video as well, Allen incorporated it into his business. It was a successful move. Three years ago, Allen says, companies would ask him to do some video while he was there doing still photos. Now he is asked primarily to shoot video with some stills mixed in.

Allen is excited about his new media production company, PopFizz, based in Knoxville. The company helps brands tell their stories through photography and video.

Changing with the times never looked so good.

Allen will be speaking to the Cookeville Camera Club on Monday, April 28 at 7 pm at the Cookeville First Presbyterian Church just off the square. The public is invited to attend. For more information about Bryan Allen visit his website at or his commercial website at

May 12th Meeting — Photo Contest Results & Speaker

Night Photography Contest: Images taken outdoors between “twilight” and “dawn” using artificial light or a long exposure to give the sensor time to capture a usable image.

Annual Camera Club Exhibition
at the Cumberland Art Society through April 25

See the work of 35 regional photographers with over 120 images from their backyards to across the USA and Canada.


See the Cumberland Art Society website for location and hours: CAS

Future Events / Meetings

Monday, May 26 — No regular meeting; Memorial Day Holiday
Monday, June 9 — No regular meeting; Club Picnic
Monday, June 23 — Club Member Photo Essays — 5-minute slideshows