Bio

Bill HobbsWhen I was about 12 I dropped my light meter in Cottonwood Creek, which drains Jenny Lake in Grand Tetons National Park.

We ran along the creek bank for like a thousand yards – or so it felt, it was probably 30 yards – and the little light meter eventually floated close enough for me to grab it. I still have it and it still works, although the 35mm rangefinder camera I used back then is now just a shelf decoration.

I’ve been doing photography since I was 10, growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Later, I went to college in Tennessee and then Texas, where I got a degree in journalism and started working as a reporter for small-city newspapers in Texas and Tennessee. I even took a few news photos here and there. In 1988 I moved back to Nashville, where I have been ever since, and worked for a series of publications, and now work in public relations and social media, while also taking freelance writing and photography assignments.

My photography is heavily influenced by the black-and-white newspaper photography that I grew up with in the 1970s, and by the work of fine-art photographers like Ansel Adams and by the photojournalism of photographers like Ernst Haas and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and by the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, who came from the Brandywine Valley region of Pennsylvania, not far from where I grew up. And I am influenced by the artistry of Howard Forrest Henry, a painter, photographer and, during the late 1960s, art director at N.W. Ayer, the famed Philadelphia advertising agency. He also was my maternal grandfather. At the intersection of the journalistic effort to be real and truthful and the artistic impulse to create – that is were much of my photographic inspiration comes from.

I  work more often in black & white than in color. I’m drawn to the simplicity and the challenge of black & white images, while often finding color to be a distraction.

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Gallery Selections:
blackandwhiteMosca was selected for inclusion in the April 2013 exhibition “Black & White” at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. The exhibition was juried by Karen E. Haas, Lane Curator of Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Dancing Nashville was selected for inclusion in the Community Images exhibition at the Tennessee State Museum in October 2014.

Batman Blue was selected for the 2016 annual exhibition of works by members of SNAP: The Society of Nashville Artistic Photographers.

Movie Lovers was selected for the “Inspired By Cinema” exhibition at Provence, Hillsboro Village, Nashville, July 2016

Monument Valley (Ghosts of John Ford) was selected for the “Inspired By Art” exhibition at Provence, Hillsboro Village, Nashville, December 2016.

Published:

I have had photographs published by various publications, including Nashville Arts Magazine, which published four photos for the July 2014 story “Moving Nashville’s Priceless Art Around the World,” and a portrait of woodcarver P.E. Foster for the November 2014 story “P.E. Foster: Conservation & Controversy.”

National Geographic Traveler published my photo Inside Grimey’s Record Shop as part of a web feature on Nashville’s music scene in mid-2014. The image has also been published by other online publications. Sports & Entertainment Nashville Magazine published more than a dozen of my photographs over 2013 and 2014 including portraits of star Vanderbilt University baseball pitcher Tyler Beede.

Nashville Arts published these seven of my abstract images of Nashville in the June 2015 issue. Three are also published on the magazine’s website.

You also can view a selection of my work on the website of the Brentwood Photography Group.

On Display
I have seven images on permanent display at Sopapilla’s, a New Mexican restaurant in Franklin, TN.

I have 16 images on permanent display at Embassy Suites Hotel in Franklin, TN.

I have completed a custom shoot for the Embassy Suites hotel in Greenville, South Carolina, with the images to be used within the hotel after a renovation. The project included eight days of photography of the hotel’s adjacent golf resort – treated as a fine-art landscape subject rather than a golf course – as well as various city landmarks.

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I accept commissions to create custom artwork. However, I reserve my First Amendment right to refuse any commission which would require me to create art that violates my ethical, moral, religious or political values, beliefs and practices, or which would involve creating photographic images that do not fit within my artistic vision.

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Apart from photography, I have extensive experience in media – writing, editing and media relations – and still provide such services to a small roster of clients, including media relations, press releases, media strategy, ghost-writing op-eds, photography and more.

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