Field Sessions & Food!
Summit Food Options
Just a little over a month away from the big event! We are so excited and hope that you are as well! Let's talk about food options for a bit here, because, well, it's important.
  • Breakfast - If you are going out on a field session, we will have a continental breakfast available for you to grab and take with you (fruit, granola bar, yogurt, etc.) or you can choose to stock up at the IGA down the street before hand and keep some breakfast food and snacks in your room. At the hour that we will be leaving for field sessions, nothing in town will be open for food. If you are not going out on a field session early in the morning, you may choose to partake of one of the restaurants in town that have a pretty nice breakfast (we will have them listed in your program). Regardless, we will have coffee available, because we know how all of your LOVE coffee all day long!
  • Lunch - You may do lunch on your own in town (there are a few places even within walking distance like Subway, Smokin' Joes BBQ, and the deli in the Phillips 66 station which has the BEST hot dogs) or if you would rather not have to leave Tremont Lodge for lunch, you may choose to PRE-ORDER a boxed lunch for any or all days that you are there starting on Wednesday. You are more than welcome to order a boxed lunch for you and any family or friends that might be with you, even if they are not officially registered for the Summit. We will be ordering boxed lunches from McAlister's Deli this year and they have quite a selection. We will have tea, lemonade, coffee, and water at the Lodge for drinks to go with lunch. Please order your lunch selections NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 24th so that I can get all of that information to McAlisters. You may order boxed lunches by clicking on the link below.
  • Dinner - Wednesday, November 1st, we will be having a catered dinner option on the lawn at Tremont Lodge. Dinner will be a buffet style catered by Salsarita's and you can purchase tickets for dinner for you and your traveling companions by visiting the link below. Please order your tickets for dinner NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 24th so that we can get an accurate head count to make sure we have enough food. We will have a few extra tickets for sale the night of the dinner, but it is really helpful if as many people as possible order the tickets ahead of time to make sure that we have enough for everyone. This dinner is NOT mandatory and you may certainly choose to have dinner on your own or even bring your own food and join us for fellowship (We realize that not everyone loves Salsaritas.). Other than Wednesday night, all dinner plans are on your own (or with new friends you have made at the event!).
Book Your Lodging Now!
If you have not already made lodging accommodations, please do so now to make sure that there are rooms available! We have a room block at Tremont Lodge & Resort (the host hotel of the event) where you will get a special rate when you CALL them to make a reservation and TELL THEM YOU ARE ATTENDING THE SUMMIT! (865-448-3200)They are going to release that room block on Monday, October 2nd. That doesn't mean that you will not be able to reserve a room at the special rate after that time, but it does mean that there may not be a room available, so don't miss out on this opportunity!

Also, there are at least a few females who are looking for a roommate that have posted on the comment section of our website, but have not managed to connect with each other as of yet. So, if you are looking for a roommate (and you are a female), please let me know and I will do my best to connect you!

Field Session Info & Descriptions
Just as a refresher, field sessions are shooting expeditions that leave early in the morning each day and are guided by one of our fabulous instructors. They will lead you in a small group to the location that you have signed up for, show you good places to photograph, and answer any questions that you might have out in the field. They are not teaching a class in the field at this time, but are merely there to guide you, answer questions, and give one on one help. Due to the fact that we need to carpool, that parking is limited in most of these places, and we want everyone to get the attention that they need, we do limit these groups to 12-15 people. So, it may not be possible for all of your group (if you are traveling with a group) to get signed up for the same field session simply because some of them may fill up quickly. Just know that you may need to split up for some of these if there are particular ones that you want to go on that are popular. When we send out the sign up email, we will also ask if you are able to drive for your field session. Since we have to carpool, we need volunteer drivers that can hold at least 4 people and their gear in their car for the morning. We will assign drivers for each field session based off these responses. Everyone cannot drive separately because it is too hard to keep the group together and too hard to find spaces for everyone to park or pull off together. Besides, it is much more fun this way! If you need to drive for medical reasons or you get motion sick very easily, please let me know that and we will plan accordingly!
Listed below are descriptions of the sites for the field sessions. Please review them so you will be prepared for what you want to sign up for when that email comes on Sunday, October 1st at 8pm ES T!

Field Session Descriptions
  • Upper Tremont Road Area - This is an old logging road bed that winds along the river starting at the end of Tremont Road. There is hiking involved, but it is easy and there is no "destination" per se, just the sights you see while hiking as far up the trail as you desire. There are several beautiful water features along this trail under a canopy of beautiful leaves.
  • Lower Tremont Road - This involves the entire length of the road up to the parking area at the end. No hiking involved as you just pull over at the many pull offs on the side of the road for some spectacular leaves, water, and rocks!
  • Cades Cove Loop Front 1/2 - Cades Cove is an 11 mile, one way, loop road with beautiful scenery, wildlife, and historical structures. There is also lots of traffic if you don't go early enough, so we have split this up in to the front and back half so that you can have a focus to shoot and still be able to make it out in time to get back for the classes! No hiking involved really unless you choose to walk to one of the cabins, which are not that far from the parking areas. This is the beginning of the loop to Hyatt Lane and then the end of the loop on the backside on the way out.
  • Cades Cove Loop Back 1/2 - You will have to drive the entire loop for this one, but the goal is not to stop to photograph much until you pass Hyatt Lane and can spend more time on the back side of the loop. There are many things to find here including the visitor's center with several historical structures, and the gum swamp (which most people do not even know it is there!). No real hiking involved on this session.
  • Spruce Flats Falls - 1 1/4 mile hike to a beautiful waterfall with the trailhead at Tremont Institute. This is a short, but moderately difficult hike with lots of roots, rocks, and a couple of really steep climbs. If you have any health conditions such as bad knees, hips, heart, or respiratory problems, this is NOT a good field session for you to choose. You do not have to climb boulders to get nice shots of these falls, but I can guarantee you that there will be at least one in the group who will scramble up some boulders and stand in water to get a shot of just the upper falls from a different perspective. Don't feel like you have to do that if you aren't comfortable! This outing will be limited to a smaller group than the others so that there will be enough room for everyone to photograph once you arrive at the falls.
  • Foothills Parkway- This is the go to location to photograph sunrise. It is not a long drive from the resort and there is no hiking involved unless you choose to go up to Look Rock tower which is about 1/2 mile. Beautiful vistas along the pulloffs.
  • Elkmont - Walk down Little River Trail which is an easy hike down an old logging road and follow the river along with a few of the old vacation homes that were left standing in that area from a bygone era.
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail - No hiking involved, but you may find yourself wanting to scale some rocks to get the perfect water shot... This is a 9 mile, one way, loop road that is just outside of Gatlinburg. Beautiful wooded areas that start out with pull offs for vistas and overlooks and then descends to follow the river and through some historic settlements.
  • Top of the Mountain - Newfound Gap, Clingman's Dome, etc. - Requires no hiking as everything is at a pull off, parking area, or along the road. We will take you to the top of the mountain (weather & color permitting) and work our way back down through some of the beautiful sites along the way. This one will only be offered once on the first morning (Wednesday) because of the amount of time it takes in travel.
  • Light Painting & the Night Sky - There will be several of these sessions offered because they are insanely popular and we have one instructor who specializes in this very area! However, be cognizant of the fact that you will be out fairly late with these sessions, so you may not want to schedule a morning field session the next day! Please bring a head lamp or small flashlight if you have one.
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