Appalachian Academy of Therapeutic Arts: Documentary School Photography

I had the opportunity to spend a beautiful school day in May capturing a “day in the life” series at the Appalachian Academy of Therapeutic Arts: a unique and amazing school dedicated to holistic education in a gloriously nature-based setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC.

I was given free range to wander and shoot freely in my favorite style: artistic documentary photography with an eye for compositions and moments that reveal, resonate, and warm the heart. I enjoyed spending the day capturing activities of 3 student groups– this school currently has students from Kindergarten through Middle School. I happened to be there on a day when the new high school classroom had a handful of older visitors getting a taste of what the future high school experience might be like.

This day was full of magical surprises-  I must say, I was enchanted by everything I got to watch unfold during my visit to AATA, and if you happen to be a parent looking for something different, I would encourage you to check them out. It’s certainly a unique and special school!

If you’re a parent of a student at the school and you enjoy these images, please don’t hesitate to reach out– I also shoot family portrait sessions (the more traditional way) but right now I’m *especially enthusiastic about finding families who would appreciate a day-in-the-life photo series that captures the beauty of their real-world family life in all it’s rawness– that is my current passion, and I know my people are out there…  I am building a new niche offering where I spend a Saturday or other “family time day” photographing your lives (from wakeup through bed-time), delivering a slideshow set to music and a gorgeous book of the best images… I am presently looking for a few more families to document before I relaunch my website to highlight this service. My hope is to find young families who will be excited to have me shoot a new day in the life book every year or 2 as their children grow up, so I can revisit them and capture their lives as they unfold over time. You can view samples of this work here, here and here!

Similarly, I’m looking for other schools who would be interested in having beautiful documentary photography for their website, brochures, and social media, so if you know of another unique school (in the Asheville region or beyond) that would appreciate this work, please put me in touch– email me:

Students at an alternative elementary school entering their rustic open-air classroom at the beginning of a school day


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