Summit Leaders


RC Concepcion

RC is an award winning photographer and author of the best selling books “Get Your Photography On the Web” and “The HDR Book – 2nd Edition” by Peachpit Press.

An Adobe Certified Instructor in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, RC has over 16 years in the I.T. and ecommerce industries and spends his days developing content for all applications in the Adobe Creative Suite. RC also worked with Adobe in to write the Adobe Certified Expert exam for Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, and Lightroom 5.

A sought after public speaker, he has held training seminars around the world, and has served as guest instructor for the Digital Landscape Workshop Series with Moose Peterson, Advanced Flash Photography at Jade Mountain with Joe McNally, His Light workshops with famed landscape photographer Bill Fortney, The Voices That Matter web conference in San Francisco, and Gulf Photo Plus in the United Arab Emirates.

Teaching at the Summit:  TBA


Bill FortneyBill Fortney

Bill Fortney is a photographer,writer, pilot, and highly sought after presenter with over 47 years of experience in-the-field.  Bill has done professional work as a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, sports photographer, (once an official photographer for the Washington Redskins), medical photographer, and nature/landscape photographer.

Bill’s best selling books include;  The Nature of America (with David Middleton), American Vision (with David Middleton, John Shaw and Wayne Lynch),  America From 500 Feet (with Wesley Fortney),  Bill Fortney’s Great Photography WorkshopAmerica From 500 Feet II (with Mark Kettenhofen).  Bill’s books have sold well over 150,000 copies, placing him on the list of best selling photographer/authors in America. Bill is also the author of 11 eBooks on photography.  Bill has been named a Fellow by the North American Nature Photographers Association.  When working as a Nikon NPS Rep for the Southern U.S. he was blessed to work at Shuttle launches, Air Races, Air Shows, The Masters, PGA Championships, NASCAR races, The Kentucky Derby and the Breeder’s Cup. He has worked with NFL teams, college sports programs, universities, colleges, major newspapers, and magazines, law enforcement.

Bill has classes on KelbyOne.  Bill teaches His Light Workshops, a Christian based workshop company and with Jack Graham Photography Workshops.   Bill has been named as a X-Photographer by Fujifilm and uses the Fuji X-Series System exclusively.  You can learn more about Bill, his workshops and view his work at:    Bill also has a Youtube Channel under  Bill Fortney Photography.  Bill, and his wife Sherelene, live in Corbin, Kentucky, and have three grown children and 6 grandchildren.

Teaching at the Summit: TBA



Ken Jenkins

I grew up in Newport, Tennessee, a small town at the foothills to the Great Smoky Mountains.  I spent my early years around folks that care about each other, work very hard, and encourage each other…people that love their country, trust in God, and want for very little.
My outdoor interests were keen as far back as I can remember. My mother and father and brother camped and hiked in the mountains all my young life.  As I look back to those years, I can clearly see that my early locations, associations, and vocations all led to this great pursuit of photographing wildlife and everything else that nature presents.   I had a camera as early as 12 years of age and began to get real serious about my photography in my early twenties. After all of these years, I still get just as excited when I am watching a bear or a beaver as I did when I was young.   My first book (if you could call 28 pages of text and photos a book) came out in 1983. It was titled “A Walk With the Smoky Mountain Bears”. Soon to follow was “Bathed In Glory” a photo essay book on the Cades Cove region of the Smokies. Later on, I wrote a series of wildlife books called “The Wilderness World of…Baby Bears”, “…of River Otters”, “…of White-tailed Deer”, “…of Baby Raccoons”. My first coffee table book was published by Graphic Arts Center Publishing in 1993 and was titled, “Great Smoky Mountains National Park”. Later titles were Reflections of the Grizzly, Reflections of the Wolf, and Reflections of the Black Bear.
We began Pathways to Nature Publishing in the early 90’s and released an assortment of note cards, posters, journals, and other photographic pieces. It has been a wonderful pursuit traveling around this wonderful world and recording the beauty of God’s hand.  I spend time in twelve different national parks each year along with many days along America’s rivers all for a special sixteen year relationship with a corporate client. I climb all over my beloved Smokies where I live on the edge of the park.
My great passion is in the world of birds. They fascinate me and teach me and I love to watch birds more than anything else I observe. I read extensively and especially the old writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to all of the above, I work a lot at the publishing warehouse, the galleries, and the stock photography business. I like to work because everything that I do reminds me of something positive and wonderful in my life.

Teaching at the Summit:  TBA


Mandy Lea

When I was 16 years old I walked into a camera store in Colorado and asked for a job. Despite getting my college degree in Chinese Languages and moving to China, I never left photography – or perhaps photography never left me. Little did I know that would be just the beginning of a 17 year career in photography stores. After spending the last 10 years at Precision Camera & Video in Austin, my wanderlust became unavoidable and I left to pursue freelance photography, live on the road out of my teardrop camper, and maybe learn a thing or two about life.

I have an insatiable desire to explore and document the beauty all around us through photography. Everyday we experience moments – whether secluded in nature or adventuring with friends – I strive to be present in these moments, to be grateful for each one. My camera allows me to create an artistic vision of these experiences. Through my photography and my journey I hope to inspire each person I meet.

BillLeaBill Lea

Bill may best be known for his artistic documentation of deer and bear behavior, the various moods of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Florida Everglades and southern ecosystems.  Photographing in the Smokies since 1975 has afforded this photographer limitless opportunities to observe and record the flora, fauna, and scenery of the region.  He has been teaching photo workshops at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont since 1992. More than 7,000 of Bill’s photos have been published. His work has appeared in Audubon Calendars, BBC Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, numerous Great Smoky Mountains Association publications, National Geographic books, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife, and many others. His three front covers in a row was a first in Field & Stream’s more than 100-year history. Bill authored a coffee-table book titled Great Smoky Mountains Wildlife Portfolio and co-authored Great Smoky Mountains Wonder & Light and Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography. His most recent book, Cades Cove – Window to a Secret World is in its fourth printing. He is currently working on a book about the Florida Everglades. When asked what he would most like to achieve through his photography, Bill replies, “I hope my images will promote a better understanding and appreciation for wildlife, the natural world, and most of all, our Creator.”  Bill says he would be amiss if he failed to mention how truly blessed he is to have such a wonderful and supportive wife – Klari. Her patience and understanding always endures.

Teaching at the Summit:  TBA

Tony Sweet

Tony Sweet

Tony is a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens.

After successful careers as a jazz musician/ educator, and professional magician, Tony settled on photography as his chosen means for personal expression. Beginning as a film photographer, Tony has become facile in image editing software and plugins and is an in-demand speaker throughout the United States and Canada on creativity in the digital age.

Tony and Susan Milestone conduct Visual Artistry photography location workshops in the United States, Canada, and Iceland. Tony maintains an active speaking schedule to photography organizations, industry trade shows and PPA schools across the continental United States and Canada. He also conducts an annual Visual Artistry Creativity Seminar series.

Tony’s photography is published worldwide in every medium and is represented by Getty Images. His iPhone photography is represented by Aurora Photos. Tony’s images are also used by Nikon, MacPhun, Singh Ray, Alien Skin, Topaz, Lensbaby and others for national ad campaigns.

Tony has authored five books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography (’02), Fine Art Flower Photography (’05) Fine Art Nature Photography: Water, Ice, Fog (’07), Fine Art Digital Photography (’09) and HDR Photography (2011). He and Master Photo Workshops have co-produced four photography DVDs: Visual Artistry, HDR Made Easy, Visual Literacy and Flower Photography Artistry, as well as an iPhone instructional video series.

Teaching at the Summit:  TBA


Brett Wells

Brett has a B.A. in Graphic Design from Samford University, an M.F.A. from the University of WestMinster in Photographic Studies, and currently teaches all over the country as a part of being a sales and tech rep for Sigma Photo.  After finishing his Masters, Brett spent two years doing architectural photography for a London real estate firm.  When he moved back to the states, he became an instructor at the Atlanta Institute of Art where he taught a myriad of subjects for seven years.  While at the Art Institute, he had the opportunity to lead several workshops for student groups to locations such as China and Italy.  Even though his job now is defined as a “sales” representative, he is still an educator at heart and you can see that in all that he does.  When asked what is his favorite method of shooting, he will still answer, “4×5 film”.  That is fitting since I don’t think he owned a digital camera until maybe 2009?  He escapes to these mountains any chance he gets and loves leading workshops here because any day in the Smokies with a camera is a good day!

Teaching at the Summit:  TBA








2 thoughts on “Summit Leaders

  1. I’ve just read about each presenter and I’m impressed with the line up. I can’t wait to begin learning from such established, great photographers!


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