JT Blenker, Cr. Photog., CPP
Photographic Craftsman, Certified Professional Photographer
JT Blenker turned the trip of a lifetime traveling through out the country into a career in photography focusing on our sky’s, elusive for many, Milky Way Galaxy. His professional journey has gone from working for some of the most prestigious Fortune 500 companies to becoming a landscape and night sky photographer that's created engaging workshops where the focus is on developing aspiring photographers into even better artists. The core tenets for every workshop is seeing and understanding light, becoming a creator with intention, and making images into artistry.
JT realized that passion, family, and happiness are the cornerstones of living a great life, and as an artist being true to yourself and engaging in experiences that move you are central to passion and creativity. Becoming engaged with the Professional Photographers of America's national, state, and local affiliates has allowed him to build heartfelt relationships with some of the best photographers alive today, as he shares his knowledge, engaging stories, and expertise through his astrophotography and landscape workshops throughout the USA. Recently, JT became a staff writer for Fstoppers and now can contribute to the photographic and artistic community on an incredible scale and hopes to grow more as a speaker, writer, and educator.
Getting a bit more in depth...
I'm a Buffalo, New York native that has moved to the great state of Texas! I arrived in Dallas in the spring of 2013 with the intention of a new career and kind of fell into just that with photography.
Image making and capture took root in me with an old film camera from school and wanting to and figuring out how to shoot star trails. That was 9th grade earth science and I'm still trying to take photos of the night sky. Who would have thought that I would be chasing the same dreams so many years later. Even though my experience with photography started at a young age, and I worked in a photo lab after high school, I wasn't really engaged again until I decided to take a trip.
I was truly in a funk. The time had come where I wanted and needed a desperate change to the every day hustle and bustle. The kind of change where you get rid of anything holding you back and you fill up your gas tank and go. I stopped dreaming about doing it and just did it. I came up with this crazy idea to go on an epic road trip. I packed up my apartment, bought a new DSLR (y'know, to document my travels), and left in the middle of a snow storm. I spent three months driving the coasts of the USA from the northeast down the east coast to Marco Island, past the Gulf of Mexico where I played Tenor Saxophone on the streets of NOLA, pit stops in the Grand Canyon, to the Pacific coast and San Diego, and all the way up to Seattle stopping along the way to walk through the Red Wood National Park. This entire time I had my camera, a tent, and the permission to myself that I could do anything I wanted, everyday.
I swam in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and slept next to the Pacific for weeks on end (which is illegal and frowned upon as I found out). I hiked the Grand Canyon, and had a beer brought down from pack mules by the Colorado River. (I lost a few toe nails to the Grand Canyon trails.) I traveled the mountain ranges along both coasts. I went to Yellowstone to experience the wildlife and landscape and found out what a grizzly bear looks like up close. These travels lasted like this for over three months and it was an amazing trip. That is how I started my way back into photography.
That trip is why I've been pursuing photography ever since. Living all those wonderful moments through a rather rushed, and not so well-conceived adventure made me realize that I want to hold onto the things, and places, and people around me. I believe photography is so important to that end. It takes a level of skill and understanding that anyone with time, patience, and sheer will can learn for themselves.
JT Blenker, Cr. Photog., CPP - PPA
Board Member - Director of Communications - Dallas PPA
Speaker, Educator, and Mentor