Happy Thanksgiving from McClearen Design Studios


Our gift to you this Thanksgiving…  A beautiful song, thoughts of thankfulness, and hopefully a smile.

Click here or on the video above to play the video!

The Story Behind the Video:
A couple of years ago, I was shooting time lapse photography for the opening of a restaurant (Hadley’s Restaurant) located in Jackson, Tennessee.  The 30 second spot concept was an early morning sunrise with narration.  In October of that year, I must have gone to the field where I shot Hadley’s commercial no less than fifteen times.  My dog, BlueJean, and I would head out about 4:15 am…  drive about 10, then walk another 20 minutes to the shot site before the sun would rise.

It was always a time of watching the weather, temperature and cloud formations…  trying to get just the perfect combination for colorful display, clouds that were moving and hopefully there would be a minimum amount of fog, since the scene was close to the river. Many days it was very cold, and cold was great, for it contributed to the color in the sky. Just keep in mind that October is always a great chance to shoot a sunrise!

However, on this particular morning, the fog was socked in thick.  I had experienced this fog that even made it difficult to drive several mornings.  I had also noticed a place on the river where the sun burst through the fog, and I had previously contacted the owners of this property to see if I could photograph in their back yard, while they were probably sleeping! They were gracious enough to give me permission.

I saw the combination of weather elements…  pulled in and set up in their backyard for the display.  I had been photographing for about an hour, and the fog was so very thick that I finally thought…  I am not going to see the sun today!

It had been so very cold during that hour that I had the car seat heaters turned on so BlueJean and I could get a bit of warmth and relief from the bitter cold air.

After quite some time, I gave up on that sun, tore down and packed away the equipment and started to leave… but oh my… my car battery had gone dead.

I thought, great…  hmmm.  Who do I call at 5 am but Sweet Baby James, my poor husband!

At this point, I am pacing around outside on the phone, giving James directions to where I am hidden in the fog…  literally hidden, I say.

Just as I got off the phone, I walk back to the scene to take one last look.  OH MY GOODNESS, the sun was creeping through…  so I set back up and started shooting again! Then, beautiful creatures came out of the darkness and walked right into the scene. Those turkeys could not care less that I was there.  Actually, I was probably on their regular wandering turf!

At one point they started to leave…  but no, I circled around and made a wide loop to herd them back into the camera frame. I must say, I did feel like Mama Turkey coaxing my young’uns back into the scene. And actually, I got some odd looks from those funny birds, looking back at me as I calmly drove their direction!

Meanwhile, I suddenly remember that I have a husband driving in the fog trying to find me…  and calling on the phone that I had left in the car…  since Mama Turkeys do not carry phones.

End of story: Sweet Baby James did find me, got the car running…  and yes, I think he forgave me too… eventually. I must say, the man married an artist…  and I think I am contributing to his becoming a Saint!

Brenda McClearen

Have a Thankful Thanksgiving!
McClearen Design Studios

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Thank you to the Burchfield Brothers for this incredible music that we shared in this scene.