Knoxville Photographer, Knoxville FilmmakerMy story begins in the 80s—June of 1988, to be precise. Born and raised in Murfreesboro, Tenn., I grew up right outside of Nashville in what we affectionately call the “Belt Buckle” of the “Bible Belt”.

You can discover my story organized by different chapters of my life. They aren’t necessarily chronological, but some chapters do build on others. Click on a chapter title to read my story.

Christ-follower Family Man Missionary Visual Artist Young Entrepreneur Eagle Scout Musician Athlete

My Story

[toggle Title=”Christ-follower”] Growing up in a strong Biblically Christian home gave me an early understanding of the most fantastic story I’ve ever heard—the story of Jesus. At the ripe young age of 10 (July 26, 1998), I understood the basic concepts of becoming a Christian (as well as a 10-year-old can), and decided to believe Jesus’ story by accepting him as my personal Savior. As I grow older I realize each day that I desperately need God’s saving grace more and more.

As a high school sophomore, I started a daily prayer group that met before school with two friends. One morning in January, two of us met as usual, but our third core member, Ellen, didn’t show up—which was very unlike her. Later, we discovered she had been in a fatal car accident on the way to our prayer group, which was devastating. She was a faithful Christian and a senior whom I looked up to, and her death inspired a lot of inner spiritual growth for me.

Moving away for college was the first time I’d ever lived in another place than home (I now thoroughly despise moving). I’d also never truly been challenged in my faith until I attended the University of Tennessee, which is common among those growing up in the “Bible Belt.” While I immediately involved myself with a great church in Knoxville, I allowed myself to be tempted by the new opportunities and freedoms in college.

For the majority of my sophomore and junior years, I left the church and pursued a casual life of partying, alcohol, girls, and apathy. While this was exciting on a surface level, it was not fulfilling in the least. The things that I really wanted, I couldn’t have at the time—so I settled for the instant gratification of this lifestyle. From a spiritual perspective, I became cold and cynical to the culture of church, believing I could have individual faith and pursue my beliefs on my own. Despite my obvious change of priorities, my mom and dad never stopped loving me—which really made all the difference.

The summer before my (first) senior year at UT, my mom encouraged me to try attending church again—which she’d done so many times before. This time, however, I had realized the life I had been pursuing for close to two years had only led to emptiness, a lack of direction, and no fulfillment whatsoever—so I thought it was worth a shot. I met with the college pastor at Calvary, Joe, and  he welcomed me back to the church with open arms and no questions…even putting me into a leadership role which I felt I had no business holding.

As it turns out, leading the Tech Team was something I needed to truly pull myself out of my mental and spiritual depression. I began to see my work with technology as a ministry, and I had something to focus on doing well that was fulfilling. Even so, I was still cynical to the church culture the next January, when I attended the Passion Conference and something finally clicked for me.

Having been inside, outside, and back inside the church, I have a better understanding as to why people in both situations do and think the way they do—and it has given my spiritual life with God a new dimension, both internally and externally. I am very blessed to have a loving and supportive church family at Calvary in Knoxville, and I welcome the opportunity to introduce anyone who is seeking a spiritual direction to come with me. (Contact me if you want to visit.)[/toggle]

[toggle Title=”Family Man”] My family has been an undeserved blessing to me my entire life. I have two fantastic parents, Eric and Karen, who love me unconditionally and don’t have or understand Facebook. My sister, Lauren, is a hipster pursuing a life of foreign missions and is a creative inspiration to me as well.

My maternal grandparents, Mawmaw and Pawpaw, showed me the definition of a Biblically-based marriage and were head-over-heels for each other. Though they both passed away when I was in middle school, I still have very fond memories of Pawpaw taking me to baseball games, delivering Sunday sermon tapes to those that couldn’t attend church, and many other adventures as a kid.

My paternal grandparents were a bit more complicated, as my Grandma, Marie, divorced my natural Grandpa Ed and remarried to Grandpa (Bob, though we didn’t call him that). They taught me that sometimes family love isn’t easy, but it’s the most important. I also got my middle name, Kirkman, from my dad, who got it from his great-grandfather—so I’m carrying on the name five generations later.

Some of my best friends growing up were my cousins and second-cousins…too many to name but all great friends of mine to this day.

I am enjoying life as a husband to Elizabeth, my incredible and beautiful wife, and I’ll soon be a dad![/toggle]

[toggle Title=”Missionary”]I attended the same Passion Conference for the second consecutive year as a brand-new college graduate (with a job) but no direction for how God would specifically use my skills in long-term ministry. During the conference, God powerfully revealed to me that my ministry would be to the people of Haiti. It was a relief to have a direction, but I still had no connections to develop a ministry with the Haitian people—and I’d never been to Haiti.

The next month, someone from church asked me to produce a promotional video for an organization (the Chadasha Foundation) that works in Haiti and I immediately jumped at the chance. During filming, I met the founder of the organization and within five minutes he invited me to travel to Haiti to document a new pediatric heart surgery program for Chadasha. The following month I traveled to Port-Au-Prince on a church mission trip for the first time and fell in love with the culture and the people.

In three months, God had taken me from directionless to having a specific focus and an organization to serve through. Over the following months I began to do more and more for Chadasha, and in November of that year I did end up documenting the surgeries that the founder had invited me to do the first time he met me. During that trip, the executive director asked if I wanted to formally join the organization.

Today, I’m the Director of Media for Chadasha, which is a volunteer position. I love the mission work we do so much that at 23-years-old, I left my full-time position at a major cable network to start a business built on giving back to this fantastic organization.[/toggle]

[toggle Title=”Visual Artist”] Young ProdigyApparently, I had an interest in photography at a very young age (photo taken at approx. 4-years-old). I don’t remember this picture or my first “camera,” but surely that heavy-duty piece of equipment will be worth a fortune one day. In sixth grade, I got into trouble after turning in a report on Switzerland (my parents had recently traveled there) because the report looked too much like a magazine spread (according to my teacher). After consulting with my father, we assured her that I had natural print design skills and was a whiz at using “Serif Page Plus 3.0”. My visual talents further developed when my best friend and I made comical weekly announcement videos for our youth group at church. This is the evidence that I am a photo, video, and design prodigy (but not really).

It was during college that I began to truly develop my visual artistic talents intentionally as well. I connected with a group of creative students that loved to produce short films, a love of mine that I had lost in the previous years. I worked with the student TV station, the student news website, as well as holding internships at Scripps Networks, the NewsChannel5 Network, and the Tennessee Smokies, all in production. My love for visual arts and content creation began to be nurtured again and, this time, developed into a real career.[/toggle]

[toggle Title=”Young Entrepreneur”] My entrepreneurial spirit began in middle school, as I started my own lawn care business using a push mower and made some phenomenal money for my age. Looking back, I realize this gave me a false sense of what it’s like to run a business, and I made almost everything mistake I could make.

Today, I own and manage my own visual communications and production company, Moser Visuals. You can find out more about it in the “What I Do” section.[/toggle]

[toggle Title=”Eagle Scout”] An accomplishment that I am very proud of is my achievement of the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America: Eagle Scout. Since 1911, only two percent of Boy Scouts attained the rank of Eagle Scout. It takes a lot of merit badges, camping trips, and time to achieve this rank, but it was such a great experience for me. My father also incentivized me to achieve the Eagle Scout rank by not allowing me to get my driver’s license until I had earned the patch.

In addition to attaining Eagle Scout, I was also very honored to be recognized by my peers, as they elected me as their Senior Patrol Leader and voted me into the “Order of the Arrow,” the national honor society of the Boy Scouts, of which I am now a Brotherhood (lifelong) member. [/toggle]

[toggle Title=”Musician”]  It seems like everyone says they have a passion or love for music, but only musicians can truly understand this labor of love. In fourth grade, I joined the school band by picking up a trumpet and immediately tried to play common bugle calls (because they didn’t require learning the fingerings). Even though I was terrible, I stuck with it, eventually playing in a variety of bands (concert, marching, jazz, latin, pep, orchestra, musical pit, cover) from elementary school to college, winning many awards, traveling across the country, and achieving the slightest amount of fame in Knoxville from a small band called “Siren”.

Music provided me the opportunity to march in the Presidential Inauguration Parade in 2008, witness two NCAA Basketball National Championships from floor seats, and meet many incredible people. I still enjoy playing jazz and worship music.[/toggle]

[toggle Title=”Athlete”] Athletics has always been a great interest to me, both to participate in and to watch. My phenomenally successful sporting career began in tee-ball, but didn’t truly take-off until I hit my first (and last) home-run in little league—an inside-the-park shot. I played third base and outfield for the 3rd-place runner-up team (4th place) in the state tournament my eighth grade year, and now use my talents to dominate adult rec-league softball with my church.

In high school, I was a four-year letter winner on the varsity men’s tennis team, winning more matches than anyone else during my four years at the school. My tennis career fizzled during the district tournament my senior year. After knocking off the 2-seed in the first round, I found myself up four-games-to-zero in the first set of the second round—only to lose 12 straight games in the most epic collapse in district history (I assume).

Today, I enjoy playing tennis, softball, basketball, and a new sport: spikeball. I also keep up with pro baseball, pro football, college football, college basketball, and casually follow pro basketball, pro tennis, and women’s basketball.

Fantasy football is also a hobby of mine, and winning two of the past three championships in my league makes me consider leaving my business and pursuing a career as an NFL general manager.[/toggle]

My Likes

[toggle Title=”General Interests”]

  • Family
  • Coffee
  • Baseball
  • Photography
  • Going to the movies
  • Camping/Hiking/Outdoors
  • Traveling
  • Creating
  • Learning

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[toggle Title=”My Sports Teams”]

In order of how closely I follow and root for the team:

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Tennessee Volunteers and Lady Volunteers
  • Tennessee Titans
  • MTSU Blue Raiders (hometown love!)
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Nashville Predators

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[toggle Title=”My TV Shows”]

  • Friday Night Lights
  • LOST
  • Breaking Bad
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Modern Family
  • The Office
  • Arrested Development
  • Parks and Rec
  • Shark Tank
  • Community
  • New Girl
  • Nashville
  • The Tudors
  • Downton Abbey

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