By Eugenia Jones
Earlier this month, McCreary County photographer, Greg Davis, was awarded the prestigious Appy award for his photography during the Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards presentation hosted at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonburg, Kentucky. The Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards (APPYs) are a partnership between Big Sandy Community and Technical College and The Mountain Arts Center. These agencies created the APPYs so that artists and entertainers from within the thirteen states that form Appalachia can be celebrated.
The ceremony, held at the impressive Mountain Arts Center, is a formal, black tie event featuring a red carpet where presenters and honorees are photographed and interviewed for live streaming on social media and television broadcast.
“Prior to the presenter calling out my name in the “Best Photographer” category, I hadn’t given much thought to the possibility of winning the award,” Davis remarked. “It was truly both a shocking and amazing moment when I heard my name announced as the winner. I feel blessed and honored to have received such a prestigious award!”
Davis was completely unaware of being nominated for the award until several months ago when he received a long message via Facebook informing him that he was one of three finalists for the Best Photographer Award. The message contained a link to watch the formal reveal video containing the names of finalists for each award category.
“I didn’t know what to make of all this at first,” Davis said with a grin. “I finally settled in with the knowledge that the awards committee had actually contacted the correct Greg Davis!”
The story of “who” nominated Davis for the award is interesting within itself.
“I finally learned “who” actually nominated me the day after the awards ceremony after I posted a response to congratulatory comments posted on Facebook,” Davis explained. “In my response, I mentioned that some kind, considerate, wonderful person, whose name was still unknown to me, had nominated me. I noted I would like to learn who nominated me so I could extend a very sincere “Thank you” to the person for such a kind gesture.”
Later, Davis received a message via Facebook from his friend, fellow McCreary Countian, Derek Jones. Jones congratulated Davis on winning the award and acknowledged he was the one responsible for nominating Davis.
“I am very thankful Derek took the time to do something so kind and considerate all the while without fanfare or recognition,” Davis said. “It speaks volumes about the kind of person he is, and it is something I will never forget.”
Jones said he accidentally came across the nomination information as he scrolled through Facebook last winter.
“I thought of Greg Davis first,” Jones commented. “I’ve always admired his photography. His photographs actually inspired me to get back out into nature again.”
Davis began his photography “obsession” in 2010 when his wife, Jenny, bought him a new Canon 7D digital camera for his birthday.
“Since then, I’ve taken several hundred thousand photographs, mostly of landscapes, sunsets, and waterfalls,” Davis explained. “However, I’ve also taken lots of family photos and documented family get-togethers along the way. I’ve dabble in portraiture over the past few years and have photographed sports events, prom sessions, senior photo sessions, and one amazing wedding!”
Over the past years, Davis has spent a great deal of time working to highlight the beautiful scenery and attractions of McCreary County. He uses social media to show both tourists and residents what they can see in McCreary County as they walk the trails and ride the scenic railway.
“Jenny and I spend a lot of time outdoors throughout the year, cameras in hand, especially in the springtime when wildflowers are in bloom,” Davis shared. “McCreary County has an incredible variety of wildflowers that rival most any other place in the state.”
Davis’ work can be viewed on the Facebook page, “Greg’s Images.”