Before we share your story..

Photo taken by Daniel Riddle | Jacob Qualls Photography

let me tell you mine..

My name is Jacob. I’m a self-taught photographer, videographer, drone operator, and a creative at heart - ranging from this website to logos to car wrap installations. If it's custom - I am interested.

On the photography side of things, I was gifted my first camera when I was 12 by my Mother, who unfortunately is no longer here. We noticed that I was able to capture a bolt of lightning with my cell phone and asked: "What could I do with a real camera?" - this is where the story begins.

The Story Continues

When I was gifted the camera, I immediately had a connection to chasing light. Anything from macro shots of flowers to landscapes of our storm systems. Once I felt like I got the hang of my gear and could guess what settings I needed my camera in to get the look I was going after - I started contacting local bands. You know, those bands with the members that have regular day jobs, and happen to play an instrument, all get together and play some songs at some little hole-in-the-wall bar; that smoke-filled atmosphere, the loud talking drunks, the broken hearts, the cheaters, and the ones who are there for pure entertainment from the band that's pouring their hearts out?

Yeah, that sketchy place.

My first paid gig was when I was 16, I was underage, but I was working and the band got me in free of charge and I made $50 for the whole night and all the images I thought were decent. That was a dream come true - I was getting PAID for my photography!

Fast-forward a couple of years, and boy was it a trip, I have a client list of several bands, some local and some international touring bands!

Third Eye Blind, Corey Smith, Thomas Rhett, Lewis Brice, and the list goes on - but I felt like it was missing something. It just wasn't sitting right that I didn't do anything all week and I was just living for the weekend.

I had some great experiences but something was missing.

Keep going another few years, up until this point I had used Nikon - the gifted one was a D3000 and I had upgraded to a D5000 and a few lenses.

Well, I was having issues with getting the color I was looking for, no image I took was hitting the spot, I just couldn't make the images work, even with an upgraded tools for the job, it just wasn't working and my patience grew thin - so I sold everything I owned.

I switched to Canon over 10 years ago and I have used a PLETHORA of them!

T3, T5, T5i, SL1, SL2, 1Dmki, 1Dmkiii, 5DS, 5Dmki, 1DXmki, R, RP, and now the R6 is my daily - these are off the top of my head, I'm sure I had some more.

Since switching to Canon, my photography work has flourished, honestly. I know it's normally "It's what you get used to" but I learned everything on Nikon, and Canon is still better in my opinion - I am also fully aware that it is just a tool, and some jobs require certain specs - other than that, I really do love my Canon gear.

I have now added Sony Alpha systems to my collection and primarily use a Sony A7Riv.

Jump to 2018, I met a fantastic human being named Daniel Riddle - a fellow Photographer and Conservationist.

After bumping into each other a few times randomly, we had gotten to know each other and he then invited me to go with him to see some Wood Storks.

To this point - I had not even HEARD of a Wood Stork, and he gave me the spill of them looking like dinosaurs, and they were endangered, and they have had a fantastic conservation story, etc.....

So I join him. The first time out to see Wood Storks and there's a whole family of Storks!

Let me set the scene:

Father Stork is hunting for its food, kids are making noise and splashing and just completely disregard the dad trying to get some food.

Dad then stands as tall as he could, extends his wings out to the extremes, and the kids just stare at him - stopping all movement, INSTANTLY!

Dad Stork then brings his wing tips nearly together - think the "Daytime, Nighttime" bird - and gives the kids a lesson in catching their food.

The kid storks start feeding, catching sticks mostly, and then it happens - one kid stork picks up a fast-food cup lid and is ecstatic about his catch,

I snapped pictures of this, as did Daniel, and then we both just looked at each other with disgust and said "Humans" and we left.

That Wood Stork set a fire in my soul like nothing I have ever felt,

I shared it online, just on my Facebook business page, and it got 1,000's of views overnight and I thought:

"WOW, I might make something happen with this, I may be able to get enough eyes on this issue, and maybe bring some change?"

That's what set the ball rolling and it hasn't stopped yet - the fire inside just keeps growing, daily.

Between that point in 2018 and now,

I have helped SCELP (South Carolina Environmental Law Practice) win cases,

Worked with Emma DeLaughry on her Documentary film - "Macroplastics in South Carolina Waters: Connecting The Midlands To The Coast",

EIOLT (Edisto Island Open Land Trust), Visit Smokies - Smoky Mountain Host, Professional Photographers of America, and many more.

I have been published a couple of handfuls of times and have won numerous awards.

My work with SCELP has helped protect the environments of two different endangered species,

has kept a pipeline from being built through ancestral lands,

and kept a plethora of animals and animals safe from water quality issues - along the Great Pee Dee River system.

With all of this comes a great deal of accomplishment. It makes me feel like the skill set I have is worth something.

Please Contact Me today to get the ball rolling.

"Whether You Think You Can Or Think You Can't, You're Right"

  • Henry Ford