David Cockerham Owner, Mirrorslap Photography

As a wedding, portrait, and landscape photographer, David found plenty of work opportunities while living in Richmond, Va. But during his busy city life, he was always longing to be in a more peaceful place. A few years ago he decided it was time to make a move to the mountains, where he has found even more inspiration. “Highland is the perfect place to be a photographer,” he says.

“The landscape is like a built-in studio, and the scenic beauty continues to inspire my work, reminding me why I wanted to leave the bustling city to find a quieter life.”

Surrounded by Creativity

David wears many hats to make his lifestyle in Highland work. In addition to being a photographer, he’s a sports writer for the local newspaper and a social media manager for a log home contractor. He also runs a bed and breakfast with his mother in Monterey. David’s fiancée, Sarah, juggles a day job with her own soap-making business. This industrious spirit drives many of the artists living in the county.
“There are so many creative folks in Highland,” David says. “You really almost have to be to live here, and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of a hardworking, self-made community.”

Embracing Community

David admits that small-town life in the mountains means missing some metropolitan entertainment options. But as trade-offs he gets to enjoy the fresh air and a family-oriented community that often meets at the local farmer’s market and other gatherings. “We like to spend time with our family and friends,” he says. “Whether it’s cookouts or campfires in the backyard, this community is always organizing things to do together.”