About Backwater Stills

You're the reason my car's dirty...

I was born in Texas and spent 38 wonderful years there. Then one fateful day I decided to ditch the ‘burbs and be adventurous, pulled up stakes and moved to a small town in Tennessee.

After the excitement of the move, reality set in. You’ve heard of ‘one stoplight towns’? We didn’t even have a stoplight. There was nothing to do, and it didn’t take me long to realize that if I was stuck in the house all day I was going to lose my mind.

Boredom does strange things to people...

So I started driving around to get out of the house and familiarize myself with my new home. And that’s when I realized I was surrounded by dozens of gorgeous old barns; I even had one on my own property.  My escape turned into a hobby: barn hunting. When cabin fever threatened to take over, I grabbed my camera, jumped in the car, and started shooting.

Barns started to appear on my Facebook feed.

And that’s when it happened.

My work was a big hit with my friends. Some even suggested that I sell my photos. I laughed it off because I’m not a professional photographer. But it got me thinking… they say you should do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Photography was my passion. Barns made me giddy. Why not try?

Appalachia set me free...

I used to sit at a desk all day and crunch numbers at NASA, and now I get to explore the world much like the astronauts I used to work with explore space. I look forward to venturing down roads less traveled, wondering what I might find. Some days I luck into several amazing barns, other days I come home with nothing but the satisfaction that I took a leisurely drive through the countryside.

Black and white photo of Kristy LeBlanc, owner Backwater Stills

Texas will always be home, but Appalachia is where I've put down roots.

When asphalt turns to gravel, which turns to dirt, and – this never happened in the suburbs – suddenly there’s a creek in the middle of the road, it can really get my adrenaline pumping. But that’s usually where the magic is: the old homesteads, the quiet havens, the picturesque barns. Not every barn is a superstar but when I see one, I know it. And nothing makes me happier.

Thank goodness for 4-wheel drive!

If you’ve found your way to Backwater Stills, you probably share that same sense of adventure whether you get to act on it or not. And you may not have room for a barn in your backyard, but maybe you have room for one in your living room. Or your purse. Or your kitchen cabinet.

I photograph the countryside for people like us. You are the reason my car is dirty… but I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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Filmstrip of seven images by Backwater Stills for website homepage and wall art page

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