Learning in the Off-Season
January is considered the off-season for many in photography. For North Western, Pennsylvania, the weather is cold and grey. Sometimes there is snow but often there isn’t. I look outside and see beautiful golds and browns and greens and blues but those below 40° temps make it hard to tolerate a portrait session outside. So this is the time of year that I focus on learning and developing my business and first up, was a trip to Nashville.
This year that meant a trip to the Professional Photographers of America’s Imaging Conference and Trade show in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve been a member of PPA almost since starting my business. It’s a great resource for information as well as a group that continually tries to support photographers and build the industry. This year, I planned on meeting one of my best friends in Nashville for her first time attending Imaging.
Our visit included site-seeing in downtown Nashville as well as attending so many talks and exploring the convention center and resort.
I tend to be a more anxious traveler so having Teresa with me was perfect for getting me to be more adventurous. Teresa is a portrait photographer based just outside of Portland, Oregon who also loves to travel and has been all over the US with a group of photographers that we met years ago online. Teresa knew that if she was going to Nashville, she was going to visit the city and drag me along with her.
*For this trip, I alternated between using my cell phone (LG G6) and my mirrorless (Fuji x-T20)
Our first stop was 2nd Avenue near the Wildhorse Saloon. That’s where the shuttle bus dropped us off to begin exploring. It was raining a bit so we ducked into shops when we could to avoid getting completely soaked.
We spent a ton of time just taking in the atmosphere. Nashville is a party town or at least it was on Saturday. The town was celebrating the Titans being in Sunday’s playoff game for the Superbowl. Streets were closed off with stages being built. Restaurants and bars had their windows open and live music filled the air. The energy and excitement were amazing to watch.
After walking the streets, we headed to the Johnny Cash Museum.
I’m not a huge country music fan but I do like Johnny Cash, both his music and his story.
In this hallway, one side displayed all of his record singles while on the opposite side were the album covers. I wanted to get his image reflected in the glass of the record.
After the museum, we grabbed food at Luke Bryan’s restaurant- Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge. Lots of musicians have restaurants in Nashville and Luke’s had some pretty good food (that was also gluten-free).
Over the Bridge: John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, Nashville
After eating, we headed over to the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to get some views of the skyline.
I also brought out my Lensball to play around with. It’s a glass ball that creates reflections. I’m still getting the hang of how best to use it but I’m happy with the start.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
This was my second time visiting this convention center and I’m still amazed at how huge it is. There are several atria with tropical gardens and waterfalls to walk around and enjoy. There are dozens of different restaurants and shops. And of course, there are huge halls for the trade show and talks. Taking photos in the convention center was fun but really I was focused on learning (pun intended) 🙂
I have to admit, I left Nashville with lots of images to work on as well as new inspiration and ideas for my business. I can’t wait to share all that’s to come in 2020!