Personal | Nashville Cats, Film, and Chasing Dreams

Last week, my mom and I took a trip to Nashville, leading up to and during the trip she’d randomly bust out some lines from the song “Nashville Cats”.  If you have never experienced, here is a youtube of what you’ve been missing.  I apologize and also giggle a bit for the somewhat weird video.  I just can’t seem to get the silly tune out of my head, I thought you may get a kick out of it and maybe even look at the rest of this post while it plays, for the super Nashville experience 😛

The purpose of the trip was at first for me to attend a seminar called the Fix held by one of my favorite international wedding photographers, Jasmine Star.  My mom and I took the opportunity to hang a little more and make it a 3 night trip, getting to explore for a couple days.  We packed up her car two Sundays ago and rode off to the south.  I brought along my “new” film camera, the Canon EOS 3, digital camera, the Canon 5d mark ii, the hope of a relaxing time with my mom, and business dreams.  Here is who greeted us everyday outside of our hotel, shot with film 🙂

We kept it chill the first night by settling in our room and gathering some tourist pamphlets from the lobby. One of the pamphlets caught my eye with several testimonials, one being,  “Al Gore, Princess Anne, and just about any Country Star you could name have all pulled up a chair to Loveless Café’s red checkered tablecloths.”  ~ Country America.  Woah.  And they have world famous biscuits?!  I’m in!  So, that was our first dinner in Nashville and man it was the country cooking I was craving.

Monday we decided to go to the shop featured on the show American Pickers, my parents are HUGE fans.  If you’re not familiar, these guys are experts at finding and selling unique antiques.  The shop was filled with just that and my love for photographing details was bursting with anticipation.

Next, we went to the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, a town just outside Nashville. It became an on- site hospital when one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War took place in nearby fields.  The home was transformed into a medical center where surgeons worked around the clock to save injured soldiers.  So many procedures took place that blood stains are still noticeable on the wood floors throughout the plantation.  Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside, but the grounds were gorgeous.  And who would’ve known?!  Some local wedding vendors had set up a shoot to showcase some cakes and flowers.  Wish I could have caught their names!  This first image is from my film camera.

(below is another film image 🙂 )

(the cemetery,  my mom, and bird’s nest are film)

After the plantation we headed back into downtown Nashville, strolled some cool shops, and ate dinner.  We called it a somewhat early night and planned to see more places Tuesday before my seminar.  Welllll, early in the morning I started to get sick, and continued to get sick about every hour until mid-day Tuesday.  Pretty sure I got food poisoning from Monday’s dinner 🙁  Though we didn’t get to go more places around town that day which was a bummer, I still had to put on my “I feel well enough to meet Jasmine” face for later that evening.  I managed to keep a banana down before walking out the door with my camera and notebook, ready to be starstruck and learn.

I attended the Fix knowing little about what would be discussed.  I went with the hope that if I learned just a couple pointers and got to meet Jas that it would be worth it.  What I walked away with was much more.  I came back with new friendships, a stronger belief in myself, clearer goals, the courage to make changes; to dream and push myself to my potential as a photographer.  I will no longer be afraid to move forward and that is what my promise is to myself and business.  Because like Jasmine said, ” Staying safe doesn’t move you forward.”  That sentence has set me free.

The following morning we headed back to St. Louis.  I reminisced on the priceless time with my mom, making new friends at the Fix,  and meeting Jasmine.  As we passed through the rolling hills of Kentucky and into Illinois, my imagination took me to the future.  A future where dreams were reality, and I realized I am ready to reach for them.

I took the film camera along to Nashville not expecting much.  Afterall, I just bought it and the last time I shot film was back in high school.  I didn’t finish off the roll in Nashville, so my husband and I took a photo adventure around the Katy Trail by the Family Arena and our own yard 🙂  That is what this final series of images is all about.  I have to say my love for the natural, stunning colors of film is stronger than ever after getting back the scans.  It has me dreaming of shoots with golden light and bokeh that resembles a painting.  After Nashville, I feel free to chase the coattails of my ambitions… and to take my film camera along.

I leave you with another quote from Jasmine:

JD (my husband) turned to me and said,

” I’d rather see you fail at something you love,

than succeed at something you hate.”

Life is too short, friends, to be doing something that makes you anything but happy.  I hope that you feel free to dream big ***