The Annual Meet Up – Nashville

I believe now more than ever it’s important to make time to see those folks that are important to you. Folks that make you laugh. Folks that challenge you. Folks that make you better. I’m happy to say that for the last 10 years or so, I have been part of, and the occasional driver, behind an annual meet up. Sometimes they are small, quick getaways. Sometimes they are camping trips. Sometimes they are heavy, photo focused trips. Sometime they are stupid fun death marches through some crazy bicycle route. Each year I look forward to our meetings because I get so much out of them. I can honestly say that I have never returned home from one of these trips un inspired.

Photo above by JB Moore

I really thought that this year’s edition might not occur. The big trip I had wanted to do with a larger group simply was not in the cards for many so a smaller meet up was thrown out there. Even so, it was challenging. I had just been gone for a month. My friends are in crazy busy times of their lives. In the end we found a destination and a long weekend that would work for all of us. Nashville it is. Because we were so busy, we really did little research. We found a nice Air BNB not too far out of Downtown and that’s all we planned. We were going to arrive, walk, discover and just let the path unveil itself along the way.

This trip was certainly very different than trips in the past. We weren’t even that serious about photography. Granted, the temps were quite cool to walk around so that put a damper on our photography as well. It seems, though, that our desire was to simply connect and continue to build our friendship as well as continue to work through some of the common things that have emerged over several of our last visits and text strings.

One of the themes of this trip was about social media and how it is killing personal expression and creativity. It seems the general masses and drive to simply create content to get likes and monetize is more important that building community, real friendships and sharing art. Granted, this isn’t entirely true, but there is certainly something there about posting and getting likes or comments and that. There was a lot of discussion about creating and sharing just for yourself. I have written about this in the past, but I continually need to hear it. I like photography because it challenges me and I have so much to learn. I love photography because I have a love affair with life and seeing. I don’t do photography because I am trying to build a huge audience or monetize it. I create for me and I share it because I like sharing it. It helps me process both the learning as well as file away the thoughts and memories into my brain.

OK then….How was Nashville? It was awesome. Honestly, I loved it more than I thought I would. I am not a huge country western music fan so I thought I would sorta hate the music scene. That said, I was simply blown away and loved it. We saw live music every single day. My highlights were the acoustic shows as well as one jazzy performance. All in all I think I saw 10 different live shows over the few days. We ate endless Nashville hot chicken. Had a few too many Old Fashioned’s and even got to see some old friends and family that had moved to the Nashville area on a couple of the morning. I’d go back again for sure…..Just this time I’d go back with at least a rough plan!

As I shared, this trip wasn’t entirely about photography, but I have a few shots that I liked as well as some others that I wanted to share. All images were shot on a Fuji X Pro 1 that is 10+ years old.

We also set a location for next year. Next year we are going to New York and plan to invite and meet up with a few more folks. Early November.

Thanks for coming by and checking out my little place on the www!

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