It's the Nashville "welcome sign" isn't it!
I moved to Nashville in the Fall of 1997, a fresh, but seasoned art school graduate, ready to take on Music City. Everyone I met said, "Oh ya gotta go to the Loveless!" I spent the fall, winter of that year and most of the following year freelancing and looking for a steady job. Summer came and I finally got around to trying out the Loveless. As many know, there is a substantial wait time to be seated for a meal (of course it is always worth the wait). As my name was called to be seated I got phone call that I excused myself to take. It was the call I had been waiting for 2 weeks to get. On the other end was the editor of the Nashville Business Journal, informing me that I had been hired as their very first full time photojournalist!
So, as it turned out, my first time eating at the Loveless was a celebratory lunch. My fellow table-mates cheered when I shared the news. They disrupted the dinning room, everyone looked over and of course I had to inform the entire restaurant that I had recently moved to Nashville and I got a job. All the diners and staff cheered, and I got a free cobbler that day.
I made this photo of the iconic sign before the renovation of the entire property. A complete re-do of the restaurant and grounds, adding retail space and event venues. The place is beautiful and inviting and remains one of my favorite Nashville landmarks. I often reminisce about the friendly, dingy, old meat and three, biscuit capital of the world where I got some of the best news of my career. I haven't been there in a few years, due to becoming a vegetarian and the global pandemic and all, but I am looking forward to stopping in to enjoy the atmosphere and a big vegetable plate soon. Here's a good tip from a local to avoid long wait times. Call in a to go order, pick it up and eat it outside at one of the many picnic tables! Cheers! Go to the Loveless Cafe on Highway 100, just before the entrance to the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Ballerina in Training
I am pretty sure the year was 1996. I was a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh when I was assigned a task by my Photojournalism professor Barry Lavery to do a photo essay. It had to be specific and it had to have a unique story that showed the beginning or an end. I had always been interested in dance (photographically speaking), but I didn't know anyone in Pittsburgh. Someone in the admissions dept. had a relative who had a teenager who was a really good ballet dancer. That was when I met 15 year old Brooke Moore. I spent a total of 3 days with Brooke and her family and friends, photographing and talking about her last few months in Pittsburgh. I found out she wasn't just good at Ballet, She was awesome and had been accepted to the San Francisco Ballet Theatre School. Below is an image from a portrait session we had at the studio in Pittsburgh where she trained. This is one of the photos I took early on where I discovered a passion and affinity for what is referred to in the newspaper business primarily as the Environmental Portrait.
An alternative portrait can be simple or complex. Sometimes all you need is a cool hat and interesting background to make an evocative image.
A Blog, to find out what's going on in the world of a recovering media professional. Enjoy
Todd Stringer• photographer