Earlier this year I was asked to shoot some photos of The Hermitage in Nashville Tennessee for an editorial assignment in American Spirit Magazine. This historical landmark is perfect for my “Made in America” blog series so I wanted to share it with you all. The Hermitage is a plantation and a museum that attracts tourists from all over the country. It was owned by President Andrew Jackson from 1804 until his death in 1845. The magazine article centered around Andrew Jackson’s historical home, what inspired him to build this beautiful living space and the history behind his historical mansion. A copy of the article can be found here!
As a photographer I love the opportunity to shoot in new places and the challenge of figuring out the best method for creating beautiful photos. Often, dealing with composition challenges, mixing different light elements and balancing color all while on a time constraint makes for a stressful photo shoot. I always do as much research in advance so that I can be prepared when I show up. This shoot proved to be very challenging because the rooms in the mansion were climate controlled and closed off to the public with a solid piece of plexi-glass on each door entrance of every room. I was also on a time constraint and had to shoot while they were giving tours to visitors (bus loads full of people). In order to try and flag out reflections I had the photo editor and the VP of marketing & sales at the Hermitage help by holding up a black cloth behind me covering the plexi while I shot each room with the camera on a tripod. Because I had to shoot right up against the plexi I had to use a wide lens and get the best angle possible within my parameters.
I was unable to use any photo lights and had to rely on long and multiple exposures to capture each location. We had to move fast and work in between the guided tours so not to interfere and in order to keep people out of some of the shots. I used NIK software and photoshop to edit some of the reflections in post as well as fixing some of the angle perspectives due to using a wide angle lens. Although I can see some of the imperfections from the plexi-glass reflections, in the end I was able to create some beautiful images regardless of the limitations.
If you live in Nashville and you haven’t visited The Hermitage you should check it out! The mansion is located on a large area of land offering beautiful scenery as well as the well known garden that Andrew Jackson created for his wife Rachel. The Hermitage is located at 4580 Rachels Lane Nashville, TN 37076 (615) 889-2941.
I continue to look for interesting story ideas in the Nashville area and need help finding unique small business individuals. If you are a small business owner with a story, offer a unique product and/or service or know of someone please let me know! Message me with your suggestion and your phone number so I can review it and contact you if I feel it will work with this new blog series. If chosen I will schedule a photoshoot, write up a story line with your approval, post it within my blog and social media space and market it across the web. I will also allow you to use the blog link for your own promotion. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
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*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog posts are ©2013 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content (other than sharing the link) must be agreed upon in writing.
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Outstanding Photography work, Sheri!
The image of the staircase is off the hook. The natural spiral of life…
The plexi-glass situation does sound challenging but you have met that challenge extremely well. These are beautiful images providing a great sense of place.
Thank you Denise!