Amanda gets HOTTT (chicken)!!
Every year, the TPS Photography crew loads up for a road (or sometimes plane) trip to Imaging USA, the largest professional photography convention in the world. We are there for education and networking, but you know we have to have some fun along the way!
This year, we loaded up the mini-mini van (no, that's not a typo, our company Mazda 5 is like the clown car of minivans, but it gets us and all of our equipment to any destination) and headed to Music City, USA...Nashville, TN.
This year was a little different than most because two of us at TPS had earned degrees through the Professional Photographers of America, and we got to walk the stage and receive those degrees from the PPA president, Rob Behm. Cathy received two degrees at once, which is nearly unheard of. She received her Photographic Craftsman degree, along with her Master of Photography degree. Chris also received his Photographic Craftsman degree. The Craftsman degree is earned by garnering PPA credits through speaking and educating other photographers. The Masters degree is earned by accumulating PPA credits through excelling at International Print Competition...where the cream of the crop put their best work up against other photographers from around the world. These degrees are an addendum to Chris and Cathy's existing PPA status of Certified Professional Photographer. TPS now has the only Certified Professional Photographers in Morganton, the only Photographic Craftsmen in Morganton, and the only Master Photographer in Morganton. We earn these degrees not for self gratification, but with the intent of upholding the standards of our industry, mastering our craft along the way, and...most importantly...creating a superior product and value for our clients.
Exciting as this was, though, the BEST part of our trip (all of us can agree) was an impromptu lunch trip on a snowy day to Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish. This place is literally a tiny hole in the wall just outside of downtown Nashville. There are some other bigger restaurants which surround it, but based on some local knowledge, we knew we had to try this place. Chris is a spicy food lover, so he walked in and ordered Grouper "hot." The cook, Tracy, immediately strutted out of the kitchen, stared Chris from head to toe and said, "Nah. You want medium." Not to insult the cook, Chris ordered the medium...and it is a good thing that he did, because "medium" in Bolton's world means "holy moly this stuff is blazin'!" As our crew typically does, we quickly made friends with Tracy and his fiance, Keianna, who was the cashier. There were only two other people in the restaurant (Nashville is like Morganton when it's snowing...the whole place shuts down), so we got to spend lots of time chatting with them. Tracy even gave Cathy a free Diet Coke when hers ran out and her mouth was still on fire. He then let us try some of their "hot" spices on some chicken tenders and...well...just scroll to the bottom for the video after you look at the photos LOL.
Needless to say, we will definitely be back to Nashville sometime soon for some Bolton's, and the Nashville Hot wording on the KFC marquee is just sort of offensive now...no way could it live up to the awesomeness which is real Nashville Hot Chicken.
Here are some highlights from TPS Photography's journey to Imaging USA, 2018!
Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish - the best of the best of the best when it comes to some Nashville Hot Chicken!!
They're not joking here, ya'll. Don't rub your babies!!
A tiny place...but it packs a punch!
This is what Nashville Hot Grouper looks like!! Mmmmmmm!!!
Tracy & Keianna...the best hosts ever!!
TPS Photography was WELL represented at the Richmond Pro Lab booth in the trade show. A huge thanks to Ted and the rest of the crew at RPL for supporting TPS in our speaking/education endeavors, as well as being the best lab in the industry! We couldn't provide the same level of service for our schools and sports without Richmond!
Ben obviously likes taking selfies in the trade show, as well as stocking up on parm cheese and crushed pepper packets!
All dressed up for the Degree Ceremony! Cathy and Amanda clean up great, and Chris is not afraid of judgement :-)
PPA's newest Photographic Craftsmen AND Master Photographer!