Each year at the end of the Lads to Leaders National Convention in Nashville, we take some time after the Sunday morning worship service to walk around the Gaylord Opryland Resort and take some family photos. It has become a tradition of ours each year, and this year was no different. It seems like we did not take quite as many photos this year, although to you it may look the same. I suppose we were happy with the few that we took, and we did not have to keep trying to get some that we like. The end result is still about the same, as far as quantity goes, but it just took us fewer tries to get there. Maybe that means all of our practice is paying off or something.
For starters, several of the families from our church all gather right after the worship service to have family photos made. Ours turned out well this year, I think. If it looks like we are laughing more than smiling, that is because a comedian was taking our photo, since I handed my camera over to Nathan Bland. If you know him, you know what I mean.
For this photo of the three of us together, we were still laughing. I think Nathan may be on to something there. I wonder if there is a business market for a photographer/comedian? If so, maybe I should polish my routine. Or maybe I should just be Nathan’s manager and photography consultant.
I took this photo of my parents, and as you can see, they aren’t really laughing any more. So maybe I don’t have a future as a photographer/comedian after all. At least their photo still turned out well.
Here is a photo of my parents and Jaylin, just for good measure. After we had finished up the group family photos at this location, our family of five struck out on our own to see what we could find around the hotel property.
We liked the topiary figures of the Easter Bunnies here, with their flowered hats on and the colorful flowers around them, so we got a photo of Laura and Jaylin with the bunnies. Too bad they weren’t actually handing out candy from their Easter baskets.
We next found a bench with a nice background of foliage, so it was another good photo location, and once again Laura and Jaylin were the subjects here. As you can see, we were all about the colorful clothes on Easter this year, even more than usual for some of us.
This same bench was also a good location for a photo of my parents and Jaylin. Just something a little different than before. It had been raining outside that morning, but that did not stop us from getting all of these photos. If you did not know, the Opryland Resort has several huge indoor garden areas, so the rain did not bother us at all. We were nice and dry inside, and we didn’t even have to worry about trying to run for cover if the rain started up again.
To finish off our family photos, we found this nice location with a fountain. we have probably used this location in the past, but I don’t think we have used it recently. For this one, I had brought my tripod along with me, so I used it and the shutter remote for my camera to get a photo of all five of us together. Someone in passing even commented, “Wow, you guys take your photos seriously. I never thought to bring a tripod!”
For good measure, I took another, closer-up view of us as well. With this one, you don’t see the water in the fountain behind us, but that’s okay. The water is not the main subject of the photo, after all. You can see photos of water anywhere, but we aren’t always standing in front of it. After this photo, we decided that we were happy with what we had, so we went back to our hotel room to pack everything up and head for home.
And now, here are a few bonus photos from the Lads to Leaders weekend:
For the first night’s awards ceremony each year, each congregation is represented on stage by two of its students carrying that congregation’s banner. This year, Jaylin and Katie were chosen to carry the banner. It was difficult to get a good photo of them on the stage with everyone else up there, but we did get a photo of them before everything got started.
Of course, we let the moms get in the photo, too. We are all one big family, after all. Does Jaylin look to be a little embarrassed by his mom? Maybe so. But that is one of the parental missions during their child’s teenage years, right?
Also, some of us older folks did get a chance to get on the stage, too, as we got to walk across the stage while wearing our medals for Read the Word, where you get a medal for reading the Old Testament, New Testament, or both. Of course, most everyone who didn’t participate in Read the Word had already left by that point, so they did not get to see our grand moment on the stage, but that’s okay. We still have photographic proof that it happened.
Now that this Lads to Leaders Convention has ended, we are already looking forward to next year’s convention! Right after we get a little rest.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. - Psalm 119:105
About the photos:
Photos: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop or Lightroom. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: Canon EF 28-105mm and Canon EF-S 18-55mm
Date: April 15-17, 2017
Location: Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, Tennessee