Imaging USA 2023 Wrap Up

Published: February 01, 2023

Last week, Imaging USA was held in Nashville, Tennessee. Photography lovers from across the county (and the globe) gathered at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center for three days of photography education, celebrations, and networking. No matter which direction you looked (or pointed your camera in), excitement and anticipation could be felt in the air. Thousands of photographers were in attendance! 


In the days leading up to the main show, pre-conference classes dazzled audiences with intimate class settings, inspirational instructors, and power-packed education. On Sunday, attendees gathered in the beautiful and spacious Delta Ballroom to hear Simon T. Bailey’s opening keynote. Attendees left the keynote feeling energized and equipped with Bailey’s principles for creating customers for life. They also left with an accountability partner they had made that morning, whom they would be contacting to give updates on their progress in two weeks’ time.  


PPA’s Board of Directors performed the Expo ribbon-cutting, and photographers poured through the Expo doors shortly after. Attendees eagerly rushed in to explore the 100 vendors across Ryman Hall’s massive floor and seized the opportunity to test out new photography equipment, products, and services firsthand. Live demonstrations were also in full swing during the Expo.


Come Sunday evening, photographers gathered in the outdoor shooting bay for Networking Avenue. This informal and exciting event featured topic-specific areas for attendees to connect with other like-minded photographers and step up to any of the three shooting bays and capture incredible images of professionally styled models. Panning over the crowd, you could see camera flashes, lively conversations, and heads being thrown back in laughter. Later, the Opening Party gave everyone a chance to grab food, refreshments, and unwind with friends before heading to bed.


On Monday, attendees continued their learning with classes ranging in topics from posing and lighting to marketing and selling (and everything in between). The Expo floor was as lively as ever with its Wedding Express Talks and Merit Café sessions, and photographers flocked to the PPA booth for help with their membership questions. A special exhibit of work by Eric Meola was on display so attendees could experience firsthand Meola’s incredible use of color and light. Eric Meola is celebrated as this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. 


As day turned to night, attendees gathered to celebrate the 2023 Degree recipients and Award winners. Afterward, the prestigious Grand Imaging Award ceremony was held. Finalists in each category were recognized before this year’s overall winner was announced. Ben Shirk, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., took home the Grand Imaging Award and the $1000 cash prize for his image, "Theft of Innocence" in the Illustrative and Commercial category. The ceremony concluded with the announcement of the World Photographic Cup's "Best of Nation" images


Tuesday of the show featured more inspiring education, plenty of chances to explore the Expo, and an exhilarating closing keynote presentation by Julie Solomon. The Closing Party took place in the Opryland’s Delta Atrium and gave attendees a proper sendoff with music, food, and drinks. DJ Steve got the crowd on their feet and grooving on the dance floor. At the end of the night, we floated back to our hotel rooms on cloud 9. 


To see more highlights from this year’s show, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you to all our attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and staff who made Imaging USA 2023 a success! We couldn’t have done it without you. See you next year in Louisville, KY!


Watch the Daily Recap Videos Here:  
Imaging USA 2023 Day 1 Recap
Imaging USA 2023 Day 2 Recap
Imaging USA 2023 Day 3 Recap