THE MAN BEHIND THE LENS FOR EACH FACE OF THE NASHVILLE 100
NASHVILLE SINCE 2014
Jason Myers spent 13 years in corporate America before he decided it was time to make a change. In his first year as a full-time photographer, he won a prestigious award from trade magazine Photo District News. Less than six months later, he shot his first ad campaign, and began working with dream clients. Now, that dream work is his day-to-day, and he has photographed people including Muhammad Ali, Mariano Rivera, and Barack Obama. He’s also the man behind the lens for each face of the Nashville 100.
Jason grew up in Trenton, Florida. “I was always outside, I was playing sports,” Jason says. As a kid, he quickly found himself the family member least likely to crop people’s heads out, and became the default photographer on family vacations. Photography wasn’t much more of a focus than that, however, until college.
“I played a couple seasons of football at the University of Florida and I hurt my knee, and when I was looking for something to do, I picked up the camera and started photographing events and things around campus,” he recalls. “I realized it was something I really enjoyed but didn’t know at all I would be doing anything like this. I never thought it could be a career, I thought it was always something someone did just to have fun.”
When he graduated college, he worked in health care, watching a company grow from 60 offices to almost 600 in the time he worked there. From there, he pivoted to sports, where he worked with a private company that managed golf and tennis properties throughout south Florida. “I think there’s millions and millions of people in this world that go to work, to the job because it’s the safe thing, and you deal with the grind and you deal with the headaches,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, there’s part of that in anything that we do, but it just wore on me. It got to the point where I felt like I had no control over what was next.”
Though he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next, he knew he had to make a change. “I did it kind of late, at 35 I made the jump,” he says. “I quit my job, gave my boss two weeks notice. I was going to New York for a weekend to just get away and I’m thinking the whole time on this flight, ‘What did I do, did I really just quit my job, no plan?’ When I say no plan, I had zero plan. I just knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing.”
Photography was something Jason could do in the meantime to pay the bills. He began to shoot local events, and started looking for another job. “I started to get some job offers, and I started to realize how I would be doing the same thing I was doing before, just in a different job,” he recalls. “I realized I could either accept these jobs – some of them were really cool – but then I couldn’t commit to photography, which I had already kind of started.” He hired a consultant and delved into photography full time. Within a year, he’d won the prestigious trade magazine Photo District News’ “The Shot” competition, and within two, he was shooting major ad campaigns.
Now, he’s captured a wide variety of important moments, campaigns, and faces. He captured Mariano Rivera for JBL headphones – it was his first ad campaign, and they found him on the internet and reached out because they loved his work. He photographed Muhammad Ali for Sports Illustrated six months before he died. He’s photographed countless others, from his frequent work in the music industry to presidents, sports figures, and celebrities.