West Side Digs: answer. restaurant

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, fish, Nashville

By Sheri Oneal

It has been a while, after a year and a half hiatus working on some personal projects I am back and excited to share. I have several blog’s on the way but today I want to introduce you to my “West Side Digs” ongoing series. It will feature local businesses in the Sylvan Heights, Sylvan Park, Nations and Charlotte corridor of Nashville showcasing locally owned businesses, restaurants, shops and other spaces.

With 80-100 people moving to Nashville a day and more than 5000 recently built homes in the Nation’s area alone, it is apparent that the West side of Nashville is finally catching up to all the other hot areas of town! This blog series will showcase what this area has to offer.

Welcome to first addition of West Side Digs, and the newly opened restaurant answer. here in Nashville. Two months ago answer. opened their doors in Sylvan Park on 46th Avenue North.

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, Nashville

Every time I’ve driven by they look busy and customers seem to love the cozy outdoor seating area. So far many of the patrons are from around the neighborhood due to its great location about 2 blocks from the roundabout. Their menu is inspired by food from around the world including Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, Latin and American fusion.

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, Nashville

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, Nashville

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, Nashville

Developing a globally inspired seasonal menu, part owner and executive chef Chris Raucci creates classic dishes with a twist. Everything is fresh and made from scratch. His career started in Atlanta after graduating from Johnson & Wales University. He had worked for several acclaimed restaurants in Atlanta, Charlotte and Florida before settling in Nashville. His inspiration comes from his love of food from different cultures. When he can’t sleep he researches food and creates recipes for the restaurant. His passion comes together with his creative infused dishes through his research.

Denver, Colorado native Victoria Rothberg is part owner and general manager of answer. restaurant. Her love of food started when she was a hostess at an Italian restaurant in High School. After graduating from New York University she worked  with Hillstone Restaurant Group allowing her to manage various restaurant establishments throughout various cities in the US. Her hard work and dedication has landed her here with this new adventure, Victoria say’s “it’s like hosting a dinner party every night!”

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, owners, Nashville

Chris and Victoria (above) met while working with Ted’s Montana Grill, Victoria as Director of Operations and Chris as Corporate Executive Chef. After opening multiple TMG Restaurants they decided to team up and start their own restaurant. Their concept was to create a space for friends and family to come and enjoy wonderful innovative dishes in a comfortable and casual atmosphere.

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, plantains, Nashville

Chef Raucci prepared a few plates for me to shoot while I was there, the first was the plantains (above)  made with  chorizo, manchego, jalapeno, chayote and charred scallion.

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, lamb, Nashville

Next was the lamb (above) and included dukkah, chilled ratatouille and harissa yogurt.

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, fish, Nashville

The last dish was the fish (above) plated with swiss chard, bacon, pickled golden raisin and charred tomato. All looked exquisitely prepared and delightfully tempting.

The restaurant seats approximately 75 and includes a 22 seat bar and a 28 seat outdoor covered patio. Prices range from 5$-30$ which includes shareable plates, entrees, a brunch menu and they have a full bar.

West Side Digs: answer. restaurant, menu, prep cook, Nashville

I have not yet had a chance to try the food here at answer. but some of my friends have and have given it a top notch rating. I am so excited to see this wonderful new restaurant in the area and I am looking forward to indulging with friends soon. If you would like to know more about answer. restaurant please visit their website or connect with them on facebook and instagram!

Thank you so much for reading! I continue to look for interesting story ideas in the West Nashville area and need help finding unique small business individuals. If you are a small business owner in the area, offer a unique product and/or service or know of someone please let me know!  

*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog post are ©2017 by Sheri Oneal. Feel free to share my blog link but any other use of photos or content must be agreed upon in writing.

*If you would like to leave a review of my work please do so here, here or here!


20 years of photography for SOP!

Commercial Photographer, Nashville Photographer, Sheri Oneal

By Sheri Oneal

As we reflect on what happened last year, set new goals and look forward to the new year ahead I want to share my best photography of 2015!”  Before I do that I would like to express why this year is extra special…2016 marks the 20th year anniversary of “Sheri Oneal Photography!”

I have been in love with photography since I was 6 years old, I started my professional career at 21 and in 1996 I went out on my own and opened my first 1250 sq. ft. commercial studio space in Orlando, Florida. My very first clients included Harcourt Brace Johanovich PublishingScholastic Book Fairs and Cara Cosmetics. In 2001 I relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and have never looked back. The past 20 years have been bitter sweet and the changes in technology have been extremely challenging. I have relocated my studio space 4 times, changed from traditional film to digital technology, learn how to use industry software on computer platforms as well as developing online marketing methods that include social media and web development for my business. I have transitioned from payphone -to beeper -to cell phone -to smart phone and have struggled through a tough recession with in our economy. The industry changes in photography over the past 20 years have been incredible and they have allowed me to mature into what Sheri Oneal Photography is today.

Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 1996

1996, SOP first commercial studio space in Orlando, Florida located off of John Young Parkway.


Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 2001, Nashville.

2001 commercial studio space located on 8th Avenue downtown, Nashville.


Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 2008, Nashville.

2008 commercial studio space located off of 17th Avenue near downtown Nashville.


Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 2015, Nashviille.

2015 commercial studio space of Sheri Oneal Photography near downtown Nashville.


I love that I have the ability to make a living with my camera, that I can share the stories of others through my imagery and that in a single frame I can freeze time…it is magical. I love the rush of adrenaline I get when I know I’ve captured what I was hired to do but even more when I capture something extraordinary, unexpected or genuine. I have traveled to beautiful places, shot in flight harnessed from helicopters with no doors, captured video at 50 MPH, shot from rooftops in NYC and rented plush studios in LA to shoot celebs. I have worked with countless art directors, photo editors, creative directors, food stylist, wardrobe stylist, make-up stylist, set designers, production managers, animal wranglers, videographers and assistants. I have photographed everything from kids, products, pets, executives, factories, farms, architecture and food among other things. I have been honored to have worked on assignments with Getty Images, Cracker Barrel, CBS, Discovery Channel, The National Arthritis Foundation, United Way, Kodak, Scholastic Book Fairs and so many more.

Although I have been blessed to work with large corporations, professional models and celebrities it is the smaller companies, publications and individuals that keep my business alive. Client relationships are what I cherish most and the smaller clients allow that kind of interaction. As a small independant business owner, loyal clients and referrals are what keep me in business. I am forever grateful for my clients and even more so for the loyalty of those who continue to refer and use my services. My number one goal is to earn their trust, to make sure they are happy with my work and to enjoy the experience of working with me.

It has been a long road with many ups and downs but I am so grateful to be doing what I love for a living. It has not been easy but it was a childhood dream that turned into reality. It proves that if you truly want something, you can have it as long as you never give up.

Behind the scenes with Sheri Oneal, 20th Anniversary.

20 years of photography…


Thank you all for letting me work with you on your projects, for referring me to others and for allowing me to stay in touch.

Before I leave I want to share (below) me “Best Photography of 2015” by showcasing some of my favorite assignment photos from last year. Each year I love the opportunity to look back and see what I did and these images reflect the work I enjoy doing most.  It also allows me see how much I grow as a commercial photographer through the body of work I get paid to create.

Wishing you the happiest and successful 2016 imaginable, may all of your dreams come true!

Nashville photographer Sheri Oneal shares her best Commercial photography assignments from 2015.

The Best Photography of 2015

If you would like to see some of the past “Best Of’s” feel free to click any of the links below!

The Best Photography of 2008

The Best Photography of 2009

The Best Photography of 2010

The Best Photography of 2011

The Best Photography of 2012

The Best Photography of 2013

The Best Photography of 2014

*If you would like to leave a review of my work please do so here, here or here!

*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog post are ©2016 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content (other than sharing the link) must be agreed upon in writing.

Please feel free to share this page!


Family Portraits of The Goldsteins…

Family portraits of the Goldsteins on location in Nashville Tennessee.

By Sheri Oneal

Over the weekend I photographed family portraits of my favorite couple “The Goldsteins,” over several hours my goal was to shoot various photos of Lisa and Rob with their beautiful daughter, Sara. As a commercial photographer this is a little out of my element and for whatever reason photographing friends always makes me nervous for fear they won’t tell me if they truly like the photos (yes even as a pro for almost 20 years I still doubt myself at times). When I went to their home I wanted to be sure and get the photos they wanted but I also wanted to capture something for myself. Because their daughter Sara would be headed off to college soon, their goal was to capture images with her and I knew like any parent they were anxious about their daughter starting a new life chapter. We’ve discussed doing the photos over the past year so I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to create with them in front of the camera. As a visual storyteller and as a professional commercial photographer my job is always to create a story through a single image. I wanted to capture more than just family photos, I wanted to be sure to show the love between the parents and their daughter.

Lisa, Rob, Sara and Ginger Goldstein shot in their home in Nashville, TN.

As I thought back to my own connection with my mom at that time in my life I remembered how stressed out I was at that age due to my parents going through a divorce and my confusion over needing to figure out where I wanted to go to college. I never remember thinking at all about what my mother might be feeling as she watched me slowly move towards being a young independant woman, this really had me wanting to capture that bond between a mother and her daughter. On Saturday I knew this photoshoot was about more than just happy faces. My desire was leaning to something stoic yet subtle, the idea of shooting with very little color on black was my way of adding some drama so I was sure to bring along a black backdrop. I wanted to capture a feeling of gentleness between Lisa and Sara, I also wanted to try and tell something about each of them individually…this is what transpired.

Family portraits of Lisa and Sara Goldstein in Nashville, Tennessee.

After editing through all the images I thought about how I wish I had an image like this with my mom back at that age. I feel as if I have been able to convey their emotions in a deeper way and I hope that others will feel the same. I believe it captures the intimacy of the two combined with the innocence of her daughter and a mother who knows things are changing at home.

While going through the motions of shooting each family member this photo happened….

Lisa Palet Goldstein portrait shot at her home in Nashville, Tennessee.

As I continued to look through all the shots of that day, I kept coming back to this one of Lisa alone. I think of the hundreds of thousands of photos I have taken this year, this is my absolute favorite. Perhaps it is because of how much I love and admire the person looking back, or because of the friendship that has developed with this person over the past year. Somehow she has helped me as an introvert realize how important sharing with friends is to my growth and happiness. I have learned through her to come out of my shell a bit and I have discovered many other amazing ladies along the way. For whatever reason this photo really speaks volumes to me. It carries a lot of hidden meaning as I have watched this woman go through so many changes, in fact a little over a year ago when I met her she was dealing with the treatment of colon cancer and not knowing if she would survive. Many of you were introduced to her with my “Fabulous Women Over 40” blog series earlier this year.

Cancer Survivor, Wonder Woman

When I compare the woman in the cover story to my favorite photo of the year shot on black I see two very different people. As a photographer my work always begins with what I discover as I glare through the lens into the eyes of the person on the other side, that is always where the story starts. The photo I took last year of Lisa above, appears sad to me, Lisa was going through the cancer treatments at the time and it was shot a few days before her removal surgery. We had not yet developed a friendship and I had only known her for a week.

When I look at the image of Lisa on black I see an extremely strong, confident and gentle person. Someone I have grown to know so well in such a short time. As one would expect, her year has been littered with some very personal and emotional stages regarding health, relationships and career developments but most of all in the confusing discovery of reinventing life after surviving cancer. This week she heads to the doctor’s office to have some test done, something she will need to do the rest of her life as a cancer patient…something I am reminded of that so many beautiful people are dealing with every single day.

I love my job and that I have the ability to make a living taking pictures. My mindset is always to stop time in a single frame and capture a photo that portrays so much about a person without needing to say a single word. I have found that the connection of looking deep into their eyes offers something profound to the viewer and of course beautiful people always make my job a lot easier! What I love most about my work is that the story of the people I create in my photos will live on long after I am gone, that is so much more gratifying to me than a paycheck.

Thank you for reading!

*If you would like to leave a review of my work please do so here, here or here!

*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog post are ©2015 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content (other than sharing the link) must be agreed upon in writing.

Please feel free to share this page!



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