Southern Roots by Ben Lalisan in Nashville, Tennessee

Ben Lalisan is a talented graphic designer from the San Francisco Bay area now living in the “Athens of the South” aka Nashville, Tennessee. His feed showcases an interesting view of Nashville through a mix of landscape images and striking shots of the city. Be sure to check out his feed and follow the fun @benexplores!

Name:Ben Lalisan

Place you live: Nashville, TN

Occupation: Graphic Designer

Preoccupation: Cars and photography

Place your Instagrams were taken? All over Nashville including other parts of Middle Tennessee. I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, so there is quite a bit of California mixed in.

Can you sum up Nashville? A great place to live.

What is a perfect day in Nashville? Clear skies and low humidity; spending time with friends.

If Nashville was a person or character who would it be and why? Nashville is that friend who dresses really well, is constantly looking to explore and try new things, while staying grounded in her Southern roots.

What is your editing process? Most of the time, I’m very deliberate about composition. Taking that extra second to line up a shot can make all the difference. Then I’ll tweak it a little in Snapseed and polish the colors with VSCO Cam. Finally, I’ll make a few more adjustments with Instagram’s native tools.

Has Instagram/phoneography affected how you shoot? Absolutely. Before diving deep into the platform, I used to use Instagram pretty loosely. No selfies, but the shots were really sloppy. Then I worked up the nerve to attend my first Instagram meet hosted by Branden Harvey in January 2013. Observing how everyone worked together was inspiring and has made me a more intentional photographer ever since.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Follow people whose work inspires you. Explore your area and meet new people. Get out there!

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? That is a tough one. There are so many, I could list one hundred favorites… Matt French, Kyle Hahn, and Scott Bakken.

Want more Instagram tips and inspiration? Check out all of our Best of Instagram features and learn from the masters.

Want to be featured on our best of Instagram series and bask in the glory? Follow Global Yodel on Instagram and tag your best local shots with #GlobalYodel!


Name:Ben Lalisan


Best place to eat:

Any place with friends.

Best outdoor activity:

Cycling along the Greenways.

Must do:

Drive the Natchez Trace. It’s beautiful especially in the Fall.

Local tip:

For the most part, Nashvillians don’t wear cowboy boots. Don’t do it unless you’re trying to be ironic.