I had a fun time recently shooting country musician and all-around great guy Thomas Rhett for Ford. Thomas had been a long-time Ford truck owner ever since he got his first F-150 when he was young. We shot these at his property south of Nashville.
I've shot Chris Carrabba a few times, both with him and his full band. This year he released his 7th album as Dashboard Confessional; his first in 8 years. I was stoked to shoot him and the band once again for this historic release. Dashboard pretty much created a whole genre of emo-influenced music that has had massive repercussions on artists that came after. For this latest shoot we did most of it at my studio outside of Nashville. I wish I could show more photos that aren't being released yet. Some of my favorites probably won't be rolled out until later in the year.
I had the fun of shooting the promo and packaging photos for the latest album by New Found Glory. I had previously worked with guitarist Chad Gilbert on a video for his side project What's Eating Gilbert. That experience combined with having hung out the NFG guys before gave me a taste of what I was in for. And that was a hilarious, zany time full of laughs, good times and great photos. We did the photo shoot at my studio outside of Nashville. The new album is called "Makes Me Sick" and it's another step forward both lyrically and musically for the pride of Coral Springs, Florida. The music is influenced by 80's music and the words project a hopeful frustration with the apathetic attitudes of the world right now.
I don't blog about my photo shoots very often, but I'll be changing that soon to show some behind the scenes shots, photos and outtakes from various shoots. In the meantime, below are some photos from a few different independent artist shoots I've done. Besides the larger, more established musicians I shoot, I shoot a lot of unsigned and independent musicians for the artists themselves, management companies and smaller labels.
I love these photos for several reasons, but one is that most of these photos were shot here in Nashville where musicians flock to either record, live or both. Nashville truly is Music City; a diverse collective of creative musicians that cross all genres. We are also home to some of the best songwriters, session players, recording studios, producers and engineers on the planet.
I love shooting these less-established, up-and-coming musicians for various reasons. It's always fun to work more closely with the artist beforehand than I normally would on a bigger label shoot. It's also enjoyable to see the early formations of people's careers before they hit the big time. I feel a sense of pride when I see them become exposed to bigger and bigger audiences over time, knowing that I played a part in helping to shape their image.
Music has always been one of my greatest passions. I've been in bands, managed a band for 4 years and photograph musicians all the time. I know the music business very well and I know what the industry wants when it comes to an artists image. To be able to combine my love of photography with music is such a joy to me as an artist.
The music industry has changed so much in the last 10 years. I've been there in the thick of it ebbing and flowing with both the positive and negative effects. Despite what some see as a crisis in the music business; there has never been a better time to be an independent artist. The Internet, social media and the lower costs of producing photos and videos has opened doors to reach new fans that were almost impossible just a few years ago.
As the industry continues to change I love being there, documenting it and helping the next generation of musicians shape their image.
So enjoy these photos of up-and-coming artists who you may or may not have ever heard of...yet.