Monthly Archives: February 2010

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Andrew Bryant (& Friends) at the Hi-Tone

Well hooray!

I went to see Andrew Bryant’s band play Wednesday night at The Hi-Tone. I had such a great time watching them and am quite pleased with the photographic results of the night.

Andrew Bryant & Friends. Febuary 24, 2010 @ The Hi-Tone. Mem[phis, TN.

(a few shots of the band Giant Bear that played at the beginning of the night are also in the mix.)

Informal Band Photography: Animal Sounds

On the heels or writing this blog, I got to do some more informal band photos again last week (the aforementioned band photography blog, incidentally, landed me another spot for Picture of the Day on the Main Street Journal’s site last week.)

Today’s edition of Informal Band Photography is with a band called Animal Sounds.

There’s this great little U of M area house where I’d done photography for Richard last year. A new band that Richard is in, called Animal Sounds, practices in this house.  I was asked back to this house last week to do more photos.

I barely did any shots of the band as a whole. I decided I wanted to focus much more on individual elements. I knew the shots would be gritty and grainy, due to the way I had to shoot in the low available light. I made the decision to just go with it.

The Big One-O

There are some people (including myself) who would like to plug their ears and say “lalalalala I can’t hear you” during my next statement:

This is the ten year anniversary of my first time taking photos at a show.

February 19, 2000. Bethel Presbytarian Church. Olive Branch, MS.

I was there to photograph my friends in a band called Via Crucis. The band that played before Via Crucis was The Quick and the Dead, a band with a couple of guys who are now our good friends Joel G. and one Mr. Andrew Bryant.

I have to laugh, because these pictures aren’t great at all. I had a $50 film SLR I’d acquired a few months earlier, a TERRIBLE flash which I barely knew how to operate, and ringing eardrums because I hadn’t thought to bring along earplugs that first time (yes, I definitely learned from that particular mistake.)

What a wild ride it’s been. I had no idea that by attending that first show, the course of the next several years of my life would be altered in many ways, from the friendships I wouldn’t have formed otherwise, to  the way I, as a new photographer, was being introduced to a a genre of photography that would define me for years to come. Those of you who only know Shoot With Personality since the site’s format change last year don’t know that, prior to that change, Shoot With Personality was devoted almost exclusively to live band photography. Hundreds of bands. So many years.

What most people don’t know is, I was already starting to think like a documentary photographer back then. I wasn’t there because I thought taking pictures of bands would be the cool thing to do. I was there because I thought, “You know, it might not feel significant now, but maybe in twenty years, these guys will want to look back and say ‘That’s what I was doing with my life during that era.'”

Twenty years. We’re halfway there.

Hangin’ out with musicians: My kinda promo photography

Almost everyone I know is in a band. I love doing live band photography. But guess what? Guess what kind of photos I have most disliked doing? Band promo photos. I always felt like posing dudes wearing hoodies up against brick walls was just not my “thing.” I really seemed to struggle with this as a photographer, because I didn’t think I came out with the sorts of shots the bands wanted and which I was proud of. For the most part, I stopped agreeing to band promo photos a few years back. Things have changed this past year though.

I discovered I did have it in me to take photos that bands might use for promotional purposes, if the band/musicians were open to  “Amanda Style” band photos. Those are the sorts of photos you’ll find in the new gallery devoted to photos of musicians. And are the types of photos I’ve been wanting to do of Andrew Bryant and his band for quite some time now. Which leads me to the reason for this post.

Andrew was a one man show for years. Him, his guitar, and a microphone. In the past year or so, he’s enlisted the talents of our mutual friends to begin playing live shows with him. I’m pleased as punch. Not only does this mean Andrew’s records are translating to live performance better than ever, I can take a wider variety of shots during those live performances, and it also means that I’m privy to hanging out while the band practices from time to time. Such was the case last week, before the boys in the band had a gig in St. Louis.

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