This morning I had a very meaningful conversation with my wife. The last time I had a conversation with her like this was over five years ago. Shortly after that conversation, I started Charleston Tech Support. This time, Amy is convincing me to go pro already with my photography and to stop pussy-footing around with my many excuses. This morning I told her that I still needed more experience. She of course said the magic words, “You will always be striving to be better, that will never stop”. She’s right.

I told her that I still feel like I’m developing my own style. I want to have my own voice. I want people to look at a photo I made and say, “That looks like a Nienstedt shot”. I want to find that unique signature that makes me me. The reality is that it’s already there. We all have our own unique voice buried in our soul. The trick is to trim down the distractions that are obscuring it. This involves peeling back the layers of your subconscious mind and listening to what your voice is saying.

Day 319 - Modest Mouse at the Music Farm

So I’ve been listening to my inner voice real hard and it’s been telling me a couple of things. The first is that I love shooting people now more than ever. I recently wrote an article about it, because it intimidated me at first. Now, I find it absolutely inspiring. Making a photo is one thing, but making a human connection is, to me, a much bigger thing. The other thing my voice is telling me is that I love music. Actually, it shouts that one pretty loudly.

Less Than Jake At The Music Farm 6.11.2010

So, after doing the math, it is obvious that my voice wants me to shoot creative people. I love to write about creativity. I love to create. I love the process. I love the feeling of that moment of zen when you get into the zone of creation. I also like to connect with creatives. With that said, my vision for my work is based on capturing creativity.

The Gaslight Anthem

My signature is still a bit harder to define – that comes with the maturing of my technique. I realize that if I pursue my vision, the signature will define itself as long as I don’t consciously take on the styles of the artists that I admire. That’s a tough thing to avoid because we take in so much unconsciously that it’s hard not to mimic something that your mind has absorbed from all of your creative inputs.

I can no longer put off my aspirations because I don’t feel like I’ve established myself enough yet. That’s just silly. Going back to what Amy said about never being satisfied, I don’t know if I’ll ever be comfortable with whatever style I’m embracing at the moment – it will always morph into something else. The second record I put out with my band back in the day sounded nothing like the first record. In music, people are less forgiving of that kind of change, which is why so many bands suffer from the “sophomore slump” and probably why it was somewhat easy for me to walk away from it all. I wasn’t feeling what people expected from my band anymore. On the other hand, with photography and fine art, I think people expect you to grow artistically.

Robert Randolph Gets A Hug & Kiss

The photos I’m sharing with you are some of my favorite shots I’ve made at some of the shows that I’ve attended in recent years. Up at the top is Bryan from the Bouncing Souls, followed by Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, Buddy from the punk-ska band Less Than Jake, an overhead shot of the Gaslight Anthem with a focus on their set list, a close-up of Robert Randolph, and below is a shot of the band Weston. These are a good representation of where I’ve been within regards to shooting music, but I want to expand on it more. I think these all capture a specific moment during their performances, and I want to further define those. I need to put myself into position to capture that moment when an artist and/or their fans enter that zen state and is completely one with creativity.

Weston @ The Khyber 2008

So, what do I want for Christmas this year? I want to put it out there that I want to creatively capture creativity. I want everyone who’s reading this to pass it on to someone who might be able to facilitate that need. If you’re a musician, or a painter, a dancer, a chef, an actor, a writer, a comedian, or if you know somebody who creates anything, then I want to capture it. I want to be hired to document the moment that something is made and the people involved in making it. If you know art directors, agents, designers, or anybody who is looking for photographic services please point them to this blog. I’m very serious about this and will not sit around just waiting for someone to hand me an assignment, but I believe in the power of putting yourself and your goals out there. Not in a “The Secret” type of mystical way, but in a spread the word enough so that the right person will hear it type of way.

Thanks for reading this – I’ve been trying really hard to define where I am on this journey for a long time. I have written about going pro recently, and the more I explore it here on this blog and with my camera, the clearer the map to my next destination becomes.

Similar Posts:

Share and Connect:



1 Comment

  • Pingback by What’s In A Name? | — December 30, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

    […] of this I had already started doing before I even began reading this book. In this article I defined what I’m currently a fan of doing in photography. It is important because given my […]

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment