Austin Music Composer Portrait Artists are always looking for promotional images that reflect them on different levels. For this shot of Anthony (a composer here in Texas and the owner of Tranzducer Music), I wanted to create an image that worked well with the electronic, almost electrical, style of his music.

We had some discussions about options. We would get the standard head shot images for his promo kit, but I also wanted to explore this electrical idea a little further. Electronic music is based a lot on 'modifiers', meaning that you might start with a particular sound, but then you spend a lot of time tweaking frequencies, cutoffs, gates, etc to get the sound you want. And all of those variables change throughout the song. It can be a very hands-on/performance-based approach to music. When you see 50 little dials on a Nord keyboard, you can get an idea of all the parameters you can change in real time.

I pitched him on building a small set to illustrate this:

The idea was to have his head surrounded by LEDs. His head then became the 'conduit' between which all these electrical impulses were passing through. We thought some old pieces of metal would be great as a backdrop, but they were surprisingly difficult to find. Texas has some particular rules dealing with the sale of scrap metal. Basically, you can't sell it to an individual like me, probably because of liability. However, I was able to find a sheet metal cutter who sold me a couple of pieces of scrappy, rusted sheet metal that he wasn't going to use.

For the LEDs, I picked up 6 of those flexible USB lights. I then drilled some holes in the metal and ran a USB hub to power all of the lights. In the shot, the LEDs are illuminating Anthony, and then we added the extra electrical bolts and particle effects in post. Anthony was also lit with a gridded beauty dish so that we had some overall fill.

This was an incredibly fun shoot. We got some great images for Anthony and had a great time during the whole process. We've already started discussing ideas for the next shoot, and I'm looking forward to it!