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!




Meagan Tubb and Shady People

Meagan Tubb found me through one of those friend-of-a-friend ways. She is part of a band in Austin called Meagan Tubb and Shady People. It's a southern rock band with a little funk thrown in. We met at a coffee shop and discussed her upcoming album. Prior to meeting, I had already gone through her first album and tagged some of my favorites.

For their latest work (titled Cast Your Shadow), Meagan wanted a tree to be the central focus of the visuals. She also brought in Brian Maschler who contributed a lot to the overall look. We did the entire shoot at a park in south Austin, and took advantage of a setting sun to add some drama.

Amy Corbin for Austin Woman Magazine

Amy Corbin is a very interesting lady. She and her husband Charles are heavily involved in the Austin music scene, between running Stubbs, ACL, and C3 Presents (an artist/concert management company).

The October issue of Austin Woman Magazine features her incredible story - growing up working on a farm to running the largest musical event in Austin every year. We did the entire cover shoot at Stubbs, which is a great place to shoot when it's not packed with rock n' roll fans. Speaking of packed fans, ACL is a *must* for music lovers. It's on my list.

Here's a time-lapse video of the cover edit:


Photography: Eric Doggett Makeup: Karen Powanda Hair: Deklynd Channing Fashion Styling: Cassie Fleniken

Film Composer Brian Satterwhite

I've known Brian for several years, probably going back to 2002 or 2003. When we moved to Austin, I was heavy into film scoring. Brian was teaching a class at U.T., so I signed up. If you got into a conversation with Brian, he would describe himself more as a filmmaker than a music composer. He's one of those guys that not only loves film music, but loves everything about film - the story, character development, production, all of it. He prefers writing for and recording live players in an intimate setting, which is a welcome departure from the sample-library-heavy stuff of today.

Hanging out for a few hours in his studio this week was a blast (we got into a detailed conversation about the movie Inception before I broke out any gear). It was a great opportunity to catch up, listen to some music, and try some crazy lighting ideas. I hope to do it again soon.

Sneak Peek: Tamara

Had a fun shoot today with Tamara! She is the wife of my rock-n-roll bud, Aaron, who's band we photographed about a year and a half ago. Tamara just celebrated her birthday (in fact, I think she's still celebrating as I write this), and Aaron asked me to do a portrait shoot as a cool birthday gift (guys: take note - excellent idea!) Here's an image from the shoot: