“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
In many ways, I’ve lived a charmed life in the last year. In terms of music, I’ve have seen literally hundreds of shows for free. Most of the shows I had either front row or front of stage viewing. For many of the shows I had unfettered access, meaning I could go pretty much wherever I wanted-including backstage.
I saw shows in every kind of conceivable venue. From small barrooms, with crowds of a dozen, to open air festivals and large arenas-with crowds of tens of thousands; to intimate ornate music halls. I was at these shows to shoot-to photograph- music. Some of these shows I did for free- because I wanted to see the shows, and some shows I shot for pay. Some shows I shot to support fledgling organizations or to contribute to charitable events.
I shot classical, opera, country, bluegrass and rock. I shot jazz and folk and music that defied any easy description. I loved it all.
Besides getting to see the shows I also got to work alongside a lot of very fine human beings. Some shows I shot alone, most I shot with a local photographer names Scott Preston- arguably the hardest working guy in Cincinnati- check out his Cincy Groove Site– it’s a true labor of love.
Some shows I worked crammed into the a photographers pit with as many as fifty other photographers. And while everyone in the pit is competitive, damn near everyone of them were cooperative and polite as well. Mostly, it’s an honor and privilege to work alongside such talented artists-some world class. Best of all, given the time I spent shooting all these shows, plus the ten weeks on the road this year I spent shooting other subjects not related to music, I can without fear of contradiction that my work improved immeasurably. I can also say I’ve got a long way to go-but I can look myself in the mirror and be proud of my work.
If this kind of art interests you, go here to see the work of some truly gifted professionals: Craig Weigland at Mansion Hill Studio ; the work of Steve Ziegelmeyer ; Brian Glass .; or Joshua Timmerman.
Cincinnati has a long tradition of world class shooters- you won’t often find them in the pit, but their work is still omnipresent- do yourself a favor and acquaint yourself with the work of Melvin Grier ; Michael Wilson. and Gordon Baer.
Any while there are too many other shooters to name individually name; I can also say that damn near anyone associated with Cincinnati’s two premier concert shooting associations, The Alliance of Music Photographers and Cincymusic Photographers are well worth exploring. I can honestly say that my life has been enriched by association with both groups.
Lastly, a very special thanks to Kelly Painter Kampsen- who handles show passes for all of us at CincyMusic in a timely and prompt and professional manner. Thanks for all your hard work this year Kelly.