Subjects and Muses

Last December was the first time I caught the band Childspeak. I loved their music immediately, I also find this band a compelling photographic subject. I’ve photographed them on stage and off stage. There comes a point when your subjects become your friends and your friends become your subjects. Photographing people is a personal process, these things are bound to happen. Yesterday Derek and I were talking and he reminded me that we as artists often have muses. A muse in simple terms is just a creative influence. In practice though, a muse has a powerful impact on your art and creativity. I have yet to decide or figure out if a whole band can be a single muse.

I’ve hung out with these guys a lot in the last few months, and they are a lot of fun to know. Childspeak is always been fun to photograph, but honestly, the first few times I photographed them on stage, I’ve had a helluva time trying to get images that I like. That challenge has been worth the work though. Music is an emotionally powerful art form, I would argue that it’s far more powerful than photography. So trying to photograph subjects making music often seems fruitless. So how do you do it? How do you tell a story of someone telling a story?

Each time I photograph them though, I get a bit better at it. By better, I mean that I like the work I am producing more each time. Technically the mechanics are the same, but I am able to see what I want to capture before I even press the shutter button. I’m not bored with photographing them yet. I tend to lose interest in shooting a single band fairly quickly. I rarely lose interest in the music itself. As you photograph a subject a few times you can get bored pretty quickly, especially if they don’t show interest in the image making process itself. Which is often the case with musicians.

I don’t really know if Childspeak has become a muse for me or not. It’s complicated. There is a fine line between a subject that you aren’t done exploring and creative influence. I can tell you that I really enjoy what they do. They seem to appreciate what I do.

4 thoughts on “Subjects and Muses

  1. I love your pics of Childspeak and would love to see it continue. I am wondering…. What would an 8x 10 , best shot of Mike cost. I could just copy and print your posted pics, but I want to honor your work. If you can think of a way to do this, I would gladly pay, since I am Mike’s most devoted fan ….not to mention his adoring mom. What do you think?

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