It is always exciting when I get a call for an assignment for Billboard Magazine, I've been a fan of the magazine for many years now. One of my favorite shoots I recently did for them was country singer Holly Williams.
Holly and her husband were both really great people and I definitely enjoyed my time at their home.
Holly just released a new album titled The Highway so make sure you go check it out!
In early September I had the pleasure of shooting Royal Teeth for the RAGGED Magazine, put out by FILTER Magazine. As I started to get all the details of the shoot, it got more and more enticing! Great band, great magazine and they wanted multiple great locations, I'M IN!
The first and largest task was nailing down our locations. The article was featuring the band in the New Orleans area and the goal was to give people coming in for VooDoo Festival some good places to check out. Between the band, their management and myself we began to throw around ideas. Some were strong and some were weak, but in the end we decided on a good variety of locations.
Our first location was Kliebert's Turtle and Alligator Farm located in Ponchatoula, La. We arrived at the farm after we finished up with hair, makeup and wardrobe at a nearby home. It was early, but the crew knew we were about to be shooting with live alligators so everyone was pretty anxious and awake from what I could tell. Maybe it was just me.. I tend to get excited on production days.
We decided we were going to shoot on an old air boat that was sitting between two on the gator pins. So as we started to set up and direct the band, T-Mike Kliebert began wrestling gators out of their pins and hosing them off to make them nice and photo ready. The interesting thing about the gators was how aggressive they were while being wrangled, but when the handlers plopped them down they were almost like statues and rarely moved.
The location was great and no one lost any member of their body, thankfully. Huge thanks to the Kliebert's for being such great sports that morning, we couldn't have done it without them!
Location numer 2 is a place very close to my heart and located smack dab in the heart of the Crescent City, Cafe Du Monde! If you have never been to this iconic New Orleans cafe you are missing out! Growing up I have indulged in many of Cafe Du Monde's delicious beignets and sipped on their coffee. One thing beignet gluttons, like myself, know is that the powdered sugar on top can make a big mess! I knew exactly what shot I wanted from this location as soon as I was given the OK to shoot there. All you do is give the beignet a little burst of breath and KAPOW it goes everywhere!
Luckily it didn't take too many tries to get the shot so the mess was minimal. Cafe Du Monde's vice president joined us for part of the shoot and I must say he was one of the nicest people I have yet to meet. It was a dream come true to do a photo shoot in one of my favorite locations in the city.
For our third location we headed not too far down the road to Euclid record shop in the Bywater neighborhood. The band members were frequent customers of the shop and the exterior of the building made for a fun and pink backdrop.
After a yummy pizza lunch we ended our long day of shooting at Funky Monkey on Magazine St. We wanted to feature Nora on this shot since she is the only women in a band of men, so why not a shopping photo. This shot was a little bit trickier to achieve technically, mainly due to the angle that we wanted and the swinging bags blocking some of the guys. All it took was a little tweaking and several swings of the bags.
At the end of the day we were all drained, sunburned and pretty nasty from working in the Louisiana heat all day, but we were all also very satisfied.
Check out the behind the scenes video shot by my good buddy Adam Walters!
Wardrobe Stylist: Candra-Eloise Burges
Hair Stylist: David Connor
Assistant: Brian Posslenzny and Tomas Santamaria
Videographer: Adam Walters
Right after I finished my photo shoot with Missy Franklin and had some quick espresso with my buddy Donald in Knoxville, I dashed back to Nashville for a meeting with All Sons and Daughters that evening.
I met with David and Leslie in Franklin at Journey Church where they are also the worship leaders. They had a great "office" space that was kind of like a pianists dream room, David has some fun toys hidden away back there. Meeting with an artists prior to a shoot can be so important and really effect how the shoot day will go. I enjoyed so much chatting with them and hearing about the tracks on the album, getting to hear some samples and also hearing their desires for the photos.
We decided to get an early start and beat the sun to the first location by about 20min, never hurts to wake up at 4am every now and then. Our goal was to catch the sunrise and the fog that we all thought was going to be covering the field that morning. Who knew there would be almost no fog that morning.... Oh well, life goes on.
It was still a beautifully dreary morning, really set a solid mood for the images. Leslie brought along a very cool old light that was our main focus at our first location that morning. The light was great, but a bit sketchy electrical wise.. That only got worse when the rain came, but with all that came this wonderful shot of Leslie getting electrocuted. She was fine and it made for a good laugh and funny photo.
David and Leslie are two of the most talented people that I know and it was an absolute pleasure working with them on this project. Be sure to check them out and buy The Longing, out now. Also be on the lookout for a live record/DVD in the works that I had the honor of working on along side All Sons and Daughters.
Check out their new album The Longing HERE