I love music. Being a musician it would stand to reason. But when I get the opportunity to photograph a musician, I jump!

Last year I was involved in a personal project, and an assignment I had to do was photograph a string quartet. Being in Modesto I had little options, so I decided to call the local college, Stanislaus State, and try to scare up some help.

It was in this search that I was introduced to Dr. Daniel Davies. He was an incredible help and was able to round up the musicians necessary for my shoot. For his help in coordinating the people I used, I left him a standing invitation to provide him with headshots.

He called in the offer, so off we went.

We shot at Snider Hall, on the stage, to start. The first thing I saw was this beautiful black Steinway beckoning from center stage. It provided such a great focal anchor and graphic point to build around, so that’s where I started.

The thing that really got me kind of side tracked was when he started playing the instrument. It was a hundred year old cello that had warmth and resonance. And from my position directly in front of him it sounded exquisite. Many times I found myself forgetting to take pictures. His fingers danced nimbly over the finger board as he effortlessly produced a Hungarian piece. Some other pieces that sound like Bach, to me, were floating on the air and I was feeling spoiled.

Remember to breath. Remember to take pictures

We finished up in Snider Hall and moved into one of the classrooms. There was a piano competition and they needed the auditorium. Okay, I’ll relinquish real estate on that premise.

I set up and shot a couple head shots and then put together a little different portrait. Something way less formal and unconventional. Inspired by the work of Robert Ashcroft. I find that most classical musicians are very disciplined. This showed, well, you get the idea. Daniel was a great sport about it.

Well, the shoot was done and I packed all the gear into the Volvo to ride off into the sunset to shoot another day.

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