Immortality

As I thought about this work “immortality” I am forced to think about my own.  Being a photographer my job is to capture images for people to pass on so they can in a way, become immortal.  It’s a given we are all going to pass from this world, but we can leave incredible memories for those we leave behind.  I was reminded of this just this past week, as our area suffered an EF2 tornado.  Living in Florida, they do happen mostly out in the water and are known as ‘water spouts’, but in the past week we have had some pretty severe weather which has ignited the atmosphere with tornadic activity.  In one close by neighborhood many families had devastating loss of property; everything was blown all over the neighborhood, including photographs.  Someone in the neighborhood found the photographs and posted them on Facebook to see if they could find the owners, saying “we know these mean something to someone and want to get them to the owner”.  I am hoping the family whom the photos belonged were reunited.

These past few weeks with the death of several celebrities like actor Alan Rickman, singer songwriter, performer David Bowie and most recently Glenn Frey of the Eagles, I’ve been taking a walk down memory lane looking at the photos from years past.  As a concert photographer I know when I am photographing an artist that I am one of those who will be continuing their legacy.  In late 2013 I had the honor of photographing the late Johnny Winter in concert and in July 2014 he passed away; I may very well be one of the last people to have photographed him, I have that photo printed and in a scrap book.

2013 11 23_Southwest Florida Blues Festival_7565_edited-1
Johnny Winters

All the time I am questioned as to why I don’t offer digital images and I tell potential clients it’s because you are the legacy to your children and grandchildren, without physical photographs in hand, you may not have your story visually told.  Sure I could offer DVD’s or flash drives full of photographs, but the chances of that making it out of a disaster and found or if found not being corrupted is slim; and your life events recorded upon that digital media will be gone forever. Not to mention the fast paced change we see with the way digital media is stored, there may not be a way to view those images in the future.  I suffered this loss myself when I lost my hard drive in 2005 from hurricane Wilma, the electrical surge fried my computer and all of my youngest son’s graduation photos were on that computer……now lost forever.

So for everyone who takes photographs, no matter if you use a point & shoot, dslr or your cell phone, please make prints of your work.  It does not matter if you are shooting wildlife, your pets, your family or even those selfies.  Take those digital images and print them out and put them in an album.  I have done this, I have photos of my adult children, my cat and my adventures with wildlife.  I also have a scrap book of just about all the concerts I have photographed on a professional level along with the credentials that went with the concert.  This is to preserve my legacy as a concert photographer and the personal photos will insure, my family will be remembered long after I am gone.

 

Loss of a Legend

This past week we lost a Blues legend; Johnny Winter he was 70 years old. I had the opportunity to see him twice in a years time and both times he was amazing. His body unfortunately was beginning to give out and his eyesight had completely failed, but his guitar playing was something to behold.
Born John Dawson Winter III on February 23, 1944 in Beaumont Texas and born with Albinism along with his brother Edgar Winter the duo began their music careers early. By the age of 10 Johnny appeared on a local children’s show and played and sang with his brother Edgar. His first record was recorded at age 15. Winter also played with the great Muddy Waters, BB King and Bobby Bland. (Resource: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Winter)
I saw him first up in Clearwater where I had all access and was able to board his bus and garner an autograph, he seemed so frail after witnessing his greatness on stage. The second opportunity came in November 2013 as I was asked to photograph the South West Florida Blues Society, Blues Festival for radio station 94.5 The Arrow. It was incredible to see his fingers fly across the strings of his guitar up close and personal, snow white hair long and flowing as was his custom. I feel he left us too soon and I’m sure there was more music waiting to embark from those fingers. I feel blessed that I was able to witness such greatness in the blues world.

Rest in Peace John Dawson Winter III

Johnny Winter Feb. 23, 1944 - July 16, 2014
Johnny Winter Feb. 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014

From Babies to Rock Stars

 

The wonderful thing about being a photographer is how life and work changes from week to week and sometimes from day to day. I can be in the park with a mom and baby, or a soon to be graduating senior as I was this past week and overnight it can change where I am in an arena photographing a rock star.

Mom & Baby
Mom & Baby

The question I ask myself most often is how did I get here? It’s not been easy and it’s taken a lot of Work, determination, and time. I enjoy the diversity of change and I enjoy meeting people and working with some incredible clients. I keep honing my skills and improving my art and of course marketing my work. I am passionate and so incredibly happy to be able to create so many wonderful memories for each of my clients.   I also love that I get to see those musicians that I enjoy listening to from behind the lens. I hope I never wake up from this dream.

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