Photo: Me, where it all began... Revo Records
You see a photograph, I see a hit song.
Am I even a photographer?
I could sum this whole rant up with one quote:
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Every photographer has their process... their method for capturing, processing and delivering their version of the perfect image.
This Revo rant is written to inform you of my process and philosophy behind creating images. I’m not saying my way is right and other ways are wrong. I’m not saying my way is better or best. I merely wanted a way to take you inside my mind for a moment to better understand my vision.
What you might not know about is that I have been a music producer “Glitch” for many years. (Producer friends called me “Glitch”). To make a great song, the production, arrangement, mixing and mastering are just as important as the “capture” or recording process. They compliment each other and work together towards the big-picture vision. Great production requires amazing recordings and it all comes together to make a “hit” song. I approach every photograph as if it’s the next “hit song”. When we’re setting up the recording session or photoshoot we have to understand the character and the emotion... who the song/ photo is for and what it’s purpose is. During the shoot we also keep in mind the production process and the big picture in mind. I don’t just see what’s in my camera’s view-finer... I’m looking at the whole process in my mind and visualizing the final product. In the production phase (photo editing) I treat the image like a song. I want to enhance and bring out all of the character and talent of the artist/ model/ client/ brand/ product. The better I did in capturing, the less “fixing” I have to do and more production I get to do.
It’s all music
There are many production similarities from making music to making images. Even the way high and low frequencies are treated differently in an image... much like in a song. It’s mixing. During this process I think back to the purpose of the photograph and make sure that all production done serves the brand and the goal of the artist/ model. This can be color/ mood/ dodge & burn, things removed or altered, composites created etc. Once a photograph is “mixed correctly” I master it... just like a song. I put the image together and run it through Photoshop’s “Camera RAW Filter” to finalize the image.
Colors, contrast, composition, and the expression of an image must fuse in harmony to convey the story.
They must be arranged correctly like a full orchestra. Do you see it?
I have a friend who says she “sees music in colors”. Amazing. I believe that sound and image engage the same part our minds in a different way.
And then there’s lighting. Without light there is no image. Creating and utilizing the right lighting in photography is like using the best microphone in the best environment to capture an amazing vocal. If that vocal or guitar isn’t capture in the best way possible the whole song suffers. Without the right lighting an incredible image can be totally missed. Lighting is created on set and also in production. If there was only one thing I could pass on to a new photographer it would be the importance of lighting. It IS the way you record an image. Learn to be a wielder of the light!
SOUND IMAGE IMPACT
I am confident that this approach has completely shaped my style of photography. I believe it’s what pushed me into commercial photography so quickly. If all you could do was “capture” a recording but not create the song from it you wouldn’t be much of a music producer. You’d be a great recording engineer and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. I want a great song to take an artist to another level and I want a professionally produced image to serve a client just as well. ”Sound Image Impact”.. not just a catch phrase... but the way I see artistic creations. They are each represented by the 3 segments of the Revo logo (fun fact).
So am I really a photographer? Probably not... I’m a life-long musician and producer who stumbled upon a camera. Like the quote that kicked this off “... I live my daydreams in music.”
All of life is music.
Let’s make some hits!