Photo Pop 2012 Preview: Brian Gray @ Red 7 (11.9)
Hey folks! Have you heard about the awesome art show/sale at Red 7 this Friday night, followed by an even more killer rock show? Well, it’s going to be a special night for the Austin community, so you owe it to yourself to be there. We’re offering you some insight into some of the great artists showing their work, and we’re pleased to introduce you to our hard working and genuine mate, Brian Gray. Meet him…
ATH: What started your career as a music photographer?
BG: A chance encounter with the little esteemed nathan.lankford. He approached me at the Twilight Sad show a few years back, and at the time, I was just shooting for fun. We hit it off, and we hit the ground running from there. Ever since then I’ve worked my tail off to do the best job I can (agreed-ed.). Definitely happy with life.
ATH: What camera/lens do you use or prefer to use?
BG: I am a Nikon guy. I like to use prime lenses (no zoom, big aperture). This can be inconvenient, but I like shallow depth of field shots and selective subjects. The festivals and big venues get the venerable 70-200 zoom. I love it, but it is a beast.
ATH: If you had to pick one band to shoot over and over, based on past experience, who would it be?
BG: Arcade Fire – They take performance seriously despite the indie-kid status. Everything from interaction to eye contact to stage design.
ATH: How do you go about shooting a show? Do you just aim for shots of the lead singer, drummer or what? Anything else you do? Do you try to tell a story?
BG: Shooting for a show review, there are certain shots you want to get as though you are just a journalist documenting history. Set list, a proper portrait, a wide shot of the band on stage together. After, I just try to have fun, experiment with composition and lighting.
ATH: In your opinion, what’s the difference between using an iPhone and shooting photos as a career?
BG: Using an iPhone sucks. Take the night off , you instagrammers, we got you covered. O_o
ATH: How do you feel about apps like Instagram, etc?
BG: Toys, but fun. Much like film to digital, instagram makes the (abused) processing effects of film accessible. I’ll say that there are a few people out there that are really using it to create great compositions.
ATH: What has been the hardest show you’ve ever shot, or weirdest?
BG: Purple. Pick red. Pick blue. Both? It sucks. I used to hate projectors, now I embrace the pixel faces. I guess some musicians want a Tron grid on their face. The worst are probably shows with out a photo pit but still have a three song limit. Foster the People at Ye Ole Emo’s Outside was a nightmare. No pit, three songs only, oversold crowd and about 95F in open air at show time. Had to have been 110F up by the stage. Got my shots and died.
ATH: Do you touch tips with others in the photo pit? Do you compare penises at festivals?
BG: Festivals are like insurance conventions for us. What happens in the pit stays in the pit. Plenty of gossip, heh.
ATH: How do you feel about the much accepted rule of only shooting the first three songs? Smart move?
BG: I understand getting us out of the way so the fans at the rail get to be the real front row. I would like to see more artists let us shoot a middle three after getting warmed up and sweaty.
ATH: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a young photographer just getting their feet wet?
BG: Shoot small shows, figure out how to get a usable image in bad light with less than “pro” gear. Just never sign over your copyright.
We here at ATH love Brian and all his hard work…mostly his hard work. But we also love Grape Street who will be closing out the Photo Pop 2012 night at 12:45 at Red 7. In case you hadn’t heard, they’re the bees knees. Take a listen.