Earlier this week I received an email request from a band asking to use one of my images for some shirt designs they were working on. The request, one that would most likely have me beaming with pride in the past. Left me with more mixed emotions than I ever thought I would have. Feelings ranging from surprise, feeling somewhat honored and even a bit uneasy came and went. Sure it was cool to have someone appreciate your work and even want to use it to promote their art. But as selfish as it might look. I couldn’t help but think, “Well, what’s in it for me?” There was no offer of money, product or a percentage share in future groupie earnings. Considering the band is asking for a copy of the image that doesn’t bare my standard watermark. No one is really going to know or care who took the shot. No one will know it’s my work. So it is in no way promoting my so called brand. Later that day, after much consideration, I asked the band for a big bag of filthy money and a stolen truck filled with shirts. I’m still not sure it will happen in the end. Until then.
As a budding photographer in the mid to late 90’s I went through countless rolls of both negative and slide film accumulating boxes upon boxes of slides, negatives and prints. I had a neat linen closet in my one bedroom Hell’s Kitchen apartment filled with my photographed history. Everything in a separate, marked envelopes with negatives intact. I was really anal about it and why not. One of the first things I was taught was to keep your negatives with your prints and keep them in pristine condition.
However, at one point all of that changed. I got a job at a photo store on University Place and B&H opened it’s Super Store within walking distance of my apartment. My organizing obsession started and my simple, organized hobby went haywire. One day I had this genius idea to separate my negatives from their prints and put everything into binders. I spent lots of money and time making complete nonsense out of my once perfect system. A few years later my girlfriend moved in and that converted linen closet turned photo library became my girlfriends converted personal storage unit. Negatives and Pictures soon separated before legally becoming divorced and despite supervised visits, rarely saw one another.
Years later I’m happily married to the woman that took over my closet, living in another town in another state. I’ve begun the unenviable task of going through about sixteen years of newly digitalized negatives putting names to bands I may have only seen once or twice at CBGB’s, ABC No Rio, Maxwell’s or perhaps Connecticut’a Anthrax club. Most are immediately recognizable while others draw a complete blank. It seems I attended my share of crappy Thugcore shows at CBGB’s in the 90’s along with a few Jersey Metalcore shows. Add to that I’ve started the process of putting names to the bands I’ve shot since going digital. A task that has been a tad easier since I’ve labelled each folder with at least the nights headliner. One thing I have gone as far as doing is tracking down the names of the band members. There are so many bands I’ve enjoyed over the years. Many of which I never had the opportunity to get personal with. So I’ll continue digging, archiving and shooting. Putting names to the many faces whose music continues to add to my loss of hearing. Back to work…
After months of toiling and tweaking I’ve launched a new WIX site that focuses on my music photography. It features live and studio work with numerous bands and musicians. Be sure to stop by and visit. Thanks