Enter Kelsie May --A little firecracker from eastern Kentucky, about 20 minutes from where I grew up. It is one of the most densely populated regions of America for bonafide talent, on any map. I've had the pleasure of working with this talented young lady in both a studio photography setting and a location setting, and she outshined others many years her senior with her ability to communicate as well as her drive and focus regarding her chosen career path.
Her parents contacted me about photographing her for her upcoming website, publicity shots and such. They told me she might be auditioning for The Voice. I was excited for her, for her parents. And I was honored that they had chosen me to be the one to create the images that would be a part of such a journey.We shot two days, two three locations and studio, and through all that time, I saw her interacting with her parents, and all I can say is she is one of the most respectful and thoughtful young ladies I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long time.
I had done my research of listening to her music, and checked her out on YouTube, Facebook and other social media, as I always do before shooting talent. However, when you come face to face with a genuine from-the-heart talented artist you just know it. You feel ‘it’ and that’s what will make the difference for this young lady! From a photographer’s perspective, when she made eye contact with the camera, it was like she immediately lost that early teen giddiness and took on a more serious, mature persona.
As we shot, I engaged her in conversations about the songs she writes. Her answers were not just introspective, but as I kept shooting, she made eye contact with the camera that made me wonder how many more ‘layers’ were in there. And that is what it’s about. Engaging the viewer of a photograph. Make the outside observer want to see more. Learn more. That is a gift that few poses and fewer still have complete command of.
Do yourself a favor and watch for her on NBC’s THE VOICE. She is on ‘Team Blake’ (Sheldon). She is winning the hearts AND votes of America with her pure voice and her distinctly fresh personality. You too will be ‘Blown Away By Kelsie May’
A very special thanks to the entire team at PCG Nashville for allowing me to be a part of such a great project!
Marty Wayne is a one of Middle Tennessee's well-known commercial photographers, as well as headshot photographers. He is recognized for his unique talent of capturing the essence of his subject in his photography. he uses his unique style and talent to create extraordinary images that will get you the attention you deserve.
Take Your Best Shot
My blogs are about photography. In one way or another, everything I do is about photographer. I will blog about the shoot itself, the techniques I implemented or my interaction with the client. This one is a little different. It’s a bit more personal. It combines both my passion for creating music and my drive for creating a photograph that tells a store, much like a great song does.
I grew up in eastern Kentucky and I’ve shared the dream of making it in music as a way ‘out’ just as so many others back home. I had a small measure of success back in the day, but when it comes to talent in the ‘real world’ you better be one of three things; First, Best or Different. Grandma telling you how good you are won’t cut it. There are so many things that go into being a genuine talent that others will want to listen to, follow and be moved enough by that talent to use their own hard-earned money to buy your music. It’s not just being a great singer or a great musician or writer even. It’s not just about having a cool voice or a hot look or hip style. You need to have what they call in the music industry that ‘it’ quality. There will just be something special about you. You won’t be able to put your finger on it, but you will recognize it. It is part charisma, part talent, part skill and part illusive magic pixie dust that somehow found its way into the gift that is that artist. That’s what reached out and touches us when we find an artist who makes up their ‘fan’ just by being their self.
When I was approached to photograph emerging pop artist Annie Bany for the artwork for an upcoming album project, single release and accompanying publicity campaign, I did my homework. I listened to some of her music and checked out the existing images online, found her on Facebook and Twitter, too. I was impressed! She has a great voice. She is quite easy on the eyes and vocally delivers a song that makes you believe it, and enjoy it, too. But when she arrived at the studio for the shoot, she took on an entirely new dimension. I’ve been doing commercial photography and music photography a long time and when someone walks in to my studio I usually get a good idea of a client’s energy right away. But with Annie, I could tell there was a depth to her that was just waiting to come out to play.
Seconds later her stylist and make-up artist walk in, followed by her wardrobe stylist and her manager. By the time her team was set up and ready for business, I already knew this shoot would be a lot of fun! (Did I fail to mention they also brought balloons and party streamers?)
They filled me in on what they expected from the shoot, and gave some direction to start with. One thing I’ve learned is that when photographing an artist with such a fresh spirit and immediate presence such as Annie’s, ANYTHING can happen and usually does; so I need to be ready to capture it all at a second’s notice. –Including screaming like a little girl every time a balloon popped!
It only took a couple frames in front of my camera before Annie was laughing with me (and at me at times, which is often the case when you work with me) and delivering some great frames. I knew this was going to be a great session!
By the end of the shoot, she had everyone laughing and having a great time. That’s how I knew we would have some fantastic shots! You can’t always predict or even ‘design’ a great shot during a session, but like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said, ‘I know it when I see it’
A very special thanks to PCG Nashville and an their team including Carly Porter (wardrobe stylist) and Anna Alicia Alicia (Hair and Make-up)
Check her out on social media EVERYWHERE!
I HAVE BEEN SO GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL TO ALL OF MY CLIENTS YOUR SUPPORT OVER THE YEARS! IT IS SUCH A BLESSING TO BE ABLE TO DO WHAT I LOVE AND FIND SUCH CREATIVITY AND JOY THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY! I HAVE DECIDED TO START A BLOG THAT WILL FEATURE A CLIENT EACH MONTH AND THE BLOG WILL BE DEDICATED TO MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THAT CLIENT AND I’LL SHARE A FEW IMAGES FROM THE SHOOT.
I AM VERY BLESSED TO NOW CALL MANY OF MY PAST CLIENT’S MY FRIENDS AS WELL!
I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS I ENJOY CREATING THESE IMAGES! TYPE YOUR PARAGRAPH HERE.
1) Be You.
2) It’s About You.
3) Nothing should distract the viewer from ‘you’
4) It’s A ‘Head’ Shot
5) Make-up Or ‘Fake’-up?
6) Stick With Flat or Non-dramatic Lighting
It’s All About You (take 2)
I can’t express enough how important it is that you plan and WORK on your expressions. You will either sit there with one look to deliver, or you will come in knowing how to express yourself, using your eyes mostly, to make the viewer of yoru finished headshot want to look at it. Want to know more about you. Practice in a mirror. Have a friend take practice shots of you with their cell phone. Run through words and learn how to deliver expressions such as ‘Happy’, ‘sad’, ‘concerned’, ‘content’, ‘wistful’, ‘longing’, etc.
Wear what you LOVE on yourself. But absolutely nothing that distracts from YOU! It's all about you and your personality. You will never get called to a casting based on what you are 'wearing'
You’ve committed yourself to this, so give it up to the studio. Myself, and my make-up artist’s and stylists are a TEAM and you hired US for a reason. In the end we will nail that headshot!
So, if your current work is not getting you the attention you deserve or want, it's time to make it happen! --A great headshot is a no-brainer!
First let me say this advice and the headshot images on my website, and those here with this blog represent a span of about 9 years of headshots.
Most every career of every actors and model began with a simple headshot. Mastery of this skill is something you will rely on, and come back to for the life of your career. Here are a few of the secrets to making it a long and profitable one. It all starts with a great headshot.
There are any ingredients that go into making a marketable/profitable headshot. Here, I’ll try to break them down simply and straightforward.
First and foremost, you should pick a photographer whose work you love. If you like what he or she has shot for others, you will walk into that studio confident that you have found the right team to create one of the most important tools in your toolbox; A great headshot.
It’s very important that you be coachable. You did your research, and you chose this photographer for a reason. Go with your gut and let them work the magic you are paying them for.