I am so inspired by creative people. I glean as much inspiration as I can from fellow artists and feel compelled to dig deeper in myself because of the great works of others. For this reason, I very much wanted this blog to be a place where my readers could come and be inspired by others as well. I am thrilled to be able to start introducing you to talented artists and letting them share in their own words what fuels their passion.
Without further ado, please welcome Jennifer of JNY Foto! I met my French friend, Jennifer, over ten years ago online, and since that time we have met in person and have grown to be good friends. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow her passion for music photography. She has astounded me at quickly she has mastered photographing in the toughest of conditions to produce such beautiful images of her favorite music artists. Here is Jennifer, sharing her journey, in her own words:
“Whenever you do something with passion, there is nothing that can stop you. I believe that you are born with your passion in your genes. Sometimes though, it takes time to discover those passions.
Photography has been a part of me for my whole life. From the holidays with disposable cameras to the nights out with friends using my first digital camera, I have been photographing many things for a long time. I can’t even remember how many times I have looked at the old photo books filled with family pictures taken by my dad thinking, ‘I would love to be able to capture such things one day.’
My journey into photography took a more serious turn a few years ago when my dear friend, Jaime, came to Switzerland for a Country music festival. Anybody who knows me knows that Jaime and her music has had significant impact in my life. During this show in Switzerland, however, I never expected to have such deep feelings like I did. Everything was perfect! An amazing show with amazing artists, great guitars and musicians, surrounded by great people, and Jaime’s husband, whom we call FotoJo, happened to put his professional DSLR into my hands so I could capture the show!
Everything changed that night for me, and my love for concert photography quickly became a passion. A wise person once told me that living this passion at 200% is a way that I can keep my dad close to me. This is exactly what fuels me every time I am taking a concert photograph. In fact, there must a fairy Godmother (or maybe my dad) watching over me because right after getting my own very first DSLR, I somehow found a way to shoot the shows of my favorite artists, including K’s Choice and KT Tunstall.
Now, you can find about a million tutorials on the internet explaining the theory on how to take a good concert photo. But, let me tell you a secret! To get a great one, there are two main ingredients: the artists must express a feeling, and the person behind the camera must feel it.
This is the most exciting part! But, this is also the hardest. You have to use what you have in given situation, and you have no control. I have wished so many times that the light would be better, that the crowd wouldn’t be so close to the stage, that I could move wherever I want, that the artist could just pause for a moment so I can set my camera properly to get a great shot. But, in the end, not having every element perfect is what makes it so great. It forces you to connect to the show in an unexpected, exciting way. Your mind is free, and you feel goodness in your whole body.
Let me share with you some of the images of which I am most proud:
Ahhhh, K’s Choice. They are part of this whole story. They gave the newbie-I-used-to-be a chance to fulfill this passion. And, what an extreme pleasure to be able to capture the amazing emotions of lead singer, Sarah Bettens, during concerts!
When I was just getting started, I was still shooting and shooting and shooting, hoping to get at least one good picture. I found a way and here is one of my favorites of KT.
Gaëlle Buswel & Michaal Benjelloun
These two people are certainly two of the artists I like to photograph the most. There is a connection between them on stage that I have rarely seen.
Too often when shooting a live concert, front lighting is missing. But sometimes, you get lucky enough to have a light engineer who does such a great job that you can capture amazing backlit images!
The Roving Seats and Gaëlle Buswel
This was the night I first attended a show of The Roving Seats. I was literally blown away by the emotion from their songs.
This show was about a year ago, in Paris. It was exactly one week after the attacks in the Bataclan venue. It was a very emotional night. The light and stage height were perfect that night, and therefore it was probably the easiest concert I have photographed. Here’s Angela Randall, giving that amazing look to her guitarist-husband.
I could go on and on, sharing great moments, talking about the amazing people I met through photography, but I guess I will leave you, for now, and share one of my favorite photos I took of Jaime and FotoJo in Switzerland, the day after they were engaged to be married. I am hoping to one day fly over from France to Nashville, and to be able to take many, many, many more of the beautiful people they are.”