MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.

You are here

News Feeds

As Sony/ATV Mulls Over Sale, Questions Arise Over Martin Bandier's Succession

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 10:00am
When Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton announced on Oct. 8 the company had initiated a buy/sell process for Sony/ATV Music Publishing -- in which...
Categories: Music Industry

The Art of the Personal Project: Cole Barash

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 9:53am

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects. A personal project is the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director/photo editor or graphic designer. This column features the personal projects of photographers who were nominated in LeBook’s Connections. http://www.lebook.com/coleBarash

Today’s featured photographer is: Cole Barash

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.13.04 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.13.15 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.13.28 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.13.34 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.13.47 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.13.58 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.14.07 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.14.17 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.14.38 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.14.57 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.15.29 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.15.41 PM

How long have you been shooting?
Since I was 14, I think… So 14 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self taught. I tried going to photographer school and left after three weeks. Brooks was such a joke and rip off. I really wish I would have at least looked at a good school like Parsons, Pratt or Art Center in Pasadena which all have pretty legit programs.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
Talk Story is about the sub culture of the North Shore of Hawaii that is loosely anchored around John John Florence (prodigy surfer). Every year thousands of photos are shot of all the action of the progression of surfing on the North Shore on Oahu. The beach is lined with huge telephoto lenses and always focused on the action. I wanted to go there and create a body of work that was complete opposite of that, 180 degrees away from the water. Digging deep into the rugged localized north shore culture showing portraits of specific influential people, the colors and anything my gut re acted on why making the work not worrying about if it was going to work or not. Also focusing on the home life of John John as he is a very soft spoken but huge part of surfing that is kept pretty under wraps.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
One year.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Depends. A few months to a year. I like to go out and make new initial work/ working images out from my brain- print them, look at them and see if it is worth exploring deeper and more details. I need to see it in a tangible way first- usually.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I make work that is quite different than what I am hired to shoot. Sometimes it has influences but mostly its different. When you are commissioned to make work you are under some one else approval, vision and at their mercy. Which is totally fine as I see it as a service that I can provide and can be into it as well. Personal work- I take pretty seriously and focus more time and energy on that than commercial work. When the commercial work comes it comes and I’m hyped to do it but I don’t stress on it or focus on how much money I can make every year. I focus on creating work from my gut, as it’s the only way I can progress personally- the only person I’m up against is myself. I want to create real bodies of work that puts my stamp on the map so when I die people can hopefully find my visions and different specific perspectives on certain things, which I do with books and prints.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yea mostly MySpace. ). Naw, haha of course I for sure have but it’s not something I rate it with. I measure my work from how the people I respect react to it not how many likes or re blogs it has.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Sure. Tumblr madness- and some press on certain projects has been great. I think it is now a really valuable way to spread news and show people what you’re working on or what you’re thinking but not necessarily as a whole or tangible object.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Definitely not. I don’t believe in making my art books as promos. I don’t make books to get more work I do it as a creative expression and a tangible perspective as well as a contribution to the printed community of art and photography. Not saying that my rep hasn’t made promos with images from personal work which she has and it has looked great but the books as promos- not me.

Talk Story
I wanted to create a body of work that to show the true colors, beauty, grit and life of the North shore anchored around John as a main subject. Portraying the life at home inner details that makes/made his life what it is. I made it to make a statement of an era of surfing and Hawaii that ideally you will be able to look back in 20 years in your hands and see with your own two eyes not through a computer screen. This was made as a contribution to surfing for nothing but the true salt, blood and bones its roots.


Cole Barash (b. 1987) began his journey when he left his New England home at sixteen to document snow and surf culture in California. Self-taught and dedicated, Cole soon made a name for himself. With an organic approach to film photography and a clever eye for composition, his portraiture and still lifes became known for their candid and spontaneous sense of intimacy.  Well acquainted with international subcultures, Cole seeks “subjects where the boundaries are more open, not as seasoned, not done before,” capturing “unpredictable outcomes in a predictable world.” In 2011, Cole relocated to Brooklyn, New York where he now resides permanently.      

One of PDN’s top 30 upcoming photographers (2009), Cole’s work has been featured in group shows “Get Gone” (2008), “SILENCE” (2009), “Hot Bed” (2013), One Eyed Jacks Gallery (2014) and the Annenberg Space (2015), and a solo exhibition “Cold Emotions” (2009) at Montanero Gallery in New Port, RI. Cole’s first monograph book, Talk Story, and accompanying exhibition opened at Brooklyn’s Picture Farm Gallery in July of 2014 with a subsequent exhibition at Venice Arts Gallery in LA.  Cole’s images have been featured in numerous publications including, Rolling Stone, ESPN Magazine, Relapse Mag, and No Thoughts, among many others. 

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.


Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 7 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.


Categories: Business

Deezer Looks to Raise $344 Million in Paris IPO

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 9:12am
Streaming music service Deezer says it aims to raise at least 300 million euros ($344 million) via a listing on the Paris stock exchange later this...
Categories: Music Industry

Exclusive: Alicia Keys, Chris Rock Will Host The 2015 Black Ball

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 9:00am
Alicia Keys will share hosting duties with Chris Rock when Keep a Child Alive’s annual Black Ball returns to New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on...
Categories: Music Industry

Billboard Cover: Lady Gaga Gets Personal About Saving Troubled Teens -- 'I've Suffered Through Depression and Anxiety My Whole Life'

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 9:00am
Jamey Rodemeyer was a gay Lady Gaga fan from New York state. Bullied for his sexuality, the 14-year-old became a kind of online activist against...
Categories: Music Industry

Elton John Op-Ed on Tirelessly Fighting AIDS Through His Foundation: 'We Have So Much Work Left to Do' (Exclusive)

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 9:00am
The music industry has the unique abilities to unite people and to inspire profound social change. That’s why I’m so honored to participate...
Categories: Music Industry

New York, New York: Low light Sony a7S II stills and 4K sample videos from the Big Apple

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 8:00am

The Sony a7S II looks a lot like its full-frame Alpha mirrorless counterparts, but behind the familiar face are some important new features - namely, the ability to record 4K video internally. Its specifications are tuned to videography, with features like Full HD recording at 120fps, but its low light stills potential is equally compelling. We had the opportunity to shoot with the camera, so naturally we put its internal 4K and still photo capabilities to the test. Read more

Categories: Equipment

Deezer Partners With BandPage to Connect Artists and Fans

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 7:45am
Streaming services are starting to find new ways to help artists and labels reach fans. The week after Pandora acquired ticketing service...
Categories: Music Industry

Willie Nelson Sick, Concerts Affected

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 5:37am
Country legend Willie Nelson has canceled a show and rescheduled two others due to an unspecified illness.  A statement on Nelson’s Facebook...
Categories: Music Industry

Katy Perry Spotted in Havana

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 5:35am
Katy Perry was in Havana this week, getting acquainted with some of Cuba’s renowned arts education programs.   According to the Cuban music...
Categories: Music Industry

Troye Sivan Announces Debut Album 'Blue Neighbourhood,' Adds Tour Dates

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 2:25am
Troye Sivan has revealed details for his long-awaited debut album Blue Neighbourhood, which is to arrive in time for Christmas and...
Categories: Music Industry

Placido Domingo to Undergo Gallbladder Surgery, Cancels Concerts

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 1:39am
Fans hoping to hear Placido Domingo conduct "Tosca" at the Metropolitan Opera will have to wait a little longer: The maestro is suffering from...
Categories: Music Industry

Lady Gaga's 5 Best Lines in Episode 2 of 'American Horror Story: Hotel'

Billboard.com - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 12:26am
Categories: Music Industry

Town Mountain to Release Renditions of Two Grateful Dead Tunes

CyberGrass.com - Internet Blue Grass News - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 12:10am
Town Mountain - The Dead SessionAsheville, NC -- Town Mountain is excited to announce the independent release of Town Mountain: The Dead Session on Friday, November 13, 2015. “Each member of this band has enjoyed the music of the Grateful Dead for quite some time,” says vocalist and guitarist Robert Greer. “It seemed only fitting for Town Mountain to pay respect to some musical heroes in this year, their 50th year of existence.” They recorded an impromptu set of two of their favorite songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog, “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and “Big River” at the widely acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in their hometown of Asheville, NC.

This is the Grateful Dead done in Town Mountain’s hard drivin’ style filled with a honky tonk edge and barroom swagger. The resulting sound is touched by Jerry Garcia with Jimmy Martin and John Hartford… Fitting since Hartford played a short stint in Old and In The Way before Vassar Clements filled out the band on fiddle, and Garcia’s first instrument was a banjo as he was influenced by bluegrass music throughout his career. Narrowing down to just two was not an easy task for Town Mountain.

“What can I say about “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”? It's just perfect. Lyrically it's amazing,” says banjoist Jesse Langlais. “Robert Hunter can be so descriptive yet so vague in the point he's trying to get across. Which is great for the audience because it allows listeners to choose what they want the song to be about. In my opinion that's what a good songwriter does. He leaves the song open to interpretation.”

To Honor the Grateful Dead in the year of the band’s 50th Anniversary Town Mountain recorded bluegrass versions of two of their favorite Grateful Dead songs

Langlais says, “Musically, Mississippi was extremely fun to play with exciting changes and a lot going on melodically… almost like there's two songs in one. On the original studio version of this song Vassar Clements plays fiddle. Bobby and I tried to mimic the interplay that Jerry and Vassar had on it. This is just an amazing song, and and it made sense for us to record it because it had a bluegrass master involved. We adopted it into Town Mountain’s repertoire without changing the integrity of the song.”

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither“Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and originally released on Wake of the Flood in 1973. It was performed over 230 times live by The Dead over the years and the song was also the second set opener of the second night of the Fare Thee Well shows in Santa Clara this year.

“Big River” was written by Johnny Cash in 1958. But true to The Dead's fashion they would take other people's songs or traditional songs and make them their own. They had a knack for finding covers that were transcendent of the original artist and they played it in almost 400 live performances.

“We've always liked their version of country music. Even their original albums we're steeped in that sound. Workingman's Dead is full of country music influence,” explains Langlais. “The Dead kept the sentiment of ‘Big River’ but translated it to make an audience, who may not have known what country music was, love it. That audience for them was typically a younger more rock or jam influenced fan but they still ended up knowing the song and singing along.” “Big River” fits right into Town Mountain’s sound and wheelhouse.

The core of Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Adam Chaffins on bass (Adam is featured on “Mississippi”). Evan Martin plays drums on both tracks. Jon Stickley fills in on bass and guitar in “Big River” and Jack Deveroux lays down the pedal steel on “Big River.”

For the cover art, Town Mountain turned to long time Grateful Dead artist Taylor Swope. Taylor has been creating official Grateful Dead art since the former VP of Grateful Dead Productions discovered her in a parking lot at a show in 2003 and offered her a license on the spot. Her work has become iconic in it’s own right, having become widely associated with the generations of Deadheads who have grown up in the wake of Jerry Garcia’s passing.

Riding the wave of excitement that followed Fare Thee Well where her poster was one of only four featured at both stadiums, and sharing Town Mountain’s deep appreciation for American roots music, Taylor says she "thoroughly enjoyed creating this image. I am obsessed with swimming and water in general, so when Town Mountain asked me to draw them a river with a Steal Your Face, it was a natural fit."

Town Mountain is no stranger to playing covers, and what has become one of the group’s more memorable live performance songs is their version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” which they first recorded in 2008’s Heroes & Heretics. Town Mountain’s version “I’m On Fire” has reached over 1 Million listeners on Spotify and has garnered over 430,000 views.

Town Mountain is also prolific in songwriting; each member contributes their well-supplied vat of original material. They’ve been finalizing their next studio release which was produced and engineered by GRAMMY winner Dirk Powell in his studio, The Cypress House, in south Louisiana. For a sneak peek at what to expect on the future album, watch the band perform a new original song, “Wildbird,” in this wonderful session filmed by Hype Music Festivals at the 2015 Suwannee Springfest in Live Oak, FL ? http://bit.ly/Wildbird_byTownMountain_HYPE.

Town Mountain is in it for the long haul... check out out where they’ll be travelin’ to next and keep and eye on http://TownMountain.net for further dates as well as a brand new selection of merchandise. For updates from the road, please visit https://facebook.com/TownMountain, https://twitter.com/TownMountain, and https://instagram.com/townmountainbluegrass.

Categories: Music Industry

Wyatt Rice and Rickie Simpkins at Acoustic Stage Friday, Oct 16

CyberGrass.com - Internet Blue Grass News - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 12:07am

Rickie SimpkinsHickory, NC -- Come Join Acoustic Stage on October 16, 2015 at their new location 734 1st Avenue SW, Hickory, North Carolina 28601 for Wyatt Rice and Rickie Simpkins. Wyatt Rice and Rickie Simpkins have been playing music together for nearly 30 years! This special concert combines Rice's stellar flat-picking with Simpkins' phenomenal fiddle playing.

Best known for the syncopated lyricism of his fiddle playing, Rickie Simpkins has been on the the go musically since his childhood days, building a catalog of recordings and appearances that testifies both to his creative flexibility as well as to his enduring roots in the classic bluegrass of his native Virginia. He has appeared on recordings in a variety of musical genres including Nils Lofgren, Ralph Stanley, Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Starling, Tony Rice, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, Eddie from Ohio, The Issacs, Mike Auldridge and others.

Rickie has won many awards including SPBGMA's – “Fiddle Player of the Year”, IBMA's – “Instrumental Group of the Year”, 1991 & 1995 and Bluegrass Now's – “Fan's Choice Awards, Fiddle Player of the Year” in 1998. Rickie was inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Since 2007, Rickie has toured extensively with Emmylou Harris and Her Red Dirt Boys.

Fans of acoustic guitar music and Acoustic Stage should be well acquainted with Wyatt Rice. Wyatt and brother Larry performed at the very first Acoustic Stage show on December 12, 1992! Wyatt (as well as Rickie) has also appeared at Acoustic Stage as a member of the Tony Rice Unit many times. He began his career as an original member of the Unit where he played primarily rhythm guitar, although he had many opportunities for soloing as well. Wyatt has been featured on many recordings and videos, and has played countless gigs with the Tony Rice Unit. He played lead and rhythm guitar with his own band Wyatt Rice and Santa Cruz and with the Ronnie Bowman Committee.

Today, Wyatt works with a varied palette that includes teaching, recording, producing and performing. For more information an tickets, click here.

Categories: Music Industry

50 Shades of Grey

ASMP's Strictly Business - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 12:01am

[by Kat Dalager]

The world is definitely a-changin’. For the most part, gone are high usage fees, gone are a lot of restrictions on usage. Right now, it’s a buyer’s market, and that’s due to many factors, including:

  • Everyone is a Photographer.
    Anyone with a cell phone and Instagram is a photographer. While we know that doesn’t mean the shooter is great with composition, lighting or other technical skills, but to many buyers of photography, that may not matter.
  • Photography Follows Supply and Demand.
    Because everyone is a photographer, the commoditization of photography means that the supply is up – which means that prices are down.
  • The World is Global.
    It’s easy to find images on the web from amateur photographers that fit the bill. The pool of competition is much wider than it ever has been.

That doesn’t mean that photography is dead, but the game has changed:

  • Impeccable Production.
    Make sure that every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted. That means tight production, not luxurious production.
  • Consider the Value-Add.
    What additional value can you provide that will plus the shoot? Can you shoot video as well as stills? Can you do minor retouching?
  • Velvet Hammer.
    Negotiation is still acceptable, but with a gentle touch instead of an iron fist.
  • Think in Grey.
    The world of photography is not black and white. There are many ways to approach the production, the pricing, the usage. Be creative in solving the problem the client is tasking you with.

Trends that seem to be sticking:

  • Everyone’s a Photographer.
    The quality of cell phone cameras is increasing, and so is the availability of apps that makes poor photos much better. This applies to videography as well.
  • Combining Motion with Stills.
    It’s about content, not just photography. Photographers that can shoot motion (or find a partner that can) seem to be the price of entry these days.
  • Unlimited Usage.
    What used to be one or two years of use in specific mediums seems to be going for unlimited use, unlimited time. Maybe the pendulum will swing back, but since Everyone is a Photographer, that isn’t likely to change any time soon.
  • Low Impact Photography.
    No prima donnas, no over-produced shoots. Keep it real.

Kat Dalager has done her best to share various shades of grey with photographers for three decades. 

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Taylor Swift's '1989 World Tour': $173 Million Grossed So Far

Billboard.com - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 11:20pm
Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour returns to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Tours recap (see list, below), her sixth turn this year atop the weekly tally of highest...
Categories: Music Industry

Meghan Trainor Cuts a Move with Snoopy and Charlie Brown in 'Better When I'm Dancin'' Video: Watch

Billboard.com - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 10:43pm
Meghan Trainor has shared the video for her new song “Better When I’m Dancin’” through an exclusive with Apple Music. The pop singer gives...
Categories: Music Industry

Sean 'Diddy' Combs to Produce ABC Comedy Inspired by Assistant's Life

Billboard.com - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 9:45pm
Sean "Diddy" Combs is ready to venture into scripted programming. The rapper, record producer, actor and entrepreneur is teaming with ABC to develop...
Categories: Music Industry

Girls' Generation's Taeyeon Is Its First Member to Go Solo & First to Hit No. 1: Check Out the Stunning 'I'

Billboard.com - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 9:44pm
After more than eight years of leading Girls' Generation to a mania-level of popularity, Taeyeon is the outfit's first member to embark on full-...
Categories: Music Industry