Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photographer Profile: Sterling Andrews

We continue our series on local indie music photographers with the charming and stylish Sterling Andrews, who answered a few of our questions about how she got started and why she does it. And we've included some of her (and our) favorite photos, as well.

How did you start taking photos? And doing music photography?

I started shooting when I was really young - nine or ten -- but I didn't imagine I'd ever take it seriously. When I was nineteen, I dated a musician who frequented local venues. I wasn't really into music, but I wanted to seem interested in the things he liked, so I took my camera to the shows we'd attend together.

Eventually, two things happened: bands started offering me money to shoot them, and I realized that much of the music I was around was truly wonderful.

What do you like about it most?

I've been interested in the dynamics of nostalgia since I was little. I remember looking at a photograph of my dad as a small boy, thinking "I'm holding this now, but it was taken before I was born." I know that sounds silly, but it was really profound to me as a five-year-old.

Often, when I'm framing a shot, I think about that photo of my dad, and wonder what it will feel like to look at the image I'm about to take -- years from now. Even if it's just me or some guy at a flea market looking at it.

What was the best time you ever had shooting a band or show?

That's difficult to answer; sometimes I'll have a terrible experience -- security hassling me when I've already gotten all the necessary passes, little opportunity to take candid before or after-show shots, scant, monochromatic lighting -- but if I get ten or twenty really good shots, I'm happy, and I feel like the evening was a success.

I did have a wonderful time shooting Rogue Wave and The Shins at SOMA in San Diego a few years back. It was the first time that everything fit together well -- the venue didn't have any harsh shooting restrictions, the lighting was great, everyone in both groups seemed happy that I was there and they showed off for the camera a lot, especially backstage -- and I remember thinking "Please, please let it always be like this!"

As for promo sessions, I just had The Happy Hollows in my studio recently -- and I've never had a more creative, less inhibited shooting experience. All of us really trusted one another; we weren't afraid to suggest something that might not work. After a few hours, we had some frames that were nothing less than magical. But what else could one expect from The Happy Hollows?

Where can people find your work?

At either here or here.

(First person to send us a list of three of the five acts pictured in the article wins two tickets to The Airborne Toxic Event at The Echo this Thursday night.)


Post a Comment

<< Home