June Challenge

christopher townsend and nadia

Entry # 2

Doing photography of any genre has its challenges from time to time, especially if you’re on tour with a band and documenting them from behind the lens.
The most important lessons I’ve learned when working with a bands are these:

Always be prepared and ready to fire off that shot at any second.

Study the artists behavior through quiet observation, humans are creatures of habit and if you know his or hers habits or routines off the stage you will have the upper hand
in terms of where to position yourself throughout the day to get that great candid shot to share with the bands fans.

I use to take thousands of pictures at a show and sometimes I can still get “snap happy” – but when an artist I know once told me, choose “quality over quantity.” It made me think and it changed how I go after my shots at concerts now. Sure with thousands of shots you’re bound to get a “golden nugget snap”, but you’ll have more luck if you slow down- breath and be patient in taking a series of shots that will be a defining moment for that artist to share once they get off stage.

In every art form in life you learn from trial and error. Sometimes the vision we set out to fulfill fails, you can either let that moment in time discourage you or you can learn from it and keep moving forward becoming better at what you do.

I often get asked “Chris, what’s the key to getting the great shots you do?”

My common response is “God.” I honestly believe prayer has helped me capture some shots I never could’ve gotten without Gods help.
I know me talking about my faith can be a turn off to some folks but, as I’ve stated it’s a part of me and it’s a pivotal part in how I take pictures.
I normally follow up by telling people, that I just have fun when I take pictures. Yes it’s true you must pay attention to certain technical details but once you know your camera well enough you just rely on muscle memory to switch things up with the camera it’s self.

The best example by what I mean when I say just have FUN is this, my daughter (Nadia) She will take her little point and shoot camera and shoot whatever interests her. I love when she brings the photos for me to look at. I don’t give her critiques or tell her she is doing something wrong- I look at her images with the same excitement she has on her face while sharing them with me. I believe that photography like in film making has some technical rules one MUST follow, but I do NOT believe there are rules set in stone that you MUST follow to create something wonderful and beautiful ! I’ve had people ask me to help them with their work and show them how to become a better photographer… I can NOT do that. Most of the time the only instruction I have for people who ask me for that advice is “Just have fun and enjoy your shoot, don’t overthink it.” If they want to know something about their camera body I will help them, but in terms of shooting I simply tell them to have fun and shoot as often as they can, not to create ART but to train themselves to have a better understanding of the camera so that when they do create art they are not thinking as hard about the tools in your hands.

My June Challenge!
I want to encourage everyone that reads this to create some kind of art over the next month and give it to someone, or donate it to a business. Why? Because I believe creating art is gift that everyone possess and that gift was given to us to make others happy or to show people our world view. To prove my point look at a child, they draw with no fear of judgment and give someone that drawing for the mere purpose to make that individual happy. No one told that child to that he or she just did it to give a creative gift from their heart! I believe the everyone is an artist and It’s built into our DNA to create and give. So I am asking you, create something and give back this month then tell me about it. I want to know that story.

I must get back to back spending time with my kids, so I leave you with this. BE THE IMPACT IN LIFE, be a spark to those that feel like a piece of “old dry wood” and ignite their spirits with flames so they too can feel just as alive as you. Sparks make fire, fire can spread, let’s consume this dry season in our worlds history with flames that give contagious LOVE and endless HOPE for those in need of it!

Be Blessed


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