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A Fly on the Red Wall


Jolie is looking oh so pretty with this red wall behind her. I came to the old apartment in Charles Village to listen to Jolie’s husband Dennis and his band, Native Dancers, perform in front of a live audience for the first time. The space was empty except for the bands instruments, some take-out pizza, and a red light. I wasn’t sure if I’d find an angle or enough light to get some band pics, but that red light created some magic for me. Part of the fun for me in shooting live documentary-style photos is I never know what I’m going to find. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle I need to solve where there is no image to imitate. There is no correct visual to duplicate. I find that frees me up to observe and experiment. Another positive for me in a situation like this is - I’m not getting paid - this is a just a fun shoot at a friend’s private concert. The expectations are low from the band. It’s mostly me that I’m trying to please or impress. I gain self confidence as I look through the images I captured and realize there were some good shots. I think with each of these photography experiences that are “just for fun” I’m better prepared for when a paying client is expecting me to deliver their money’s worth.


What do I like about this photo? The streaks of light/shadow on the red wall give the image some movement, it’s as though Jolie is flying forward. Her smile and natural pose as she talks to someone off frame makes me feel like I’m in on the conversation. For me, documentary photography is a way to give the viewer a sense of place and to help them feel what it might be like if they were in the room observing. A fly on the wall. A red wall. Below are a few more images of the band and a couple I observed as they listened to the music and got caught up in their own story. Sometimes I feel like I'm creeping on other people’s private lives with these types of images. However, my hope is I’m catching folks in a moment that they would love to look back on and see themselves lost in that instant. What do you think?






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