Steve Truesdell: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis

Categories: Best Of

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Steve Truesdell
Pokey LaFarge

What dos/don'ts do you have for young photographers who would like to pursue this type of work?

Don't expect to get paid much. This is a labor of love for those who do it on a regular basis. Do shoot because you love it! Also remember this fact: The band you shoot on a big stage will be photographed by about 2,000 other photogs on this tour alone. 1,950 of those are going to take the exact same pictures in those first three songs you are allowed to shoot from the pit. Try hard -- and it really is not that easy -- to shoot the images that are different than what you see in print or online. Shoot what turns you on, not what you saw in a mag or online posting.

After shooting some basic images, what I call the "cover your ass images" for your editor, push yourself to have some fun with the camera and the band. Layering the members for composition, weird angles, selective focus, band interaction and whatever else you come up with.

Remember, this is a pretty fun gig, so have fun.

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Steve Truesdell
The Rayburns

Pick one of the photos you've submitted and tell us a little about it: Where was it shot, who is featured and (most importantly) how did you capture it? We'd love to hear logistical description or technical breakdowns or whatever else you want to tell us.

This image -- I call it "The Flying Bass" -- is an old one of a great Canadian punk band called the Rayburns. What I love about this is that the bass player, Wayne Crews, used a bungy cord for his strap and sporadically he would toss the bass out and let it come flying back at him. It was a pure rock & roll move of the moment, and he never missed a note or got smacked by the bass! I'd seen him do this before, but this is the first time I captured it.

The photo was taken in a very dark dive bar called the Corktown Tavern, so I was filling in with a low-level flash exposure. It was shot on film and pushed to 800ISO in development. Then the black and white print was hand tinted with Marshall Oils, the way it was done prior to color film. That used to be a specialty of mine in the film days.

See also:
Christian Mayberry: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis
Bryan Sutter: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis
Jon Gitchoff: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis
Kenny Williamson: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis
Todd Morgan: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis
Abby Gillardi: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis

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