Archive for ‘Music’

October 4, 2011

San Antonio Singer/Songwriter: MATT ADLER

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Matt months ago to do a shoot for his album artwork. We spent the day shopping and chatting and then finally took some photos. It was a great time. Not only do I respect him as an artist, but I also admire him as a person.

I introduce to you:

Ever since the tender age of 14, singer/songwriter Matt Adler has had a knack for writing songs with catchy melodies, lush instrumental arrangements and memorable harmonies. With influences ranging from brit pop and indie/acoustic artists to classical and eastern sounds, his music always remains interesting and energetic while staying firmly rooted in the indie/folk/pop genre.

Matt is a renowned guitar player in the city of San Antonio. His intricate instrumental lines coupled with his versatile voice (which can be soft and delicate as a whisper to powerful and commanding), his live experience is truly special.


Who do you look up to/inspires you?

I look up to independent artists that make a name for themselves. It inspires me to think that even without bajillions of dollars in record label backing, good music can still get you noticed.


What three adjectives describe you?

Nerdy – I am the self-proclaimed “world’s biggest music nerd”. I demand that a sharp 4 be added to that 4 chord to make it more tasty! Music has this amazing power to affect people emotionally, even without words. I like to use unique elements within my chords and song orders to touch people, even before a single lyric is sung.

Committed – This is a recent development. I used to be scared of pursuing music as a career. A 9 to 5 is a more reliable income stream. But if I don’t take the risk, how will I ever jump to the next level? I had an opportunity to tour with a national indie/punk group but I opted to work for a software company instead. Biggest mistake of my life. But rest assured I won’t make it again!

Annoying – I am annoying in a GOOD way! I network. I’m not afraid to poke people with a pointy stick and deliver a message or request an action. But I also feel like I make friends easily. I love people.


What type of artist are you? (Musician, photog, painter, etc)

Musician. Period. I have zero other artistic ability! Interpretive dance maybe?


What is your biggest source of inspiration?

God, life and love.


How would you describe your style?

From a “sounds-like” perspective, I feel like I sort of sound like The Afters, Jon McLaughlin, Parachute and Melee. From a “style” perspective, I guess I’m indie-pop/singer-songwriter. I feel like my music is catchy and has a lot of energy. It sounds very large.


What is your daily routine?

Well I’d like to say first that my goal is for my daily routine to change VERY quickly! I have a 9 to 5 right now but I have a goal of being self-employed and pursuing a career as a musician within the next 6-8 months. Currently, I work from 8-ish to 5-ish. Most days I immediately drive straight home to produce other artists’ records until 10:30. Then I collapse in a heap and start the whole process over again. Nights where I’m not producing, I’m practicing and gigging. Sometimes I watch Disney movies…


What drives your passion for your work?

More and more every day, I feel like pursuit of any other career path than music is a waste of my life. Life is way too short and you should not spend what little time you have in pursuit of something that you don’t love or aren’t passionate about.


What would people be shocked to know about you?

I’m a post-implementation manager/client services-product liaison for a billion dollar education software company.


What is some of your favorite icons?

The Beatles are undoubtedly my favorite “iconic” group. They changed the face of the entire music industry. Not only did they write some killer tunes, they invented the music video, including lyrics in liner notes, incorporating audio loops into their music (except in those days, they actually had to cut physical tape and re-attach it)… the list goes on and on. Plus they had great hair.


What is important to you?

There are really just a few things – I really want to exude love and joy to everyone I meet in hopes that I can be a blessing in their lives. I also strongly belive that you should pursue your passion – more now than ever before in my life. Life’s too short (pretty sure I mentioned that earlier in this interview!).


What technique/style do you tend to use most?

My best songs are the ones that just “pop” out of me, almost in real time. Out of Reach is the lead single off of my upcoming album and I wrote it in maybe 10 minutes. It’s almost as if the song already existed and I just had to commit it to tape (okay, not tape… hard disk. I need to get with the times). Any time I sit down and attempt to write music, it never works. It has to “just happen”. And I can’t normally start writing a song and finish it later. 9 times out of 10, if I don’t finish it in one sitting then it either A) doesn’t get done, or B) is so bad that I’d rather gouge my eye out with a spoon than be subjected to such crapulent audio.


Who is your favorite artist?

These types of questions are nearly impossible to answer. I have favorites in various genres. Muse melts my face. The Beatles are The Beatles. I love acoustic artists like The Swell Season, Sufjan Stevens, Sarah Jarosz and Jon Foreman. I love Mae, Copeland, Waking Ashland, Anberlin… The list goes on.


What is your latest work/upcoming events? What inspired your latest work?

At long last (a frikking year and a half to be exact), my new CD “Rearranged” is finally being released on October 7th. I’m having a CD relase party that evening from 7 to 10 (doors at 6:30). The event is being held at TriPoint (N. St. Mary’s and 281) and I’m super excited. Wes Harllee and Ryan Proudfoot are opening and Mario Rodriguez is DJ-ing it up when the doors open. It should be lots of fun!


My new record is about transition. Fairly recently I went through a very long period of… well, crap. It was the most difficult time of my life. The album sort of outlines my state of mind – there are hopeful songs, songs about making mistakes, songs about “rearranging” your life, lies, love… yet the underlying theme throughout it all is transition. Out with the old, in with the new. I hope that in some way, others that are experiencing similar struggles can find hope in the music.

Find Matt here:

Web Site 1:
Web Site 2:

Watch our behind the scenes footage:

September 19, 2011

San Antonio Singer/Songwriter: Taylor Anne Crawford

This is Taylor…

She is a singer/songwriter , 18, drives a VW Beetle, currently writing her first EP with Producer Mack Damon, and has the best heart/passion I have seen in a musician in a while. I met Taylor months ago after being facebook friends for a while. When she asked me about doing a shoot, of course I was excited. We’ve talked about it for a month and knew we wanted to do something that would give her different styles/shots.

With musicians, I’ve found it’s best to give them a lot to work with. They have to use the photos for social media profiles, blogs, websites, album art work, EPKs, etc. If you limit the shoot to a few shots, they don’t get the most out of it.

We did her shoot out in Boerne on someone’s farm. We were only shooting for about a half hour when the storm started coming in. It didn’t matter. I think the rain clouds made for a great backdrop.

We even had the craziest drive back through the storm. I definitely enjoyed not only getting to do photos of Taylor, but also finding out more about her. She is a lovely person and I can’t wait to see what this life has in store for her.

Taylor, thank you so much for letting me get to know you better and allowing me to take such lovely photographs of you!

September 5, 2011

Matt Adler (Behind the Scenes) + 5 easy tips for last minute photoshoots

I am blessed to be fortunate enough to work with musicians. Back in my earlier twenties, I was involved with music and never was able to fully chase that dream. Doing photographs for musicians allows me to live close to that dream.

Sometimes, an artist gives me a concept but sometimes they just give me a color scheme. It’s my job to closely match what they need in the photographs for the graphic designer to be able to do their album art.

When local singer/songwriter, Matt Adler asked me to do his photos, he gave me some color swatches and left the rest to me.

It’s no secret that I am from the self taught photographer generation and have always worked with what’s available to me rather than going out and spending a fortune on equipment. I appreciate more tools=more options. But what happens when we don’t have as many tools due to finances or availability? We improvise and still give our clients the best product. Sometimes having complete creative control can be intimidating but there are a few things I do when handling last minute sessions.

5 tips for last minute photo shoots
1. Choose a location with multiple backgrounds- By doing this, I am able to give my client many options. This is especially helpful for musicians who want to get the most life out of their photos. They are able to choose what’s best for their album artwork, their press kits, websites and profile photos; and all can be different.

2. Make the client comfortable first- By letting the client give your their perspective, they will be more comfortable in having their photo taken. Listen to them and they will be able to loosen up so you don’t waste time on the empty shots.
Tip: I ask my clients a lot of questions and take photos “while” they are talking so they get used to the camera.

3. Pay close attention to detail- Straightening hair, adjusting clothing, paying attention to the full composition of the shot will ensure that you don’t have to take the shot over and over or miss the “look” just because something was off in the photo.
Tip: Take your time in reviewing the photo’s composition and once you get the golden shot, move on so you’ll have time on your next location.

4. Engage your client- Just because you are the photographer and they are your subject, doesn’t mean you have to create a distance. By suggesting poses and helping explain how they can give a certain look, you will help them give the best in them. Remember photography is a recipe of the subject, your artistic and technical ability and how they mesh.
Tip: Encourage them; show them what each look shows up like on the camera. I always show my client the good and bad photo so they can adjust.

5. Have fun- I know from experience on being the subject on the other side of the camera, nothing is worse than a photographer who is not fun and engaging. You want your client to have a good “experience” not just a good photoshoot.
Tip: Ask them about their hobbies and likes and find some area to relate to. Keep your energy up and let them enjoy themselves.

Below is the “behind the scenes” of my photoshoot with Matt. All tips can be seen here: