"Win The Skies" Album Shoot

My high school dream was to be a music photographer. To go on tour with, an at least somewhat famous, band, photograph their every move, have a press pass at all the venues, have my photos on album covers, fall in love with one of the cool, good looking, band members, we'd start our own side project, win a grammy and have a story written about us in Rolling Stone Magazine. You know the drill. 

Well I've done at least some of that but I did it a little backwards. I fell in love with a musician. Then I got to shoot his band's new photos and have one of those photos on the album cover. Me being his wife was NOT an "in" though. This is their third album but my first time doing their photos. Which actually made me more confident because that means they trusted me AND it wasn't even my husband that suggested I be the photographer. He's less interested in mixing business and romance than the 17 year old me. 

Anyhow, a few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of creating Mike Romero Music's new promo photos and album art! MRM had played an event at Tyler Street United Methodist Church, in Dallas, TX, several months back and the guys loved the building so much they decided that's where they had to have their next set of photos done. So, earlier in February Branden and Mike took me to the church to scout out the exact locations we wanted to shoot in. Tyler Street UMC was built starting in 1919 and stretching to the 1970's so there's a really cool hodgepodge of architecture. Spending most of my time now photographing architecture, my mind of racing with excited over getting to shoot there. We narrowed all of the potential spaces down to 5 and the last week in February we all traveled back to Dallas to do the shoot. 

MRM is a 501(c)3 certified non-profit ministry, they have a board of advisers who approve larger expenditures so I emailed a pitch to their board for review complete with "rough draft" photos I'd taken during the location scout. I was really glad I did this because it helped me organize my ideas for the day of the photo shoot. When you're traveling to a place you're not really familiar with, working with 5 guys who are coming straight from a weekend event, several wardrobe changes, lots of stairs, meanwhile Justin Minchew is making a video of everything that's happening, and you know you have to drive 4 hours back home at the end of the day...things can get hangry and inefficient real fast.  I also met with Mike between the location scout and the actual shoot to go over the pitch, explain my choices and hear from him what he was wanting out of these photos. What did he want them to say? What is the vibe of this project? How do we make sure these photos reflect the new songs?  So, ALWAYS do a location scout and get test or rough draft shots and ALWASY listen to you client to make sure you're capturing their voice.

In my photography pitch the locations I chose are called things like, "wooden stairwell", "white stairwell", "top floor gym". I chose these specific spots, though the options were countless, because I knew we'd get great shots easily out of these spaces. They had great natural light and interesting but not but not spotlight stealing architecture. When working with a group I was looking for quality + efficiency, not "this looks interesting, lets just see what happens, maybe we get something maybe we don't" It wasn't the time for a lot of experimenting. Though we did end up deciding to wait until sunset to get some more shots in the gym with moodier lighting. I'm really glad we did because the light was so much more interesting and I got to experiment a little bit. 


Apparently moody light makes Mike into a male model. 


I used, as always, a Canon 6D and switched between a Canon 50mm f/1.4 and a Canon 17-40mm f/4. 


The guys had some styling help from WhitFort


Mike Romero Music's new album is titled "Win The Skies" and will be released April 30th, 2017. You'll be able to download it on iTunes or I believe through their website. Cover art photo by me and text by Logan Samperi (who also built this awesome website for me).