Last Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of working with Nashville recording artist Mickey Utley. The singer-songwriter recently released a new album, “Get It! Get It!” – an energy-filled compilation of country rock that includes seven all new, original songs. Mickey’s label, Tuff Duck Records, hired me to capture images that will be used to promote and publicize both the artist and his new release.
I hope you enjoy this exclusive, first-look at some of the images from our shoot (more back-story below):
And, as promised, a bit of back story:
Most often on a shoot, it’s just the subject and me. For this one, however, I had an audience. Mickey arrived at the shoot with a small entourage that included his college-age daughter, a couple of representatives from his label, and the curator of our venue—all of whom had ideas for images. I love collaborative creativity!
During the shoot, Mickey cracked up several times when his daughter told him to try not to look constipated. I’m grateful to have had her along to generate some genuine smiles and natural expressions.
Several times during the shoot, Mickey suggested the setting. In fact, he discovered the blue couch in a closed-off room of our venue and knew instantly that it would make a great set for a shot or two.
At one point, he spotted a red chair in front of an antique shop across the street from our shoot and exclaimed, “What if we put that chair in the middle of the street?! That would be a cool shot!” I agreed and, before anyone could object, Mickey and I grabbed the chair, moved it to the center line, and shot off a few frames. It’s that kind of spontaneity that makes a shoot so much fun.
Late in the shoot, we stopped by a barbecue joint frequented by the Tuff Duck guys. This is the kind of place that has fresh pork grilling in the alley behind the restaurant, filling the air for blocks around with that tantalizing scent. Whenever the grill was opened, plumes of smoke would billow out. Always one to take advantage of my surroundings for a more interesting photograph, I suggested that Mickey stand where the smoke could be captured on camera, swirling in front of him. The result was some amazing images that lend themselves to great ad potential: “Mickey Utley—Nashville’s smokin’ hot singer-songwriter!” or “This boy is on fire!” The possibilities are endless.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Mickey Utley and his people. If you get a chance, catch him in concert at a venue near you and, for more about Mickey, watch this short video.