"What is your favorite photo that you've ever captured?", I often hear.
Ugh. That is a very difficult, if not impossible question. Even if I divide my body of work into segments such as "music", "travel", "nature", etc., it's still unlikely that I could pick a single photo from each genre that I like more than any of the others. And, even if I did, I'd probably change my mind the next day, if not the next minute.
One of the most difficult things for a photographer to do has got to be critiquing our own work. We're either too critical of ourselves, or we favor a certain image based on the emotions that we had when we created it, as opposed to viewing it purely from an "technical" perspective. Any professional photographer that has ever created a website (which I hope is all of them) knows how tough of a task it is to make the selections for their portfolios -- which should only include the best of the best of their work.
Case in point, my DSP "Music Photography - Musicians & Bands Portfolio", where I simply gave up trying to whittle down the size of the collection to an edible level. Given that I have shot hundreds upon hundreds of gigs over the years, and there is almost always at least one shot from each show that stands out in my eyes (which is part of my personal objective for each gig), when I put the new website together I, quite frankly, threw in the towel when it came to trying to keep the numbers low in that particular portfolio. Last count, I think I have over 500 images in the Musicians & Bands color portfolio, and well over 100 more in the Black & White portfolio. And, then there is the Crowd Shots portfolio. Guilty as charged for breaking the rule of "how to put together a photography website portfolio". I failed miserably, but that doesn't mean that I'm not proud of every shot that is featured on this website.
Now that the new site has been live for three months or so, I decided to have a stab at creating an additional portfolio within my Music Photography Portfolio -- one that features my personal favorite concert, festival, and crowd shots. Since there was no way that I could possibly make a Top 10 list, let alone pick my single favorite, I decided to go through the exercise of picking my Top 25 favorites. You'll find my selections here:
This process, of course, wasn't easy, and I'm still second-guessing my selections. After getting things down to 40 or 50 favorite shots, I had to make some tough decisions, and continue to chip away at the bunch until I reached my target of 25.
Was I biased in my choice of shots due to a particular "story" behind a photo, or due to a photo's commercial significance to my career? Yes, I'm sure such bias factored into things for some of the shots. But, when all is said and done, I'm extremely proud of each and every one of these images, and believe that they all portray both technical and compositional integrity, and most if not all capture a unique moment. One thing is for certain -- every photo continues to evoke an emotion in me -- the creator of the image. I think that speaks volumes as to why they ended up in this special grouping.
Will all 25 photos in this gallery endure the test of time? I hope not, as I'm always striving to improve what I do, and to get outside of my creative comfort zone when it comes to anything that I create. Although I'm very confident in what I produce for my music industry clients (and all of my other clients as well!), I refuse to become complacent, and I will always endeavor to take things to another level. And, as I do that, you'll likely see a few changes here and there to my Top 25 Music Photos.
What do you think of my selections? Do you have a favorite music photo of mine? Feel free to post a link to your fave in the comments section. Thanks!
Here's the link to my entire MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO