Guest Blog: Virtual Music Photography Gallery by Adam Elmakias
Kelby people, long time no talk. Long time no see, actually I haven’t seen anyone for a long period of time, I am sure you can relate. Kind of a bummer, but hey – it could be worse. Anyway I am (was?) a Music Photographer. Meaning I spent the majority of my time on the road photographing musicians. Here are some of my most recent favorite photographs.
When Corona restrictions hit LA I was left feeling uninspired, lonely – I couldn’t see my friends at concerts. I couldn’t hear the music I am an addict for. I couldn’t create the art I had been creating for over half my life. You know – all that considered my life isn’t that bad. I actually thought to myself – alright if this is really all you are dealing with – surely you can do something with your time. After all I was fortunate enough to be able to pay my rent and buy food to eat. That is more than enough for me.
It still took me a few months to wrap my head around the situation I was in, but after the sensor dust had settled it was time to get to work. I don’t know about you guys but I need to be creating, I want to put my time towards concepts I care about – I want projects I can obsess over. I called my friend/ business partner/ more hair on his head buddy named Thomas Falcone and we got scheming.
What can we do that involves the Music Photographer community, brings them closer together – and gives back in some way or form.
… In real life gatherings – not happening.
… Another A Music Photography Magazine with all of our friends (issue 2 ft. your very own Brad Moore) – good idea, but too many moving parts.
… Online A Music Photography Magazine PDF – eh, kinda boring.
… Online A Music Photography Magazine…. Gallery.. Virtual Gallery?
Alright now that’s what I’m talking about baby.
This checked all the boxes. We could make a VR gallery with all of our friends, ask for donations, and treat it like an IRL event. It would be ticketed, have a launch date, and then run its course. You could invite your friends, your family etc. My general rule of thumb is that if it genuinely excites me, it’ll probably at least tweak a few folks interest.
So that is what we did. We started hitting up every music photographer we knew while at the same time accepting submissions for this project from any music photographer that wanted to submit. The goal was to include all of our professional friends while the same time including the parts of the community we hadn’t yet connected with. The quantity of submissions we got was close to 1000 and churning through them was nothing short of a pleasure. So much talent in our community.
Going into it we thought it would be about a single month of work. In the past I had done the magazine alone, and it was 50 photographers. Now we have two people and we are going for about 90 photographers – how much harder can it be? Turns out, a lot. It ended up taking us about five months.
We asked everyone. We got a lot of yeses – and an equal amount of nos. Tell you what I am good at now – being told no. I mean I was pretty good before. I’ve had my fair share of creative ideas that probably deserved all the nos they got. This one felt special though – it was for a good cause and we were doing it together.
That being said – when people told me yes – it made my heart warm. There is nothing better than coming up with a creative project, pouring your heart and soul into it – and then having people join you in your mission. Some of the photographers that agreed in this project were people I have looked up to for most of my life. Danny Clinch, Jeremy Cowart. Additional a lot of my peers I respect and value their friendship joined in – Lindsey Byrnes, Pooneh Ghana, Rob Loud, Matty Vogel, Ashley Osborn.
After confirming all the people that would be involved we had them each dig down into their hard drives and find images that meant a lot to them. The only other rule that we had was it had to be music related. We wanted the gallery to be full of moments people held close to their heart.
Anyway I am not sure what else to say. I am pumped. Come to our gallery, enjoy it like you would an in real life event. BYOB. Each photograph has an audio caption that goes along with it that tells a bit more about the photograph – straight from the photographers mouth.
Here are a few quotes from their captions:
The gallery opens tomorrow, November 26th.
You can buy your tickets here (it is free, optional donation).
All the proceeds got to NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association.
You can see the full list of photographers below.