When I first started making portraits for hire, I thought the easiest subjects would be singers. They were used to being on stage and looked at, they had worked out their wardrobe and hair and make-up issues, and it was their music that was most important, not whether they were beautiful or not.
I learned otherwise.
There are always exceptions, but good luck to anyone who thinks hanging out with your favorite music icon is going to be a cakewalk. Worse still, bands. The politics of the band, who stands in front, all that jockeying, it’s a minefield. For someone like me, a photographer without a concept to push on someone, greeting a band that wants to be told how to dress and where to stand and what to do once they’re in place is not a happy moment. It takes a different personality than mine to talk the Meat Puppets into posing in drag. Besides, group pictures are usually failures, only the name (Rolling Stones, Beatles, etc.) over the photograph makes them memorable.
Like a good soldier, however, I pick up my camera and, on command, charge the hill. I do so willingly, telling myself this will be the last time I’ll be suckered into photographing a band or a singer, it’s just no fun. But, along come the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or Jewel, or Brad Paisley and I’m born again, naive to the core.