I’ve always liked photographing fellow artists, regardless of their art.
A few years ago I embarked on a project to photograph musicians. I contacted the Valley Symphony orchestra with a proposal to photograph all the principal musicians, including the conductor, and feature them in a traveling show. I thought they would jump at the prospect — boy was I mistaken.
You would not believe the static I got. I was so discouraged after dealing with the board I almost abandoned the whole project. I mean — I was offering it for free — it wouldn’t cost them a penny, plus they would receive tons of publicity as the show traveled around the Rio Grande Valley.
I decided that I love photographing musicians too much to be thwarted by a bunch of bureaucrats so I contacted each musician privately. They were ecstatic to be receiving so much attention. Just goes to show you that you never know how people will react to what you may think is a great idea.
Anyway, this is Marvin Eagle. At the time he was the principal violinist. I invited him to my studio where we had a great time together I created many images, but this one was my favorite.
I did twelve people in all and the Brownsville museum of fine art hosted the show. It got tons of good publicity and really helped me get my name established as a fine art photographer. My photograph of the conductor Carl Seal placed in the top ten best portraits in the world under the rules governing PPA’s (Professional Photographers of America) International print competition.