Last night I went to The Sweater Set‘s album release concert at the Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda, MD. SO INCREDIBLE! If you’ve read previous entries about this girl duo you know that they are multi-taskers extraordinaire! Singer/Songwriters who perform while playing more instruments at the same time than seems possible.
The new album is Goldmine. Do these pics look familiar?
Yes, the one on the left is from our most recent shoot at Gold Leaf Studios. I also picked up a copy of one of their other albums: Live at the IMJ. Those pics were taken the year prior at Annie Cream Cheese in Georgetown just before they embarked on a tour of vintage shops.
Check out their music for yourselves: The City Paper has a free download of “Downstream” off their latest album.
The Sweater Set is an awesome girl musical duo currently based in D.C. They havet this sweet folksy sound that’s reminiscent of a Taylor Swift’s-storytelling-meets-Regina Spektor’s-vocals(?) and I don’t have anyone to compare them with when it comes to the number of instruments they play: guitar • piano • ukulele • flute • tambourine • accordion • kazoo • xylophone • yeah, it’s insane how cool they are.
So, you can imagine how delighted I was when they asked me to shoot the cover art for their upcoming album. (:D)
I’ve shot Sara and Maureen before, almost a year ago as they embarked on a series of concerts in vintage clothing shops. This time they wanted to be photographed at Gold Leaf Studios in Dupont Circle, a fantastic location full of gilded art and frames. I thought it was perfect fit for their retro fashion sense and quirky, fun personalities. Here’s a bit of what we came up with:
I love in theses first images how the teal goes so well with the red in their lipstick and Sara’s shoes.
The windows had great afternoon light which brought out the highlights in their hair.
Possibly getting a little too literal with all the frames in the shop but her skin is so porcelain perfect our host, Bill (so cool!), likened her to the Madonna and I thought her smirk in this frame evinced a Mona Lisa quality.
This last one is definitely a favorite, the way all of the incomplete frames form a frame around them but the edit was certainly tough: 259 images went down to ~40 to 13 to 9 to 7. Check out one of the edits (done via iphone before Yo-yo Ma concert) compliments of (my favorite photo editor) Joey Baker.
I didn’t have a marching band at my high school. There was a band… and they stood on the field before games and played the fight song and national anthem but nothing like this. PCGPS high school marching bands are like no other. They’re outfitted to perfection with plumes and capes, they play popular music, and THEY DANCE!
Imagine the movie Drumline playing at your high school halftime – complete with dance teams. Yeah, that’s my Saturday :D
I’ve known Jon since I was a junior in high school. I had just torn my hamstring during a rehearsal of the “gym scene” in West Side Story. The Jets had carried me off the stage after the disastrous dance with Riff and laid me down on a stack of choral risers in the wings.
I was laying there in the dark, staring at the ceiling as tears rolled down my cheeks, when I heard a voice. “What’s up, Briar Rose?” it asked. Apparently, I had an eerie resemblance to a dead princess waiting to be kissed. Sticking with the Disney theme, I answered in kind, “Not much, Quasimodo.” Jon is not a hunchback, nor is he French, but he did have the whole lurking-in-the-dark-on-the-fly thing going for him and there blossomed a beautiful friendship.
Since then I have given up my stage for my love of photoj and Jon has become the performer. Every so often our paths cross. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot both his album covers and then this weekend, my employer gave me an assignment to shoot our local boy at the 2nd Annual Silver Spring Blues Festival.
Jonny Grave, 22, of Silver Spring, performs at the second annual Silver Spring Blues Festival in Silver Spring, MD on May 22, 2010.
Silver Spring 5/22/10
I usually try to stay away from this shot. Every event at Silver Plaza has this exact set-up. But Jon being a solo performer with an interesting look, I went for it, capturing the banner in the background and allowing a lot of space at the top of the frame because it was clean and the color of the canopy tied in to the shoot.
Trainer Jack Blackburn, played by VaShawn McIlwain, talks to Joe Louis, Nikolas Vaughn, before his first professional boxing match.
Jarrod Lee plays old Joe Louis in the world premier of the opera Shadowboxer, the story of Joe Louis, at the Clarice Smith Center for Performing Arts at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD on April 12, 2010.
College Park 4/12/10
I recently had the pleasure of spending two afternoons with the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation of Riverdale, MD. My first trip was to simply capture a few stills to accompany an Arts & Entertainment article but after meeting all of the welcoming, vibrant personalities and listening to the amazing people the atmosphere spoke to me. One word: MULTIMEDIA!
Below you’ll find the Quicktime Virtual Reality (QTVR) I created. Click once to load the video then click and drag to transport yourself around the scene. To listen to the musicians play and hear a bit of history from the organization founders, click the link below. Note: it is a large file and will take a moment to load.
Below are 4 still images from a story I’m doing on the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation. I’m going back again this week to get more stills and work on a multimedia piece for the web. Looking at these photos, a list has started forming in my head of the shots I still need. Bruce Strong Project Road Map here I come!
Members of the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation play in Riverdale, MD on Saturday, March 20, 2010.
The Duke University Chorale performs at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Silver Spring, MD on March 13, 2010 during their Spring Tour to New England. Andrew Brimmer, a Silver Spring native and graduate of Paint Branch High School, sings with the chorus as a bass and performed a solo during the piece ‘And So It Goes’ by Billy Joel.
Silver Spring 3/13/10
Carpentry students from Thomas Edison learn to install windows at 3716 Munsey St. in Wheaton, MD on March 10, 2010.The students are taking a class at Thomas Edison High School and earn hours towards their construction internships.
A bagpiper plays a pre-competition exhibition performance at the Northwood Drumline Competition at Northwood High School in Silver Spring, MD on November 14, 2009.
Silver Spring 11/14/09
Woodrow Wilson High School performs at the Northwood High School Drumline Competition in Silver Spring, MD on November 14, 2009.
Silver Spring 11/14/09
Kelly Brockington, 18, of Burtonsville, practices layering simple beats to create complex music in B2R a sub-group of the Sports Academy at Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, MD on November 12, 2009.
Jazz pianist Marcus Johnson plays the piano at Three Keys Music Studio in Silver Spring, MD on September 25, 2009.