Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nice photos. Wait... you took them on a what?

Posted by AreJay Smith
Photography and music have always gone hand and hand. Some of the greatest moments in music history have been captured in a picture and not in the studio. Gered Mankowitz, being the Godfather of  rock and roll photography, has captured countless, timeless photos of  some of the defining artists of the 60s’ and 70s’. If music defines the artist, I believe photography captures the scene and the era in which it took place.

"Raw", "Passion", "In the moment". These words can all be associated with Kim Augustine’s photography. She is one of the most interesting people I’ve recently met, her story is very interesting, and this is why I decided to feature her on this In Depth. She is someone, who, like most of us, use their passion to escape their troubles and everyday life. Did I mention she takes awesome photos because of it?
Here’s the best part: she started with and still uses her iPhone for most of the photos, which after only several months of being in the DFW music scene, has been featured in a art gallery! Needless to say, she has got talent. The relatively new photographer actually had no desire to take photos or even consider trying to make it as one, who at one time earlier in her life would make fun of her other friends who went to camera shops looking at lenses and were considering going to school for the art form. After she had lost her job, and with her mother’s death's anniversary quickly approaching, she had decided to escape into music and go to a local free show, where her friend’s band "Whisky Folk Ramblers" were playing a set. On the way out, she grabbed her husband's iPhone, hoping to get some photos with the band and her friend. The rest was history.

The music, the scene, just the vibe of it all really spoke to her and it hit a core. During the time she had been taking pictures of the band, and had not thought much of it, it seemed she found a niche for the music and the scene that encompassed it. The next day she had uploaded the photos she had taken to Facebook and thought nothing of it. “Much to my surprise, I got a ton of comments. Not just from my friends that had never seen me upload a photo, but by the two bands. Saying how much they truly loved the pics and how raw and lively I made them look.” She continued with, “I had never created anything of interest  before. It had meant a lot to me for them to even reply to it. After that, I was asked back to more shows to take more pictures, and that as they say, was that.”

I had asked Kim, her being a huge music fan, "What music do you love and couldn’t live without?" Which she responded with “Well, my mother was an accomplished piano player and 'A Girl And Her Piano' has always held a warm place in my heart. That said, I’d have to say Tori Amos, as well as Counting Crows. With them, you’ve got beautiful vocals and lyrics.” and finished with “With live recordings that make you feel like your live at the 10 spot or in the circle at VH! Story Tellers with them.” Then I asked, as a musician myself and huge supporter of local music, "As you are... what do you think is an important message to pass to someone who listens to mainstream music and might dismiss local music?" She responded with, “Those mainstream artists had to start some where.” and goes on to say “If you have ears, you're bound to find something you dig!”

"This interview might step on some toes of “serious” photographers who will dismiss your photos as amateur or not serious because you use an iphone not a Nikon. What do you have to say about that?" She mawkishly said, “Haters gonna hate.” and continued to say “In every form of art ever created, there has been people trashing it. The important thing is, I’m happy, and hopefully making the people this is really about, the musicians, happy. She finished with “For the photographers who think my line of work is cheating or bullshit. Maybe they should rethink their life and become Amish? Technology is ever changing, and without it, we wouldn’t even have the music that drives us, or the resources it takes to even read this article.

At the end of all this, I asked the biggest and most clich├ęd question “What’s your dream for your photography? Where would you like to see it go?”

Her exact words: I'd like to be known as the Photographer that has the passion and ear for music that makes capturing what the artists are so desperately trying to convey, but visually. Not as the propped, posed performer we see in so many photos, but what they're feeling when writing the song in the first place. It would be my dream to work with only local musicians for the duration of my time in the photography world. Getting their name and sound out. Seeing the baby bands blow up the radio stations and move onto larger labels and venues. I wanna be on the ground floor when it comes to music. Would I turn down a high paying gig? Hell No. But I will NEVER turn down a local show at Lola's 6th Street, Fred's Cafe, Mambo's Cantina, The Where House or The Good Show Live Music Series, to name a few. It's because of them and the people affiliated with them that get the "Baby Bands" names out.

In closing, like the many of the bands and fans that drive photographers, are just as big as the music and the scene they capture. It is the glue that connects the bands, the scene and the fans and when looked at provokes the emotion and excitement that took place in which that moment was captured. As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words". Some of the best memories are brought back by looking at photos shot at shows. Similar feelings from the best moments of my life come back to me when I look at these photos. All that and more gets brought up when I look at photos that Kim took. Photos do in fact tell a story, show a piece of history, much like Gered Mankowitz’s famous photo of The Stones and Jimi. I wasn’t even born then, but you can still feel and take in that era of music by looking at it.

Bands You Need To Know According  To KIM
Kim's Epic List of DFW Talent!

My Wooden Leg
Whiskey Folk Ramblers
The Hanna Barbarians
The Red 100's
Pablo Ans The Hemphill 7

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