With These Hands: Christopher Pratt Shoots the Messengers

We asked our friend and Bums Logic Nashville Correspondent Christopher Pratt to share some of his photographs with us. You can see the rest of his work at his website, but he chose a series with a musical theme to share here. Take it away Chris…

I’ve often heard that if two people live together long enough, they begin to look like each other. I wonder if perhaps the same is true of musicians and their instruments?

I shoot live shows and promotional images for local bands and artists on the Nashville music scene. Both as a fan and a photographer, I find myself focusing on how someone makes their sound. During the editing process, I began to notice a violin players hands, for instance, looked very different from most banjo players and both looked nothing like the typical hands of a DJ spinning records or MC holding a microphone.

Maybe it’s because a certain type of person is drawn to a certain type of music and somehow their lifestyle reflects that in their hands. Who knows? I will just keep watching, listening and shooting what I see.















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Interview with Neal Casal

In 2010, singer/songwriter Neal Casal released his photo book chronicling his time with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, A View of Other Windows. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Neal after its release for an intimate conversation about music, photography, and the Cardinals.

Todd.Levinson.Frank: You’ve obviously been documenting the Cardinals for a while, when did you think it could and would make a decent book? If the Cardinals hadn’t “ended” in 2009, would this book have still come out this soon, or did the timing work out that this book would put a nice bow on the Cardinals era?

Neal Casal: I didn’t know these photos would make a decent book until the book was about 90% finished. I doubted the quality of the work until very late in the game. Once it was finished though, I knew it was up to standards and that we had achieved something special.

I didn’t start taking the photos with the intention of making a book, I was just doing it because I loved to take photos of my band mates. The idea of the photos being a book came much later.

Neal Casal shoots Ryan Adams and himself.

TLF: Both a guitar and a camera are instruments of art, tools of trades, and are dependent on their design and the technology utilized to bring them to life. But a song or a jam can be made up out of thin air, whereas a picture has to be taken of something. So playing music is creating (or recreating) something while photography is capturing and freezing something. What are some similarities and differences between how you approach the guitar and how you approach the camera?

NC: Music and photos are the exact same thing for me. A photo has to be taken “of” something, and a song has to be “about” something. A photo is a song and a song is a photo. They both come out of thin air, and they are both about capturing and freezing something.

There’s a dual action that exists in both of these mediums, and in all things when they’re operating at their best. If you look at the photographs I take, and the music that I make, you’ll see and hear very similar qualities in both. My individual aesthetic is applied to whatever instruments I’m utilizing at the time. Continue reading →