When Annette began photographing people at Sam’s she didn’t know that her attention to detail would lead her onto a path of shooting some of the greatest blues artists of all time – B.B. King and Buddy Guy!
“How did that happen?” I asked her.
“I got involved with the [San Antonio Blues Society (SABS)] and I did a lot of [photography] for them. In 2012, the Majestic Theater approached SABS about having a presence at two of their upcoming shows that were going to feature blues greats – B.B. King and Buddy Guy…I was SO excited! One, to shoot in a place like the Majestic, and two, to shoot those two artists…wow!” Annette said, “It was surreal.”
“In the back of my mind, I hoped that the Majestic would like my work enough to ask me back for other shows,” Annette continued. Thrillingly, “they asked me to be their house photographer and so I’ve been shooting for them for about 15 months.”
Annette’s skill hasn’t come without a lot of hard work, although she’s very humble about it. “I’m constantly learning, and quite frankly, a lot of my best photos are the result of dumb luck – being in the right place at the right time.” She’s taken a few classes over the years, and has received good advice from friends who are professional photographers. “Light is something that I struggle with all of the time,” she said, “I want to be able to take the photo correctly the first time – not go in afterwards and fix it with software. When I first started taking photos at Sam’s I used flash. Just the thought of it makes me ill now. And to make it worse, it was the camera flash, which is straight on, instead of a separate unit where I could at least angle it. I feel really bad about all of those poor musicians that endured the flash in their face.”
“But once I got some amazing, right-on-advice from Jeff Wolfe, I learned that I didn’t have to rely on flash. I love shooting with available light. There’s no comparison…when I look at the photos that I took with flash, I really wish that I could go back in time and take them over. Thankfully, I’ve been able to capture many of those artists again,” Annette explains.
|Jeff Wolfe – Annette’s friend and mentor|
“Who is your favorite artist to photograph?” I asked.
“”Favorite artist…that’s a tough one. While I’ve loved the big name artists at the Majestic, I enjoy the intimacy of shooting people at smaller venues like Sam’s. It’s not just the photos, it’s the connection with the artist. So my favorites would definitely include Ruben V – I’ve probably shot a couple thousand photos of him. He picked one of my photos for a t-shirt, and Sam’s picked his photo to be at the entrance – it’s huge!” Annette said.
“I also love shooting Carolyn Wonderland. Not only is she a badass musician, she has the most amazing long red hair that she whips around and that makes for great photography.”
“And Guy Forsyth, who is a musical genius and whose voice sends chills up my spine, and Wendy Colonna, who is beautiful and has the voice of an angel. There are too many, I could go on and on!”
If you’d like to see more of Annette’s photography, check out Sam’s flicker page (click here).