Soundtrack Of A Photograph

An Introduction

For years now whenever I watch a movie that opens up with a big sweeping, majestic montage as the opening credits roll by I have often thought, I could pick a better song than that! In my head I begin piecing together the elements of the scene and scanning my brain for a song or piece of music I think fits the mood. When you listen to as much music as I do that may be an inevitable thing. Having no desire whatsoever to pack up and move to Hollywood to work in the lucrative “guy who chooses the music for movies” career, I have to leave it as an exercise for me alone. However, I discovered at some point that when I look at a photograph I have taken, often times there are brief snippets of a song that appears in my head. I cannot really explain it, but it has been happening to me for years. Surprisingly, if I pack that photo in a box, or in some seldom opened file on my laptop and view it again after a period of time, the same song is still there, as an actual representation of the photo. Or as another way of looking at it, the photograph has its own soundtrack.

There is something inherently personal about taking a photograph. You are the one who has a flicker of a thought in your brain that tells you, I want to take this. Most of the time you realize there is something mediocre about the results. The lighting is poor, someone walks in front of what you are shooting just as the shutter is pressed, whatever the reason may be until you begin developing photography skills. But it is that thought that I want this, I want to remember this which is a personal thing. In thinking about this, I realized that another thing that is personal is the way we like a song. There can be many reasons for this as well. It might have a good beat, good harmonies, a good guitar solo, whatever the case. But like a photograph there is something deeper down that is making you feel these things. It goes beyond a “remember that day we went here and that happened” type of situation. For me there is almost always a song of some sorts in my head at any given point throughout the day. So I do not find it odd that when looking at my photos, they stir up emotions, and parts of those emotions are songs.

So that is what this blog will aim to explore- the connection between a song and a photograph. This is not necessarily something new. Watch enough YouTube clips and you will see countless homemade music videos, using an artist’s song over someone’s own photos or video. Some of them are quite good in fact, but what I aim for is more of an in depth looks at the songs together with my own photographs. Sometimes this may be more about the song or artist, other times it may be more about the photo, so I hope if you have read up to this point you will join me.
This blog is a second attempt at this following one I scrapped earlier this year. This is a little terrifying for me. Those who know me well know that I can talk for hours about music, and that I have developed decent photography skills to this point. It is the writing “thing” that terrifies me a little, but I am hoping the emotion and thoughts behind my subjects do the work for me.


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