PHOTOGASM | Matt Barnes’ Take on Jazz

by Westside on July 20, 2011

Matt Barnes recently shot a creative which featured a stranded Jazz band, circa, 1953. Here’s a selection from the series:

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes © Matt Barnes

Matt is no stranger to elaborate creative shoots. I asked him about the inspiration for this one and he explained:

I had wanted to do a shoot like this for a few years now. I’m a huge fan of classic female jazz artists like Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

I also love the work of William Claxton, I’m a Steve McQueen nut so I always loved this shot of him:

Plus I’m a Tacshen fan and loved Claxton’s book Jazz Life. I wish I was around back then to document that era of Jazz and music/culture in general.

I love old vehicles so I thought a bus would be a really good prop. And I wanted to give it a good southern sunny vibe so I shot only natural light with out any bounce or anything… I wasn’t as concerned with the “how” in terms of the technical look, I wanted it to be all “feel”. But we added a bit of smoke to the shot cause that’s what we always do :)

The cast consisted of friends, real musicians, a few models and a couple of character actors.

I thought it would add a nice romantic innocent to have a kid in there… I love shooting kids and they always bring a good vibe to the set.

Plus, Ryan Enn Hughes shot a BTS video of the shoot, with music by the great Mississippi Fred McDowell. The tune: “Goin Down to the River”

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