When I shoot concerts, especially Jazz concerts, I love to do performance portraits. Performance portraits are not just pictures of someone playing an instrument or singing. Every shot is that. The moments I search for are the ones in between the notes when the artist’s personality really shines through their instrument. When the artist is fully in the moment of the music . When Jazz becomes the air that carries the breathe of those experience the performance: from the stage. from the audience. Or through the camera.
I have recently been more intensely drawn to the movement, intensity and performance of conductors, like Gerard Schwarz. The nature of being a conductor leans itself to capturing their arm movements as blurs within the photograph. But I have recently found myself focusing on the intensity of facial expressions and body movements of some of the recent conductors on the stage during Frost Live this year. Carl St. Clair and Gerard Schwarz are excellent examples of intensity of movement to the point where it is slightly challenging to freeze their motions.
As the conductor is almost never facing the audience, this part of the show is almost always lost of the symphony performers who are focusing on playing.