Raced back from Grand Forks where I’d just enjoyed Blues on the Red, to get the opportunity to hang with some of my favorite people in North Dakota: the musicians of the Sarah McMahon band. Even if these were not some of my favorite entertainers in the region, I’d still want to hang with these people. They’re not only talented but they are real, warm, down-to-earth intelligent folks who do not fit the stereotype of a typical North Dakota.
While the typical North Dakotan is personable, wise, steady and solid, they are also very pragmatic and not at all varied. They are homogeneous. People such as the musicians of the Sarah McMahon Band maintain the qualities of a typical North Dakotan, but add their own artistic variety to the cultural landscape.
Sarah, the lovable pixie who emotes vocally like Aretha or Norah is from Idaho. The others, home-grown North Dakotans. They’re awesome.
Shooting this promo shoot in the Blarney Stone in Bismarck was a delightful experience. First of all, they’re not afraid of the camera as many North Dakotans tend to be — humble, shy and reserved. So, with willing models we got to try several different approaches to the shoot, always working to keep Sarah front and center in her band.
I tried different lighting as well as different poses. I wasn’t sure about the three overhead lights. I thought they might be distracting to the final image, but actually they add interest to the photos
We worked up several poses and angles, but seemed to settle on this angle for the photo, mostly because of the direction of the pool table, with the corner pocket at the front. It acts as a visual funnel directing your attention up in to the photo.
I like using props like that to direct the flow of the viewer’s eye in to and around the image.
In this case, it helped to have such a stunning centerpiece to the group — Sarah. She gets a lot of attention for not only her talent, but for here physical attractiveness, but she still keeps it real. I look forward to doing more with these musicians in the Sarah McMahon band and in Black Cat Rumble (the two personnas of the same group). If you scan through this blog you will see I’ve already posted several images of them. They’re good people.