Photography and Music?

Music, I couldn’t shoot photos without it.

I couldn’t shoot photos without it.

While I gave up playing the trombone back in 2012, music is still an important part of my life. There is always something going on in the background, music is always playing. In our car we have a collaborative Spotify playlist that we all put music on so when we travel it’s not just “dad’s old music”… emphasis on old. I seem to have playlists for just about everything, even when we leave the house and our dog is alone we leave music on for her. I read somewhere, years ago, that music or a television helps dogs when you’re away and they don’t feel as lonely. We have our weekly “Taco Tuesday” in our house, my wife is Mexican-American so it’s a matter of pride, like how my family feels eating brats, beer, and cheese in Wisconsin, or Italians feel when watching Godfather 1 or 2 (Sorry, 3 missed the mark for me). Anyway, “Taco Tuesday” always has some TexMex music or Selena playing, it begins when we brown the meat. At night, all of my kids went to bed listening to Pino Daniele ballads, my favorite Italian musician. Anyway, you get the point…

A few years back I decided to start wearing headphones when out shooting at the beach where I lived in Coronado, California. At first it just seemed surreal to be on a beach in southern California actually listening to the Beach Boys, yes, I’m an admitted geek. Then I started putting together a playlist for when I went out shooting, it made photography even more fun but I noticed an unintended consequence, my shots actually seemed better when I uploaded them and I just felt more creative. So the playlist evolved and, yes, it’s a weird collection of stuff from my entire life. There’s no one genre, it’s music my dad listened to at home when I was growing up, the jazz I used to love to play so much, some of the recordings that I’m actually on that are on Spotify, Italian music I’ve come to love after living there for 17 years, and music from different periods of my life. It’s music that tugs at the heartstrings of my life but this music takes me to another worldly place when I have a camera in hand. I shoot lots more photos and get more keepers statistically if I shoot more, well I’m hopeful for that anyway.

For what it is worth, my personal experience has been that music helps me creatively, makes me more productive when I’m shooting. However, it has the opposite effect when I’m editing because I can’t focus on the editing task at hand. For editing, I usually have one of my favorite war music playing, yes, it’s weird. But back to music, my photography playlist honestly works for me, I never get tired of it because it’s only on when I’m shooting. Below are a couple of selfies over the years, notice the headphones, I really do this. If you dare to check out the playlist (one of the links below) you’ll see that it’s kind of whacked to say the least, but it’s mine and I’m kind of weird, just ask my kids.

Follow Me on Spotify

My Spotify Photography Playlist


4 thoughts on “Photography and Music?

  1. Nice, Bill.
    I stopped playing about 6 years ago but try to play for my family and the elementary school where I work at least during Xmas time. Music just makes everything better…


  2. Good stuff Bill – your photography, and my woodworking are similar – both drawn from our years as a musician.

    Warm regards to your family – I think often of that house we shared with Gerry!

    Be good/safe!

    dave (duna) hodge


    1. Thank you Dave, itโ€™s taken a while for music to click again. I hope woodworking makes you feel like photography makes me feel.

      I think of those times too, just wish I had appreciated it more and drank less. You must be living the dream in Hawaii!



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