The Austin Chronicle

ACL Music Fest Photo Ops

By Shelley Hiam, May 22, 2012, 1:30pm, Earache!

As a music lover/photographer, I always have two reactions to the ACL Music Fest lineup, the first being who I want to see, and the second being which performances I want to shoot. Here's who I want to photograph and why.

Alabama Shakes. I tried to catch them multiple times at South by Southwest only to be met with extremely long lines. Maybe it's because they're relatively new, but I haven't seen any live shots that capture the excitement surrounding this band. Another goal.

Crystal Castles. I hear they hate being photographed so of course I want to. I shot them before and appreciate a challenge as they often perform with no stage lights and a single strobe light being flung around on a cord by lead singer Alice Glass. It's another game I play where I put my camera on its bulb setting – the shutter stays open as long as you're pressing the button – and count the flashes of strobe light. How many Alice Glasses can I get? Focusing is difficult. This doesn't sound fun, but it is.

Die Antwoord. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this one but come on - this is the kind of act photographer's love to shoot. I'll bring my earplugs.

Gotye. I admit it. I'm one of those people who hasn't tired of "Somebody That I Used to Know" yet. I also find his mouth to be strangely shaped, and I like photographing people with interesting facial features. I like to make games out of shooting, so I will make it my goal to get the best mouth photo possible. Other features I have made games of include Trent Reznor's nose and Danzig's belly.

Iggy & the Stooges. Do I really need to explain why? Also, this will be a better reminder of why you need to wear sunblock than all the lobster-colored people by day three.

The Whigs. Garage rock and a band from Georgia. Two things I love. I think they'll be energetic and fun to shoot.

Jack White. I've shot him before with his other projects but not solo. Also, it's difficult to properly expose his skin with the sun reflecting off it so fiercely. Shooting him after sunset should prove to be much more pleasant. I really hate when people accuse female music photographers of choosing the profession to hide their groupie intentions, but my inner teenage girl is excited about this one. The man is a mystical creature.

Neil Young. This is one of those "I need to photograph this person before they stop playing." Included in this list is Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan.

I'm more excited this year. Here's to hoping it doesn't rain. No need to repeat the camera fungus incident of 2010.

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