When I emailed Robert to arrange the photo shoot, he surprised me with the fact that we’d be shooting in his main space of inspiration - his home. I LOVED this immediately, excited to get a glimpse of the influences that fuel his work. Upon arriving, I noticed Robert’s extensive record collection that rivals some of the best I’ve seen. With Laurel Aitken’s reggae/funk/soul vinyl record “Sweet Rocking Mama / Reggae Serenade” (1975) hanging prominently in the living room, I knew this guy had impeccable musical taste along with talent.
In true cat lady fashion, one of the best parts was meeting his silky black kitty, Onyx. This old gentleman was kind to me and gets to live the ultimate life - listening to the sounds of Robert’s guitar everyday. Lucky dude *and* he photographs so darn well!!
Robert strummed his favorite guitar as I began to photograph, slowly drifting into a blissful state. He effortlessly created a beautiful acoustic ballad on the spot. I knew he practices for hours, honing on his natural abilities with the instrument, and this was dream-like.
While It was amazing to witness, it was evident this particular photo shoot would be less “directing” on my part (I didn't want to interrupt his flow) and more observational photographing. So I mentally switched gears, something that is often tricky for photographers. While he stayed in the zone, I allowed myself to drift and pay close attention to the details of his home studio; I loved the pile of handmade art on his music stand, the beautiful and delicate eggshell artwork in his kitchen that his girlfriend made, and enjoyed photographing closeups of his guitar as his fingers glazed through each note. Special thanks to Robert for the free short concert, I will forever be impressed by your musical talents!
To read the full interview with Somerville Arts Council please visit: http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org/artistmonth/2016