We had the good fortune of connecting with TODD DEAN and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi TODD, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I am 52 yrs old and I have always loved music, all genres. I was never musically inclined although my mother was a proficient pianist for several southern gospel bands back in the day. Over the years I’ve been to many concerts and always wanted to be involved with the music scene and not sure about the avenue to take. A few years back my granddaughter was looking through old film photos that I had taken of her mother in sports and with a solemn look she asked why I didn’t take photos of her? (Hence the door opening for a new camera!)
I am a regular at a local tavern where musicians are on the stage every weekend, performing for it’s patrons. I photographed my first local band 4yrs ago and that band was The Jeff Rogers Band at Sixes Tavern. I realized after uploading the photos I had found my way into the music scene and could make possibly make a career in it. Now granted it started as a hobby and over the past couple of years it has develop into a second job. It is 10% pay and 90% fun I like to say. Photographing musicians on the stage or off is my love and my creativity that gives me hope for a career after, but hopefully before retirement!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Over the past few years I have developed a knitch in my photography that has drawn musicians to my work. When I first started all my photos were the same, although I picked and chose the shot, it was still the same. In this business to get notice you have to doing something special ( I do not want to be the one to step on others toes. ) and that is where my edits of a photo becomes more personal for the musician. Some say they look like a painting, some say they look 3D, but I like to say they are art.
Was it easy?
I spent days and nights, cursed, made the wife mad and I am still developing everyday… so no it is not easy! They’re will always be challenges but they’re is always satisfaction waking up the next day, to take on those acts.
When I started out, local musicians were my target. I never asked for a dime I just wanted to see them prosper in the business, I wanted to be there for them, where they make it big or not. As said before it is 10% pay and 90% fun. I’ve never been in it for the money, just the art of it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If you ever visit me, my life is wide open with my 9 to 5 job and my photography. I love to hang around the house a couple of days just to cook up something and chill but I will make time while you are visiting. Knowing that I love music we will go to numerous venues during the week, where music is played. A few of these places that are dear to me is Sixes Tavern where dinner and music is a beyond any, next is Tom’s Place (where it is always 5 o’clock). Tom’s is small bar where you can be up close and personal with the musicians playing, both are in my hometown of Cartersville GA. I will also take you to a premier venue for music where a lot of major artist have hit the stage, and that place is called Peaches formally know as The Brewhouse in Rome GA. They are more places that we could visit but this is my headliners per say in the music business! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow some might say where do I begin…. I know where I want to start! First off I want to recognize my wife of 26yrs. Over the past few years she has been by my side on this venture, I have taken time away from us to further my career and she still smiles and supports me. I would also like to recognize some folks in the field of photography starting with Paul Undersinger, Ruby Burks, Ian Rawn, and Scott Willis. Each has offered something since I stepped into this roll, where it might have been a photo, or we threw up lenses in the pit together to advice and I thank them for that. Last but not least all the bands, artist and venues. They are to many to call out, but they know who they are!
All images are mine