A man, a guitar, country songs: quest for portraits

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Bob – By June Perkins
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Bob – by June Perkins
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Bob – By June Perkins

Bob Elliston asked if I could do some portrait shots for him.  

We met at Song Trails last year, where I was the workshop photographer and fellow songwriter participant.

Bob is the President of the Yungaburra Folk Festival and music has been his lifelong passion.  He has played in several bands and groups.  I think he said six.  He is enjoying pursuing song writing in his ‘retirement.’

Bob’s main request was that he didn’t want anything cheesy, staring down the camera, or too smiley.  But other than that he was really quite flexible.

Going to a photographer can be like going to the hair dresser.  You want to come out looking your best, and it takes a while to trust a new hair dresser.

I approached it just like when I am photographing family. We chatted. I asked him a few things about his life,  grandkids, jobs, musical influences, all the time clicking away and waiting for him to just be totally relaxed and himself.

I liked the backdrop of the cane and it was a slightly cloudy day which gave us some interesting textures to work with.  We had to wait for a bit of shadow though as it was mid morning and quite hot and we had to make sure we took care of Bob’s beloved guitar.  Guitar’s don’t like to be overheated.  Bob loves his guitars so I really wanted a few shots of him with his guitar.

At one stage I was super pleased to photograph Bob with a twinkle in his eye.  I could see the young man enthusiasm for life in him as well.  I truly like the character in his face.

Bob, and his song writing co-partner,  Michelle Walker, recently received a highly commended in a Tamworth Songwriting competition.  It is never too late to pursue your dreams.

Bob left the portrait morning after spending some time chatting about guitars, music and social issues with my son.   He gave us some produce from home – eggs, tomatoes, lemons, oranges and passionfruit.

I am looking forward to more portrait work and continuing to branch out from portraits of family to interesting local artists, musicians, country people, and songwriters.

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Bob Elliston – By June Perkins

 

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