I’ve always loved shooting singers and bands. But I don’t shoot as much live music as I used to. When I was a teenager in the 1970s and 1980s, I’d go to concerts with my dad’s camera, the fastest telephoto lens I owned, and as much film as I could afford to process, hidden in my clothes. Those sneaking in a mickey or other prohibited substances had an easy job. Back then, going into a venue with five pounds of metal and glass concealed in your jeans was a risky proposition: I didn’t mind getting caught once in a while – I just dreaded forfeiting the show and the price of the ticket. Today, everybody has a camera hidden in their pants. It’s called a phone.
I still don’t shoot as much music as I’d like. But over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to capture the performances of Claudia Salguero and her amazing band – usually at the Fourth Stage of Canada’s National Arts Centre, although they’re no strangers to a number of other venues around the Ottawa region. This month, they’re back at the NAC with a new show: Origenes. I spent a little time with them last week for a sneak preview and to reconnect with old friends in the making. In that basement, watching them rehearse for hours, I was reminded of the tremendous time and effort that go into any artistic endeavour. And that it takes a lot of hard work to make something look easy.