“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
Sometimes people see something different in your image, something that even you didn’t see.
During Bruce Springsteen’s 2006 Devils and Dust tour, I was asked by an editor to shoot for his publication. I said yes. Are you kidding, of course I said yes. I grabbed my camera (and film, yes … film), hopped in the car headed on down the road.
The venue was as moody and dark as the album. When you’re in the business of “collecting light” the lack of it can make for a challenging evening. When in doubt, load the camera and shoot. I knew even before the film was developed that I probably wasn’t going to like the result but I knew I had done the best I could under the circumstances. I filed away the negs and was happy that I had been able to stay for the show.
Fast forward a decade and a phone call from a photographer friend who asked me if I had shot anything during that tour. I admitted that I had, but I had never been happy with … she stopped me and quickly said, ”someone will email you, send a half dozen at least!”
An email did come and I spent an evening pulling the negatives, trying not to think too much about how dark they were. I rescanned a few, gathered everything together and sent them off.
A day or two later, one of those images, one that I had never really thought much of, had been picked for the cover of a live, Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust tour cd release. It became part of a series of live performances being offered through brucespringsteen.net, his official website.
That dark, grainy photo, one I had never thought much of, has since become one of my very favorites.
Did I save the images because I was a fan? Probably, but I would like to think that in the back of my mind I thought “just in case” as I slipped the proof sheets and strips of exposed film into a binder. Lesson learned; save the work anyway, and when the word goes out and someone asks to see it … send it to them. You never know.