Andy's 10 Best Pictures of 2013

Magic is the only way I can describe a black and white photo.  Not every composition works in the absence of color, but the ones that do evoke a sense of the very magic that captivated my love for photography as a child.  While reflecting over my shots from the past year, I soon realized that my "Best Of", like my Instagram, would inevitably boil down to be black and white.

Daniel De Los Reyes - Allentown, Pennsylvania - August 29, 2013

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul.  Many indigenous cultures believe that photographs steal that very soul.  If both are true… what does that say about this backstage candid of Danny?

Zac Brown - Ridgefield, Washington - September 13, 2013

Zac towers over the crowd exerting momentum and force in this photo.  The lines of the hanging truss draws your eye towards Zac and help emphasize that mid-stride energy.

Willie Nelson - Charleston, South Carolina - October 19, 2013

I ain't no doctor, or lawyer, or such... but I do play guitar and drive an ol’ truck.  With that in mind, I love this photo of Willie playing the very song I love him for.

Coy Bowles - Charleston, South Carolina - October 19, 2013

This photo holds two things that are usually instant throwaways for me.  Extreme faces on stage, and water bottles.  However the perfect lighting on Coy quickly overshadowed both of them to land this photo as one of my tops.

Clay Cook, Zac Brown, and Jimmy De Martini - Charleston, South Carolina - October 20, 2013

Photography, to me, is 50% eye (seeing the shot), 35% skill (operating the camera correctly), and 15% luck (the other 85% falling into place in enough time to get the shot).  This photo was probably more like 85% luck, 15% eye, and another 100% of being in the right place at the right time (right down to the lens flare on the violin).  The beauty of photography, is that a good photo renders the percentages null-and-void.  Here we see Clay, Zac, and Jimmy... all three in their element, absolutely shredding their respective instruments.

Bakersfield, California - November 13, 2013

Sometimes… your best photo is behind you.  And sometimes, that photo is one of those miraculous moments… where you can see someone's life being changed forever.  That look in his eyes… he wants to be a musician when he grows up, and this is the moment he realized it.  The human element is something every photographer strives to capture, and this photo is it for me.

John Driskell Hopkins - Sacramento, California - November 14, 2013

The beauty of a silhouette.  I love how even with most of the details hiding in shadow… the subject is unmistakeably Hop.

Clay Cook - Fresno, California - November 15, 2013

I love Motörhead.  At the end of every Motörhead show, Lemmy usually picks his bass up from it's normal playing position and holds it like a machine gun… looking down the fretboard like an assault-rifle towards the crowd.  When I saw Clay pick his guitar up to bend the notes in a similar fashion, I instantly thought… "rock star"… making this photo an easy pick as one of my tops

Chris Fryar - San Jose, California - November 16, 2013

Playing his heart out to an empty arena, Chris came out on stage an hour before sound-check and just went at it.  At the time I remember thinking "here is someone who truly loves what they do".  What is equally great about this photo is that the guy that captured that moment feels the exact same way.

Coy Bowles - Bozeman, Montana - November 23, 2013

The guitar is an instrument that has evoked wonderment since it's creation.  Here we see Coy entranced by both the guitar AND it's creation at the Gibson Acoustic Factory in Bozeman, Montana.  I love how the repetition of lines and perspective drives your eye to Coy and that moment of awe inspired by the wooden bodies of these acoustic beauties.

Zac Brown Band - Ridgefield, Washington - September 13, 2013

Here at Southern Reel, we always push each other for “the wildcard”.  One last shot that has a 180° approach.  With that in mind, I would like to leave you with one last “bonus” photograph in full-color.

Being a tour photographer is an immense privilege that comes with great responsibility.  It is a chance to live life on the road through music with a perspective that few get to experience.  I am extremely lucky (and eternally grateful) to get to use my creative eye behind the lens so that others can experience it as well.  To be able to do that for something I stand behind and believe in is quite possibly the most rewarding feeling an artist can ever feel.