Meet Matthew Eisman
This is Matthew Eisman. Matthew is a professional music photographer with work published in the likes of SPIN, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Brooklyn Vegan (not what it sounds like), and our dear humble Grapevine, to name a few. For Airwaves 2k14, we are collaborating with Matthew on a series entitled LOOK!, where we invite some of our favourite Airwaves artists for a fancy portrait shoot at a makeshift studio at Grapevine HQ, and post the results for your pleasure.
“What makes pictures really good is starting with subjects you are interested in,” says Matthew’s disembodied voice from behind a massive soft box. He is busily setting up the pop-up portrait studio in the back of Grapevine HQ, where he will be shooting Airwaves performers over the next five days. Matthew is well-suited to the task. His interest in photography developed during his time working at a venue in Boston while he studied music at Northeastern University. He began photographing the bands there, and eventually a love of music morphed into a love of photography.
While we talk he paces in small squares, clamping little lights to a couch, velcro-ing attachments to a flash, pushing wooden palettes across the room. Matthew is meticulous with his portraits, he works thoughtfully and tries to go into each session with a theme and a lighting scheme already in mind. With portraiture, he notes, the photographer is an obvious part of the atmosphere. It is much more of a conversation than shooting live music, which Matthew also does.
When he’s not in his newly appropriated top-floor studio, Matthew will be at the shows and on the streets shooting the more active side of the festival for Iceland Airwaves. “I am excited to get anyone and everyone in here—metal bands, folk bands, rappers…” he says. His wish is granted almost instantly, in the middle of our conversation the Icelandic metal band Momentum walk in. It is a curious and pleasing sight to watch as he places the darkly dressed trio in front of his Pepto-Bismol background. But he’s a pro, by the time the camera starts to click the group is looking at least settled—if not entirely natural—in the setting. Check the results RIGHT HERE!
Stay tuned for many more additions to our LOOK series, and check in throughout the week to see what other bands have popped in.
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