Did you know that Country Music Singer / Song Writer Kenny Rogers is a Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Hon. Master Photographer? Yes, Kenny Rogers the country singer who is, undisputedly, one of the best country music artists to ever live, has “charted more than 120 hit singles across various music genres, topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone and has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making him one of the highest-selling artists of all time and is a Professional Photographer. (Source Wikipedia)
When Imaging USA, the longest running national photographic convention in the US, first announced that Rogers was going to receive an Honorary Master of Photography degree it was almost unbelievable. How did he find the time to do?
On January 14th of this year Imaging USA 2014 hosted, Rogers "Places I've Been, Things I've Seen" Q&A and they also had some of his current works on display. Rogers photography was just as good as his hit songs. The creative and technical approaches he used reflected in the quality of his work. It was shocking to see just how good his images were, especially his portrait lighting, because lighting is one of the most difficult aspects of photography. But the one characteristic that set Rogers apart from the “smoking mirrors” was that he talked about making images as if he were singing a country song, you could tell he loved photography and that was inspiring.
During his Q&A Rogers told story about making a portrait for Michael Jackson and Bubbles and mentioned that Jackson was hesitant. But after session started Jackson wanted to keep going and they did, for hours. That surprised Rogers because he knew had found a connection with Jackson. The one common thread in all Master Photographers is they share a level of passion that is undeniable and contagious.
How did he do it? Rogers mentioned that learning was the key to his success. He always made time to create images on tour. Whether it was backstage photographing other artist, traveling on road or anytime he had a chance Rogers would venture out with his camera gear and make images.
When Imaging USA wrote on their site “Kenny brings a lot of passion for photography” it was no exaggeration.
The take away:
Anyone who can achieve the passion Rogers did in his images definitely deserves to be honored. His appearance at Imaging USA 2014 was a testament to a commitment to achieving the highest level of artistry you can without excuse.
Thank you Mr. Rogers, inspiring.