As I was going through the process of updating my website and portfolio, pouring through years of photographs to narrow down to just a few select images which would represent my work as a whole (not an easy thing to do I can tell you) I started noticing patterns in the subjects I chose to shoot. Some of these themes I was aware of, like my series of bicycles or winding roads, but some took me by surprise. One of those themes that I hadn’t realized before was portraits of accordion players. Performing in the streets of New York, Mexico, and Paris, why did I find myself drawn to capturing these musicians?
Maybe it’s the graphic lines of the bellows, which breathes air, like lungs, into each note, or the crisp black and white of the keys and buttons. Maybe it’s the shear devotion of their players who have spent years learning their craft even though they know that it won’t get them any girls. Not to mention that it’s awkward and heavy. It’s as if they have a portable piano strapped vertically to their chests.
So why the accordion? Why not the flute or the violin? I think it’s because I can relate. The backaches and sore knees from lugging around your equipment. The looks from passers by that say, “Why bother?”. The passion for your craft, that keeps you moving forward because without an accordion (or in my case a camera) in your hands, you’re not quite sure who you are. The electricity that radiates in your body when you know you’ve nailed it. They are brothers in arms and I hope I have done my best to capture them.