Category Archives: Music

Doug’s Top 10 Songs About Photography

Is there really such a thing as an original idea?  Plug that question into Google and it seems that most would say no.  The idea to write this post just popped into my head – to write list of top 10 songs about photography.  So I jotted down a couple off the top of my head and then went through my iTunes to come up with my list.  Then I did a little research and it turns out there have been plenty of articles written on this topic.  Heck there’s even a Wikipedia entry on songs about photography!  That’s okay, I can still put my own spin on it, and Wikipedia actually missed two of my picks – one of which is a glaring omission to me and another much more obscure…

Music Fanaticism

Yes I’m a music fanatic and you might even say a music snob…  I started collecting records when I was 5, memorizing all the lyrics I could and having KISS concerts in my basement with my friend Chris.  I played the cello in my high school orchestra, was the guy who made all the mix tapes for all my friends in high school, and now I sing in a rock band.  I used to read through the All Music Guide books all the time and now I just hang out on their website.  Music and photography have a lot in common since they both can elicit very personal and emotional responses and connect us to our past in extremely powerful ways.  With this being the case it’s a wonder that there aren’t more songs about pictures and photography in general, but there are several great ones and here are 10 of my favorites:

The Top 10 Songs About Photography

Pyromania coverPhotograph – Def Leppard – 1983

Those opening three chords are unmistakable – just enough time to crank the volume up for the drums right?  He wants the girl (Marilyn Monroe?) but all he’s got is a photograph…



Jim Croce - You Don't Mess Around With JimPhotographs & Memories – Jim Croce – 1972

Such a poignant song that Jim Croce wrote not long before his untimely death where he sings about how he cannot believe a loved one is lost as he looks through photographs and thinks about the times they spent together.



R.E.M. - ReckoningCamera – R.E.M. – 1984

A beautiful song which is said to be about the band’s friend Carol Levy who died in a car accident.  From piecing it together it seems Michael Stipe has made reference to this (?) as the point where he got clean from drug addiction.  “If I’m to be your camera then who will be your face?”


The Cure - Pictures Of YouPictures Of You – The Cure – 1990

Robert Smith’s song about finding his wallet in the remains of a fire at his home with pictures of his wife Mary in it.  He even used one of the photos as the cover of the single.  A beautiful dreamy Cure song from an otherwise dreary, murky and fantastic Cure album.


Deep Purple - Machine HeadPictures Of Home – Deep Purple – 1972

Okay not about photography per se, but a classic with the word “pictures” in the title…  A song about being in a strange cold place and yearning for home – images and “pictures” in our mind can comfort us from time to time to be sure.



Echo And The Bunnymen - CrocodilesPictures On My Wall – Echo & The Bunnymen – 1979

This song has the distinction of being the very first Echo & The Bunnymen single and I love it.  An eerie sounding and foreboding tale but we’re not quite sure why…  “The pictures on my wall are about to swing and fall”.



A Flock Of SeagullsWishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) – A Flock Of Seagulls – 1982

Unlike Joe Elliot of Def Leppard the lead Seagull sounds like he’d be okay with just a photograph – he wouldn’t spend his life just wishing if he had a photograph to remind him.  More or less a three-hit-wonder (I apologize to any diehards because I’m the first to admit I hate when one of my favorites are slapped with a tag like that), you have to love these guys as a classic slice of MTV 80’s nostalgia.

Wilco - Yankee Hotel FoxtrotKamera – Wilco – 2001 (released 2002)

This sounds like a confessional from Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy who seems to not be feeling too good about himself.  It seems like he needs a camera as opposed to a mirror to look at himself and remind him of the lies he’s been hiding and the echoes in his heart.  It’s a great song that the band recorded and released two different unique studio versions of and both are worth checking out.

Filter - Title Of RecordTake A Picture – Filter – 1999

Sometimes you just need to take a photo otherwise no one will believe or remember what happened later right?  This song is one of those lush anthemic sounding songs that swirls and lifts you up even if you’re not sure why…  and why shouldn’t a song about a guy getting naked and causing a scene on an airplane lift you up…..right?


Rush - Moving PicturesThe Camera Eye – Rush – 1981

The last song Rush recorded over 10 minutes long, it’s a two part song that attempts to contrast and highlight New York City and London respectively.  The title apparently refers to sections in the U.S.A. Trilogy written by John Dos Passos.  “The Camera Eye” sections are written in an autobiographical stream of consciousness style.  I suppose taking pictures can be just that – your stream of consciousness as you interpret the world through your lens.

Here are the links to the songs / albums in order on Amazon – where digital downloads were available I provided that option otherwise the CD is linked.  I can vouch for each entire album being amazing by the way (with the exception of Flock of Seaguls – I never owned an entire Flock of Seaguls album).


Frameable Faces Photography
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4 Ways We Incorporate Music Into Frameable Faces Photography

Music plays a huge role here at Frameable Faces.  As for me I’ve been a music fanatic my whole life.  I grew up with brothers who were 10 and 8 years older than me so I was headbanging to Kiss, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin when I was 5.  I evolved and Music, Photography Studio, Frameable Faces Photographyplayed the cello in my high school orchestra, and now I sing in a rock band.  I listen to everything from hip/hop to jazz to classical and having a photography studio gives me a lab in which to actively practice my music snobbery on a daily basis and so I will share with you now a few ways which music plays a role at our studio.  You are SO lucky to have access to these pearls….  hahaha…

Music Soothes The Savage Beast

For newborn sessions we turn the heat up, the lights down low, we lock the door to keep the studio exclusive to new mommy and baby (newborns come to the studio in the first two weeks after birth) and play classical music.  While the theory about classical music somehow helping along the cognitive development of babies has been debunked, it can still help to soothe and make baby happy.  A google search turned up this article from 2010 on the topic.  Very often we start off with something simple like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and then we move on from there.

Music For Inspiration

Music is a very powerful tool to create a mood, and it helps to have a wide repertoire of musical knowledge so you can match the right genre for a haute session or a family session or a high school senior session, although the high school seniors usually know what they like and sometimes a website like Accuradio can come in handy if you don’t own the latest pop hits.

Music For Commercial Purposes

Here is where you need to be careful and follow the rules.  We still see many new photographers who are starting out who use copyrighted music on their websites without permission which is a no-no.  We have permission to use the song on our website, and when it comes to our promotional videos and slideshows that we actually sell as products we pay for the use of royalty-free music.  You can find clips of wonderful professional music for your videos written especially for different kinds of sessions with services like Triple Scoop, Emotion, and Animoto.

Music For Everything Else

Music is always playing here.  Even if there isn’t a session going on there is music playing just to edit or blog to.  As I’m writing this I’m listening to Marty Willson-Piper – guitarist for The Church and one of my favorite artists.  Good soothing jangly alternative rock.  People expect to hear good music when they come here and it’s part of our culture.  It’s fun!  We like to share what we are listening to with the occasional tweet, and we even have a Pinterest board that focuses on the music we play here.

What is your favorite music to listen to and for what activities?