SHOOTING TRAVIS TRITT
I've said it before and will say it again, I love the way Travis Tritt laughs out loud. From the minute he steps into the studio or wherever I see him, he always has a smile and contagious positive energy. Everyone on the set felt it on this shoot day.
On this entire setup, I used my 36" porcelain beauty dish with 216 soft paper and full body box edge modifiers. I had recently done a project with Clint Black where he called Travis into the studio to do a song with him, so when Travis got to this set it was cool because we were back together quickly. In our business, we get some occasional hang times but everyone is so busy you mostly forge realtionships out of admiration working together. When there's a mutual respect and appreciation for the relationship, it can be a deep meaningful relationship even though you only see each other now and then. Travis rolled in on his tour bus with his family aboard and his amazing manager, the infamous Cheez! Everyone loves Cheez! I was happy to see him and even happier to get this shot of the two of them together!
Travis is another artist who has done a million photo shoots. He knows how to get in front of a camera and get it done. We actually only had a short amount of time to capture some good shots so I went straight to work.
When I was just starting to get my career rolling as a director, my agent company did a lot of Travis Tritt music videos. One specific video was for his hit song, "Anymore", directed by Michael Merriman while I was working at his company. I still think it's one of the best music videos ever made. Travis stepped out of his comfort zone and took on the role as an actor. It was a serious portrayal of a vet suffering from PTSD and a war injury. He crushed it and to this day veterans look to Travis as a hero for making that video. As inspiration, I watched that video just before our shoot started.
The studio set was a blast and it went by so fast. As usual, I was able to get the show host of THE SONG, Krista Marie and Damien Horne (otherwise known as dynamic duo "NEW NORTH") to jump in for a few promo shots:
We were all a little concerned in the beginning of the prep time for Travis show because it hinges around the performance of the iconic artist big hit songs. In this case, it was just Travis by himself and his guitar. That really limits your editorial options. Once he stepped on stage and belted out that one-of-a-kind soulful voice, we were all mesmerized. He brings every once of artistry to the show. Then he did "Great Day To Be Alive". I couldn't get that song out of my head for two weeks. It makes me feel good down deep in my soul. I recently watched Miranda Lambert sing it on stage and the crowd went nuts. It's a true country classic! That lyric and melody puts a smile on your face. I also got to shoot a few killer shots of the co-writer of that song before we shot the interview with Darryl Scott. He does a little different version of the song when he sings it and they talk about that difference on the show interviews. Darryl is also a soulful and passionate singer/songwriter and when you hear him perform it's obvious how the two of them made such a magical song together!
I took this image of Daryl behind the song garden before for his interview. It was really a surprise to find out he hadn't actually been in the same room with Travis for a really long time. It was fun to document that reunion of two incredible talents. If you ever have a chance to see Daryl Scott play , do it! Just before the performance portion of the show got underway, I had 10 minutes to capture a few quick shots of Travis hanging outside on one of our producer's Harley's. In fact, our producer Marc Oswald and Travis ride together in Sturgis and have know each other for a long time. They are both big time lovers of motorcycles. It was good to pop a couple shots in that sunset light!
Travis is a road warrior and is touring full tilt, so his vocal and guitar chops are strong. When he took the mic and started warming up, I went to work shooting some stills.
Got this rare behind the scenes shot before we left the studio setup. Overall, it was a great day to be alive. I truly enjoyed every minute of this shoot and hope I am blessed to have many more shoot days with THE Travis Tritt!!! Thanks for reading,
~David "Doc" Abbott