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LIVE MUSIC, EVENTS, & PORTRAITS

EMMA A ZANGER

CAPTURING THE ART OF YOUR JOURNEY

I'M A CHICAGO BASED LIVE MUSIC, EVENTS AND PORTRAITS PHOTOGRAPHER AND DIGITAL CREATOR. I COULD EAT PASTA FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, MY SECRET WEAPON TO LIFE IS A GOOD PLAYLIST AND I BELIEVE PHOTOGRAPHY TO BE THE ART OF THE JOURNEY; A RETURN TICKET TO A MOMENT OTHERWISE PAST. I LIVE AND BREATHE THIS PASSION AND CREATIVELY CAPTURING YOUR JOURNEY IS THE BEST PART OF MINE.

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WHEN I THINK OF GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, IT'S LIVE MUSIC. THIS IS WHERE I STARTED.

MUSIC HAS CHANGED, AND CONTINUES TO CHANGE, MY LIFE IN WAYS I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN, BUT THE THRILL OF LIVE MUSIC SPECIFICALLY TOUCHES MY VERY SOUL. BEFORE I EVEN KNEW WHO I WAS, I WAS CHASING LIVE MUSIC LIKE MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. AS I TRIED TO MAKE BEING A MUSICIAN WORK, AND THEN ARTIST MANAGEMENT, I EVENTUALLY FELL INTO PHOTOGRAPHY. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY" ATTITUDE IN ORDER TO CAPTURE MY ART: I STOOD IN RAIN STORMS, MUDDY PHOTO PITS, HALF-HUNG MYSELF OFF BALCONIES, WILLINGLY SMUSHED MYSELF IN LESS THAN IDEAL TOUR VANS FULL OF GEAR, AND DID ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING TO MAKE THINGS WORK. I REGARD THOSE DAYS AS SOME OF THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE, SPENT ALONGSIDE PEOPLE WHO I NOW CONSIDER TO BE BEST FRIENDS. JUST CREATING WHERE WE COULD AND MAKING INCREDIBLE MEMORIES ALONG THE WAY.

MY FIRST THREE YEARS AS A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER WERE SPENT ALONGSIDE MUSICIANS COMPLETELY IN THEIR ELEMENT - IN GRUNGY TOUR BUSES, BACKSTAGE AT FESTIVAL MAIN STAGES, FILMING MUSIC VIDEOS, AND INSIDE RECORDING BOOTHS WATCHING ALBUMS COME ALIVE FROM START TO FINISH. FEEL FREE TO ASK ME ABOUT MY ADVENTURES - IVE GOT A LOT OF FUN STORIES.

THROUGH MY EXTENSIVE HISTORY IN SHOOTING LIVE MUSIC, I DECIDED I WAS CONFIDENT ENOUGH TO HANDLE EVEN MORE FAST PACED PHOTO ENVIRONMENTS, AND SO I MOVED INTO WEDDINGS. ​

IT TOOK ME A WHOLE YEAR OF STUDYING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE WAY I WANTED TO APPROACH IT, BEFORE JUMPING INTO THE JET STREAM INDUSTRY IN 2020 (OF ALL YEARS - I KNOW)! SO, I STARTED TAKING MORE COUPLES PHOTOS IN ORDER TO GET MORE COMFORTABLE POSING TWO CUTIES AT THE SAME TIME. I WENT INTO IT OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE AT FIRST, AS AGAIN, I NEVER HAD TO POSE ANYONE BEFORE BECAUSE ALL OF MY EXPERIENCE UP UNTIL THIS POINT WAS SHOOTING FAST MOVING SUBJECTS IN A LOUD ROOM. THE MORE I PRACTICED MY COUPLES SESSIONS AND PORTRAIT WORK, THE MORE I FELL IN LOVE WITH BEING RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL DURING A WEDDING. I'VE ALREADY HAD SO MANY LAUGHS WITH SO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE, AND I CAN NOW SAY THAT WEDDINGS ARE ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO PHOTOGRAPH. IF YOU BOOK ME FOR YOUR WEDDING, I WILL MOST LIKELY CRY AT THE VOWS, I ALWAYS DO. BUT THE SPEECHES WILL ALWAYS BE MY FAVORITE PART OF THE WHOLE DAY!

I DO OCCASIONALLY SHOOT OTHER EVENTS SUCH AS BIRTHDAY PARTIES, BUT PLEASE INQUIRE WITH AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE FOR THESE STYPES OF SESSIONS!

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PORTRAIT WORK, SPECIFICALLY CREATIVE PORTRAIT WORK, IS WHAT I FEEL REALLY LAUNCHED ME AND MY BUSINESS FORWARD AFTER DECIDING TO TAKE A STEP BACK FROM MUSIC, FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF MY PHOTO BOOK, VITALS. MY PORTRAIT WORK HAS UNDENIABLY BEEN INFLUENCED BY MY HISTORY SHOOTING LIVE MUSIC, AND STILL DOES TODAY.

 

STARTING OUT IN PORTRAITS, HOWEVER, WAS A HUGE CHALLENGE FOR ME AS AN ARTIST, BUT WHAT ULTIMATELY HELPED ME SHED ANY LAST SHACKLES OFF FROM BEING WORRIED ABOUT WHAT ANYONE THOUGHT ABOUT THE WORK I WAS CHOOSING TO CREATE. AS LONG AS MY CLIENTS AND I WERE HAPPY WITH IT, I WAS HAPPY OVERALL. SO, THANKS TO THE STRUGGLE OF GETTING INTO PORTRAIT WORK IN THE UNKNOWN YEAR OF 2020, I GREW STRONGER.

BY CHOOSING TO BE IN THE DIRECT LINE OF FIRE TO WHAT WAS UNCOMFORTABLE FOR ME, I BECAME A STRONGER ARTIST, INDIVIDUAL AND BUSINESS. NOW I AM COMFORTABLE PUSHING COMFORT ZONES EVERY DAY TO BECOME THE BEST ME I CAN BE.