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  • Writer's pictureTracie Smith

Sam Outlaw & The Songbyrd

I did something a little different last night. Those who have been following my journey in photography know that I got my start in the music scene. The punk scene in particular. I always had an infinity for artists regardless of medium, who did things on their own terms. The way they wanted to do it. My musical tastes literally run the gamut; from punk rock to hiphop to swing jazz to county if it resonates with me, it's in my play list. Last night , after working non-stop though the Easter holiday weekend, I made sure my calendar was clear and that my deadlines for my clients were met and exceeded so I could have a night out and not have to feel guilty about having some "me time". I have the worst time putting me as a priority. My clients always come first, my pups, my office, all of it is handled before I take time away for myself. I'm an insane workaholic so, last night on the cusp of the busy season was an anomaly. So after 5:00 hit, I drove down to Adams Morgan in Washington DC to hear a musician that I've been trying see for over a year and a half; got figure, my shooting, and editing schedule kept me away in the past. Well, not last night. I spent so much of my youth traveling around the east coast going to shows that I thought I had been to virtually every venue in the DC area. Clearly, I was The Songbyrd is a very cool record shop/cafe/bar with crazy good eats and music house all in one. I can't not go to a show and not bring my gear. I specifically I invested in a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for shows and some portrait situations and I really wanted to put her through it's paces. Sam Outlaw's show at the Songbyrd was the perfect workout. The lighting was VERY low. This environment was where I learned how to shoot. Low light, fast action and on film 20 years ago. The same principles rule in music venues when it comes to shooting so I set my camera settings where I knew would be a sweet spot and let her fly once Sam hit the stage. If you like traditional country music - not the stadium, arena poppy country that mainstream radio is cranking out, but something that borders on what country music was intended to sound like, then Sam Outlaw is someone you really want to check out. Watching him perform, he reminded me of Dwight Yoakam with his on stage presence on the more upbeat tracks. I haven't written a show review in years and I kinda feel like could easily turn into one....that wasn't my intent whenI started writing a little bit ago. Honestly, I wanted to share with all of you where my journey in photography began. From dark music halls to beautiful light weddings with my amazing couples and a lot of ground in-between all of the subject matter I've had the honor to shoot holds a very special place in my heart. And, honestly, It feels really good to go back to my roots and shoot what sparked my passion in the first place... A man, a guitar and something deeply personal to say. Music is the great uniter in the world. We may not agree on politics, religion, family dynamics may be awkward, but, put on the right song and we can all get behind that. A room full of strangers but we are all there for the same reason. To hear something amazing, to be made to feel something real. Find your passion in this life and follow it, you never know where it may lead you...

Sam was kind enough to share some of my work on his Facebook and Instagram feeds today, totally rad feeling. :)

Sam Outlaw is New Album "Tenderheart" is available in store and on iTunes for purchase.



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