The Music Man and the Leica

I was on assignment the other day over in a nearby town to photograph a local well known musician. His name is Steve and he used to own a local music store. Normally this assignment would have been quick – in and out in fifteen minutes. The editor needed some portraits of him and some his memorabilia from his many years running the store in many locations around town. I decided that I would bring my Leica with me. The Leica M-P 240 brings me back to my early years and makes me slow down while making images of people. It was a no brainer to bring the 50 mm Summilux with me it’s the perfect all round lens for this type assignment.

When I arrived, Steve met me with a hearty hello and we immediately started talking music. I love the music of the 60’s, and 70’s and so did he. It turns out that he taught guitar lessons and played in numerous bands while still running the store. Soon he was talking about his bass guitar which he has owned since junior high school. It’s old and worn and shows the many years of use he has had with it. I knew right then that I had to make a portrait of him with this instrument.

He had a back room that had a few of his guitars in it along with the amps, CD’s and other memorabilia from the store. One of those items was the name of the store which hung above a closet at the end of the room. With the 50 mm f1.4 I knew that I could get a shot of him with the guitar and the sign above the closet. The room had some nice side light coming into it and the stage was set for a nice portrait. In color it’s nice and warm which I love but in B&W it is superb.


After we talked some more I wanted to hear him play and to record some video of him. He picked up the acoustic and started noodling around a little playing cords of familiar songs of the sixties. I was excited to hear some of these old tunes played so easily. While he was playing I backed up a bit with the 50mm and made some shots of him playing.


The Leica turned out to be the perfect match for this assignment. I did use my Canon and the 24-70 for the some other shots that I made. I would have loved to have had two Leica’s and two lenses and I would have been very happy. Day to day the Canon’s are a great choice but in some circumstances my Leica gives me something different that the DSLR does not.


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