We at the BGS love including beautiful, original artwork with our stories and we couldn't do that without the help of a handful of talented photographers. Meet Laura Partain, one of the photographers who keeps us looking good. Partain, who now lives in Nashville, grew up in east Texas and southern Illinois, and says she was creative from a young age.
"I've always had a hyperactive imagination and a ton of energy," Partain says. "I used to set up 'photoshoots' with my brother Andrew when we were around 6 and 2 years old. I'd get blankets for the backgrounds, and props would range anywhere from stick ponies to plastic 'pretend' pizza slices."
Those photoshoots led to a photography class in high school, a wedding gig, and a new digital camera … and the rest is history. Partain ended up in SIUC's photography program and has been making pictures ever since. "I learned to shoot film, and mostly quit digital photography all together," she says of her time in college. "I got tough and learned how to work my ass off. I learned how to make good work, focus, compose, create. Photography made me feel brave, and gave me a voice. It still does."
Now, Partain is fortunate enough to make a living doing what she loves.
"Photography is my first love, and I'm committed for life to the craft," she says. "Music, however, is always my close second. So, if you're wondering why I shoot music, my best answer is this — I have to. I get to record in the visual sense, and that's my means of creative participation. Today, I'm a full-time photographer living in Nashville, and shooting just about anywhere. I photograph for album covers, press shots, music festivals, shows … you name it. I photograph for fun, too. All of the time. I dont really stop."
In addition to providing wonderful photos for the BGS, Partain also shoots for outlets like SPIN, NPR Music, and Spotify. Check out more of her work here and browse a handful of our favorite photos below.
Son Little for our November 2015 Artist of the Month feature
JP Harris and Chance McCoy for our August 2015 Artist of the Month feature
Willie Nelson at Heartbreaker Banquet
Hurray for the Riff Raff's Alynda Segarra, as seen in her Call to Folk Singers op-ed
Old Crow Medicine show during the "Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer" video shoot
Lede photo via Instagram