Letters from Chris Gero  -  WINTER 2009

chris gero headshotThey say a picture is worth a thousand words. This could not be truer when referring to the photography of All Access. A large component in artist marketing at Yamaha is the photography we produce with the artists that play Yamaha instruments. Often, we are asked what it is like to photograph famous artists. Let me be the first to say that it is everything one would envision in the glamorous, hassle-free and romantic jet-setting celebrity world we live in…Well okay, maybe not. Mind you, it does require jet-setting (of the coach variety), but that is normally where the glamour ends.

The process of getting great photography for All Access is quite challenging and honestly can be very stressful and complicated. It often takes months, if not years, of planning to arrange a time when an artist may be available for a photo shoot. Artist photo shoots are orchestrated events that can involve a small army of people at times working on anything from travel to art direction, from gear and lighting procurement to location scouting and much more. More times than not, all of this careful planning comes down to less than a half hour of actual shooting time with the artist who may or may not be having a good day.

Over the years, I have had my fair share of photographers needing to be bailed out of jail, staff members detained in customs, redeye flights, smashed rental cars, angry stage mangers, intoxicated, nude, hung-over, or sleeping talent, foreign speaking cabbies, and navigational difficulties to last a lifetime. There have been enough, in fact, to fill a book and so far from reality that you would think it to be the script of a television series. So why do we do it? It’s simple: Our photography says a great deal about who we are. We take considerable pride in our artists and how they are imaged with our products and we are willing to do whatever it takes to produce world-class photography that truly sets us apart from our competitors.

We thought it might be interesting to share some of our world with you. So with all that said, we are very excited to announce the launch of All Access 360. All Access 360 is the new online, behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoots we create for this magazine. At www.yamahaallaccess360.com, you will see unique interview content, photos that didn’t make it to print as well as chances to win great prizes such as an SLG100S Silent Guitar, autographed by this issue’s cover artist: Jason Mraz. And it’s all available as a free podcast so you can download it to your phone or share it with others through your social networking site. I bet you will now look differently upon the photos in All Access and wonder what crazy adventure we went on to get that picture. Fortunately for us, this issue was fairly tame, but fun to create nonetheless!

Kindest Regards,
Chris Gero

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