As creative director for country music singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes, Nashville’s Brenton Giesey wears many hats: nightly tour photographer, art director, documentarian. We asked him to share his creative journey, go-to gear, and advice for others—”be patient, be kind, word hard.”
Name: Brenton Giesey.
Hometown: Nashville, TN.
Currently on tour with: Hunter Hayes as the Creative Director/Photographer.
Brenton carries the black Bowery.
Go-to gear: Sony A7Rii, Fuji X100F, Hasselblad 500C, iPhone X and the ONA Bowery in black.
Describe your aesthetic in five or less words: Remove distractions; moments of transparency.
“I first picked up a camera…” My dad has been a killer hobbyist photographer my whole life, but I bought my first real camera in college and that blew the doors wide open.
How (and why) did you start shooting music? I’ve always loved studying the creative and art direction of my favorite bands and wanted to shoot music so I made friends with bands in college and started shooting them.
Thing you can’t live without on the road: LaCie rugged drives, Plenty of micro USB cables and portable chargers, TSA Pre-Check, AirPods, the list goes on…
One piece of advice that has stuck with you: Keep it simple and don’t be afraid.
Your favorite photo you’ve taken this year, and the story behind it: Probably the “Dear God” cover. The song is a deeply personal track about a universal human feeling and we wanted the single image to convey the weight of the track.
Advice you would give to someone looking to get into music photography: Develop your eye. Know what is visually appealing to you and shoot the way you see the world. Don’t compromise for trends or jobs. Be patient, be kind, work hard.
Mistake you’ve learned from: Shooting jobs or subjects for money or potential gain that I have no passion for and that drain my creative energy.
Biggest challenge: Finding time to stop and observe and be creative, not just edit 24/7.
Work you are most proud of: My mini-doc that was released recently about Hunter Hayes’ new single “Dear God.” A small chapter in a larger documentary.
Dream project: I’d love to document U2 making a record.
Favorite album: “The Joshua Tree” U2.
Instruments you play: Guitar, Bass, Drums and Keys.
Hidden talent: Cooking.
Your first concert: U2’s Vertigo Tour. December 10, 2005.
Bucket list artist to see: Radiohead.