Since graduating from the Art Institute of Boston , Paris Visone has traveled globally with popular musicians including Marilyn Manson, Limp Bizkit, Blondie and more! During her travels, she captures a unique, behind the scenes look inside the lives of these musicians. KEH Camera had pleasure of interviewing Paris, getting an inside scoop of her life as a documentary photographer.
How did you know you wanted to become a photographer?
When I was 11 I was watching Entertainment Tonight with my mom. They were shooting “Day in the Life with Hanson”. Part of the day was a photoshoot where they were having such a great time. So that’s when it clicked. I needed to become a photographer so I can hang out with Hanson.
How did you find your photography style?
I started shooting my family because they were what was around me. I didn't even know documentary photography was a thing at that point. I sort of just did what felt natural. My style has changed slightly throughout the years but I think that’s a good thing. A lot of people look at their older work and think “Oh geez that is awful”. I don’t. It’s all part of the process, and it’s all relevant. Especially in long term projects.
How did you begin your documentary photography career?
Other than shooting my family, I started to shoot my boyfriend’s band, Protagonist. I went on a few tours with them and that’s when I started my dive into music.
What do you love about documentary photography?
I love how it’s real. With photography and social media these days, there is so much content where people are portraying what they want to be, and not what they actually are. What attracts me to documentary photography is that it shows what’s actually there. And great documentary photos take it a step further, showing not only was is there, but also how it feels.
I do like shooting set up shots and live music as well, but the behind the scenes/real life sort of thing is why I stick around.
Did you dabble in other photography styles before deciding?
While in college I was forced to try all different styles, cameras, processes. And it basically let me know what I didn't like. It’s important to try everything, but only to find your voice and develop a personal style. In my opinion it’s better to be great at 1 thing, than just alright at 10.
You not only capture these artist in action on stage, but you capture the intimate behind the scenes shots. What is this overall experience like?
I like to get comfortable with whoever I’m shooting before I go all in. I never want to feel like a paparazzi. I feel the more you know your subjects the better you can represent them to tell a truthful story, and that usually takes time.
Would you categorize your documentary photography as concert photography as well? What is the difference?
In terms of creating a body of work, they can definitely work together. But as a mindset while shooting, they are two different things. For me the goal of live stuff is to capture the energy of the performance. I tend to be more in your face when shooting live. While shooting behind the scenes I take more of a “fly on the wall” approach.
What has been your favorite band to photograph? Why?
Every band I work with is my favorite. They all have their own vibe and each person in each band is completely different from the next. Sometimes I will be at the same place with different bands and I take photos in the same location. To me it’s really interesting how different the photos are from one band to the next, in the same room, doing essentially the same thing.
What is your go-to camera? Why?
I carry 2 Canon 6D’s. I love them because it’s the full frame that I need without the weight and bulkiness of the 5D. Also, I use the wifi for on the spot sending/posting. The video is great as well. I also use Easycovers to protect them.
What tips would you give a beginner photographer?
Figure out what you like shooting and don't stop. Your style will develop with time and as long as you're happy shooting, you’re always ahead. Appreciate what you have. Work hard, be nice.