Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 5, 2011.


What does it take to make that one, perfect moment on stage? Peek behind the curtain at the lives of people who can't not make music.

I've spent a few years photographing indie musicians in Portland, OR. In that time, I've watched these musicians juggle families, day jobs, and multiple bands, to satisfy that craving they have for making music.

Some would say that it would be easier if they just gave up. A 4pm load-in for a 9pm show, with an 8am workday the next day? 40 bucks each for 30 hours of work? All this while Nickelback's on the radio? Who would choose that kind of life?

But then they get on stage, and melt your face. And for 3 minutes and 27 seconds, you forget that you just spent 6 bucks on a well drink, and you go into this world that they've created. Two hours later, you go home, and then much later - after they've loaded their gear out, settled up with the house, made sure that the unsold merch got put away, etc., they go home. And get up again to do it tomorrow. Rinse, repeat.

Modern media makes that perfect moment on stage so instantly available that we forget just what it takes to get that band on stage. And it comes so naturally to the musicians that we're lured into thinking that it's easy.

I invite you to take a closer look at the small, interstitial moments that form this miracle of indie music. They're not glamorous, but they're essential, and you can't call yourself a supporter of indie musicians without recognizing the non sequitur of the rest of their lives. I'm talking about band practices. Poopy diapers. Dilbert jobs. Traffic. Load-in. Load-out. Crappy days. Good days, too. Real days.

I'll be shooting the majority of the images using B&W film, printing 11x14s archivally in the darkroom. The complete set of 100 images will end up in a hardbound book; the collection will be displayed in large format at a Portland gallery for the most awesome party you've ever been to. I will continue to publish and sell the book, donating a portion of the proceeds to a local nonprofit that teaches music to little kids so that they can grow up and live the dream.

A few notes about backing this project:

  • All backers will be invited to the opening party for the exhibition and will have their name in the credits section of the book.
  • Backers at the $10 level and up will all receive exclusive sneak peeks at video interviews and recording sessions.
  • Backers at the $15 level and up will all receive a copy of the Every Song is a Love Song compilation, featuring songs by musicians involved in the project.
  • Backers who contribute $25 or more will get super amazing, handmade crafts that are detailed extensively in the "Backer Gifts" section on the right, over there. → →
  • Those of you who have ordered prints will receive 8x10s.

Every song is a love song, by virtue of the fact that someone made a daily choice to nurture it and bring it into being. Help me honor these people who choose to leave the world a little more awesome than they found it.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
pledged of $3,100 goal
seconds to go

See full bio

  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    For jumping on board at the $10 level, you'll receive a special sneak peek at exclusive online interviews and recordings by Portland musicians.

  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    15 backers

    In addition to the video sneak peeks, I have something rad for you: a downloadable compilation of songs by the musicians featured in the Every Song is a Love Song (ESIALS) project. You won't be disappointed.

  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    32 backers

    Not only will you get the ESIALS compilation, but you'll also receive a matching chapbook of a collection of photos from the ESIALS project. Printed on archival paper and hand-sewn with Irish linen thread, they're gonna be super cute, with quotes gathered throughout the project. (And of course you get access to those secret videos!)

  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    18 backers

    Things are starting to heat up, people. You'll get a limited edition print from the ESIALS project. We're talking museum quality here - a fiber-based darkroom print, lovingly printed and toned for optimal longevity. The best part? YOU pick the photo. And you get to gaze at it while listening to your brand new ESIALS compilation!

  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    Wow! Looks like you mean business! Well, you have a choice: not one but TWO darkroom prints like at the $50+ level - OR - a chapbook and a gift certificate to a music venue here in Portland, OR. Either way, you can count on receiving that compilation, too.

  • Pledge $76 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    New addition! Pre-order the hardcover book! For those of you who want all 100 photos for yourself but don't have a thousand dollars just lying around, this might be a good option.

  • Pledge $300 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    High rollers, eh? I can hang with that. You're probably interested in this level because you know that I'm going to offer you a half-day photo shoot with you solo or with your favorite +1...or +3, whatever. So if you're in a band that has been putting off promo shots, here's your opportunity to get that all wrapped up. Have your out-of-town relatives been nagging you for photos of you and the rugrats? Here's how to shut 'em up. I'm up for almost anything - I love collaborating! We can do traditional studio stuff, or if you wanna go up in your helicopter and have me photograph you up there, I can pop some Dramamine and away we'll go! My only limit is: no wedding photos, sorry. Trust me, you don't want $300 wedding photos. (Talk about catching hell from the relatives!) And of course, if you're out of town, I'll gladly come visit, but I'm gonna need you to cover travel costs in addition to your pledge amount. But I'll throw in the compilation.

  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Holy jeez! You're really serious! Well, that's good, because so am I. I'm still not going to offer you wedding photos, but I will CERTAINLY extend the photo shoot offer to you, as well as the music compilation, a print of your choice (color or B&W), AND a first edition of the Every Song is a Love Song book! I will also try really hard not to cry when I shake your hand and thank you profusely.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Sweet Moses! Have I got an exclusive treat for you! Just for YOU, I will set aside one of the first five COMPLETE SETS of archival 8x10 prints from the exhibition. That's right - all 100 photos, color and B&W, serialized and stored carefully in an archival box just for you. Considering you could get one print for a $50 pledge, I don't have to tell you that this is a screaming deal. But I'll tell you anyway: this is a screaming deal. I'm screaming my gratitude!

Funding period

- (84 days)