Portrait photographer to release photo book of more than 200 Americana artists

Posted at 4:00 AM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 08:15:29-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville-based portrait photographer left his career on Wall Street to join his photography and music passions. Years later, he now plans to release a photography book commemorating the Americana genre with more than 200 artists.

“There needs to be meaning, purpose and intention for everything that we do. So the purpose, meaning and intention of this book is to shine a spotlight on a genre of music that means so much to me, and then shine a spotlight on all the artists who I photographed over almost 20 years that have influenced me that have touched me in in all ways, shapes and forms,” portrait photographer Jeff Fasano said.

Fasano spent the past 20 years taking photos of Americana artists across the country but mostly in Nashville.

“This is the music capital of the world right now. So this is the home of country music, roots music, which is in which is Americana. I'm talking about all the way back to the Grand Old Opry back in those days with Johnny Cash was there and all of those people were there,” explained Fasano. “And if you ever go into the Ryman and look at all that beautiful photography, you feel it. That's the beginning of this. That's the beginning of roots music, which is Americana. That includes bluegrass, that includes blues, that includes RMD, that includes folk and even on some levels, rock and roll as well.”

Portrait Photographer Jeff Fasano has photographed Americana artists like Joan Osborne for years.

When Jeff decided he’d make the career change, he built a lightroom in his apartment in New York and spent his free time refining his craft.

“‘I want to shoot music.’ I love, love, love music. I'm not a musician. But for all of us, music is such a huge part of our lives. I wanted to be part of it. And that's why I do it. Just because I love music. I love taking pictures, why not marry the two?” Fasano said.

Americana music had always spoken to him because he felt it had soul.

“All of those people were writing stuff about what was happening in the world [and] how it affected them” Fasano explained. “And that's what Americana is. Americana is a genre where these artists have something to say they make you think they make you feel, and it's really, really important. And it's a growing genre.”

Portrait Photographer Jeff Fasano makes portraits for musicians in dressing rooms, side rooms, on stages or wherever he can catch good lighting.

Singer-songwriter Joan Osborne has had her photograph taken by Fasano for nearly a decade.

“Joan and I started working together in 2014. We did our first photoshoot in New York City,” he said. “And that was doing photos for her Dylan record, and many other different things.”

“It's a great way to open a door into everything that an artist is about if you have the right picture,” she explained. “For me, I guess it's just that it's a friendly space and there's a lot of joy in here and everyone's welcome.”

To her, Americana is an artistic collaboration.

“I think Americana is about roots music. It's about gospel and blues and soul music and Appalachian country music and the people who are taking all of those ingredients and creating something new out of it,” she said. “And it's so exciting to come down here [to Nashville] because there's so much activity and there's so many great artists who are in that field who are using those ingredients, but each one of them is making something totally different.”

Singer-songwriter Joan Osborne said she loves the Americana genre because it takes the best of gospel, blues, soul and roots music and makes something new.

Fasano said his goal for the photography book is simple.

"If I can quit my job at 40 to do this, and this can inspire other people to go, ‘Oh, wow. You know, there's something that I love that I want to do. Then I can do that as well,’ that juxtaposes perfectly with the artist and Americana," he said.

To learn more about Fasano’s photography book available for pre-sale ahead of Americana Fest in Nashville, visit his website.

Portrait Photographer Jeff Fasano left his career on Wall Street in 1999 to pursue his passion for photography and love for music.