Photographer Jason McNamara Shoots Karl Wolf's CD Cover
CORNWALL, ON – In just a few short years, photographer Jason McNamara has made a name for himself in the Cornwall area. The demand for his services may soon skyrocket following the release of Karl Wolf's new CD, Finally Free, which features Jason's photography on the cover and throughout.
"I was asked to just shoot the cover but Karl liked the work so much, my photographs ended up being used for the whole album," said Jason. "In all, about 20 photos were used, and a couple of shots are being considered for magazines."
Karl Wolf is a Juno nominated music artist based out of Montreal, who after three very popular albums has established himself one of Canada's leading songwriters, performers and producers. His fourth CD, Finally Free is due out July 10th. Two songs appearing on the album have already been released as singles, "Ghetto Love" featuring Kardinal Offishall and "Mash It Up".
Jason met Karl a couple years ago at an event he was shooting for local rapper SMP. He snapped a picture of Karl and later emailed it to the singer and his manager.
"They loved it the photo and said we would work together someday," recalls Jason. "We spoke a few times over the years but nothing came of it until a few weeks ago. His manager called to say they had a concept for the cover of his new album and asked if I wanted to shoot it."
The concept called for a dirt road or field with long grass and as Cornwall is surrounded by beautiful countryside, Jason suggested a friend’s farm in Avonmore.
“I do remember the owner of the farm coming down to snap some pictures for a bit," says Jason. "She asked how it was going and we said, “Good…we are just about to put a piano in your field.” She laughed but was bit shocked when we did, indeed, put a piano in the field.”
Weather threatened to turn the outdoor shooting location into a photographer’s nightmare.
“My nerves were shot because it had been pouring rain on and off all day,” recalls Jason. “I had garbage bags for all my lights and umbrellas for myself and Karl. In the end the rain held off and we were able to get the shoot done.”
Jason says it was very enjoyable working with Karl Wolf.
“We had spoken on the phone a few times prior to shooting and we were on the same page, which was relieving," says Jason. “Karl keeps a firm grasp on the direction of his career, from writing, performing, image etc. He is very specific on what he wants but is open to suggestions.”
“We both had expectations going in but the whole shoot took on a life of its own. It all happened very organically and we just went with it.”
Jason’s skills as a photographer are largely self-taught, and relatively new. The 34 year old self- was born in Cornwall, spent some time in Ottawa until he and his young family moved back to Cornwall about 4 years ago.
“I bought a DSLR to take pictures of my newborn son. After I saw the first photo, I joked to my wife that I could be a professional. We laughed for a bit and then I said, “Seriously, I think I can.”
For the next 5 months or so Jason would sleep about 3 hours a night and devour all of the tutorials he could find online from books he would take out from the Cornwall Public Library. He asked a friend if he could shoot their new baby, posted the photos on Facebook and started to get hired.
He is known for dramatic, sometimes moody, images that evoke strong reactions from people. Several local musicians have used his talents and his photography has been prominently featured in the past three issues of the Cornwall Living Magazine.
He continues to pay close attention to his craft, and to the efforts of other artists.
“Those with ideas will stand out. Those that hang out in that area they find uncomfortable will succeed I believe.”
Jason says being exposed to music executives at Universal Music Canada is a great opportunity. He would love to continue to shoot bands and celebrities and is grateful that Karl Wolf chose to work with him.
At the same time, he is also realistic.
“I have read enough interviews with big photographers to know that often times you get a gig and think, this is it…my big shot, and nothing comes of it,” says Jason. “I have no expectations for myself other than I will keep shooting and hope to keep getting hired.”
Until then, Jason plans to charge his batteries and keep clicking.
You can see more of Jason McNamara and Framed Photography here: