Michael Weintrob and I first connected at a crawfish boil during Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I overheard him talking about shooting artist portraits of musicians, not through their eyes as with traditional portraiture, but through their instruments. Needless to say, I was intrigued and curious to learn more. A few minutes later, I met Michael and heard more about his story. Right off the bat I could sense this was no ordinary project of Michael’s. This was his life passion. Michael shared that this work had taken over 17 years to complete. He had a few copies of his book, INSTRUMENTHEAD, and I had the chance to look over the portraits.
The portraits themselves are incredibly creative and show powerful stories. However, I was most intrigued by the passion Michael put into this project. I introduced him to the concept of The Magic Hour, and as our schedules aligned, I was able to bring Michael onto the show while he was in town for Jazz Fest. During the interview, it became clear that through Michael’s persistence to complete this project over 17 years, he found his voice in his passion of bridging photography with music.
Finding your voice is a key development for any student leading campus tours for an institution. Your personal stories are vital to this experience, but the tone of your voice, the energy in your voice, and the authenticity of your voice are equally critical. Finding your voice can take much self-reflection, time, and practice to discover. My experience with Michael led me to believe that spending time on honing your craft, no matter how long it takes, will pay off in the end. And when you follow your passions, you will discover your voice.