New Orleans Magazine’s Persona section was an excellent venue for musician David Shaw to tell his story and for New Orleans-based photographer Greg Miles’ portraits to accompany the article and bring it to life.
Originally from Ohio, David Shaw moved to New Orleans, Louisiana and in 2007 began The Revivalists. The alt-rock band with a gritty, soulful twang rose to fame in 2015 when Rolling Stone named them one of the “10 Bands You Need to Know.” Since then, spurred on by the recent pandemic, David has branched out and decided to go solo. The magazine needed to get the inside scoop, and Greg, a long time portrait photographer, was the man for the job.
I’ve been shooting this page for many, many years, so I’ve shot notable New Orleanians from all walks of life such as musicians, artists, chefs, sports figures, writers, politicians, and entrepreneurs.
Since 2001 Greg has centered his work on expressing and celebrating the unique cultural icons located in New Orleans. Having an extensive background in fashion photography, Greg excels at shooting musicians, embracing and enhancing their own particular aesthetics.
With that being said, the magazine opted for a more stripped-down approach, choosing white or light backgrounds that don’t allow for any distraction. This was a different direction for the art department of New Orleans Magazine, and David Shaw’s feature was the first with the new format. Greg made the transition seamless, allowing the angles, lines, and smoldering gaze of David to shine.
Greg first saw David in 2016 at a Jazz festival, and the memory stuck.
I knew about The Revivalists for a long time, but that performance blew me away. I remember saying at the time, ‘that guy is an amazing frontman.’
The shoot was scheduled during a pandemic, but that didn’t change things too much for Greg. He invited David to his studio and spent about an hour shooting, keeping a proper distance and their masks on when possible.
He was just as I had expected: very laid back and easy to work with, he had a positive energy and was extremely gracious.
Having been a fan of the band, Greg listened to a few of David’s new singles to prepare for the shoot.
I particularly liked Promised Land — that song has a great groove to it, so I really wanted to do some interesting pictures of him.
See more of Greg’s work at gregmilesphotography.com.
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