Photography Workshop Unlocks Creative Representation

The music the industry has made further strides in diversifying over the past decade. Whether it’s well-known artists, house heroes, songwriters or musicians, the sea change hasn’t come from the beat of the loudspeakers; but rather organizations that create safe spaces for future industry leaders to learn and grow.
A natural feeling of acceptance is easy for some; while others fight silent battles just to feel seen at work. Fortunately, programs like Well Dunn and The girls behind the rock show (GBTRS) exist to break glass ceilings and deliver meaningful experiences that transcend a salary. They recruit various interns who embody ambition and create job opportunities in the entertainment industry.
On August 21, Red Bull partnered with both organizations to host a photography clinic for budding professional photographers in Red Bull unlocked; a mashup of Music City’s best nightlife, hosted on a block, for one night only. The two-day workshop was led by a seasoned photographer Yvonne Gougeletand provided six future leaders with the tools and skills to be hired as lead photographers for upcoming events.

Crowd at the Dive Motel pop-up at Red Bull Nashville Unlocked

© Yvonne Gougelet

Gougelet is best known for her fiery personality and her subtle yet daring approach to capturing the perfect shot. Her portfolio of work in the festival space demonstrates a talent for creating energy within the four walls of her frames and using lighting to paint her favorite atmosphere. While Gougelet shoots with branding in mind, the subject always takes center stage.

Companies like Red Bull seem like possibilities for other people, but maybe I could be one of those people.

“Learning from Yvonne about how to shoot for a brand at an event was really insightful,” said Nashville-based photographer Emily Swafford. “I got to see the interconnectedness of what big business media production looks like and put a face to something that previously seemed out of reach. Honestly, it humanized a lot of things for me,” she said. “Companies like Red Bull seem like possibilities for other people, but maybe I could be one of those people.”

Swafford was joined by five other women for the photo clinic; each eager to dig deep into the spirit of personal and professional growth. As the six participants shared anecdotes about working in the music industry, one theme ran through the group: trust. The feeling of being embarrassing, the fear of getting too close and the idea of ​​taking up space were shared from one woman to another. This particular conversation was more important than business. It was a sense of belonging.

Photographer in action

© Yvonne Gougelet

“Working with other talented women in the industry, hearing all they’ve accomplished and having their support has given me a whole new level of confidence,” Veronica Visconti said. The Middle Tennessee State University student describes her work as creative and forward-thinking. “I’ve never been confident enough to walk up to people and ask them to pose for a picture, but I can definitely do it now.”

Although each attendee hails from a different corner of the industry, their undeniable zest for storytelling was clear from the way they lit up as Gougelet guided the workshop, right down to the intent in their body language. as they captured images in a live environment. The two-day clinic ended with filming a paid gig at Red Bull Unlocked.

As East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood took on new life with a venue makeover, a Dolly Parton lookalike, a Whiskey Jam pop-up, and a disco ball paradise — women embodied their own transformation. Dressed in black with an added layer of newfound confidence, the team approached the elaborate event as if it were just another day at the office.

A participant takes a selfie with a Dolly Parton impersonator

© Yvonne Gougelet

“I loved hanging out on the dance floor,” said contestant Reagan McKay. “There was so much movement and lots of fun lighting to play with. I think that’s where my best footage of the night came from.

“These kind of women are exactly what the music industry needs and I’m more than convinced they are the next generation of thriving music photographers,” said Girls Behind the Rock Show’s April Bredael.

Over the five-hour runtime of Red Bull Unlocked, the women managed to create a well-balanced juxtaposition of being low-key on the wall while commanding the lively and eclectic imprint of the event. Even more impressive – they have held their ground while opening the door for more women in the music industry to occupy the space that is rightfully theirs.

Clinic Participants: Reagan McKay, Veronica Visconti, Olivia Hurd, April Ann Braedael, Emily Swafford, Tammie Valer