You Did What??

“I wonder what Weird Al is going to do with this song,” Michael said with a smile.

Michael Jackson had just finished singing a vocal when he came into the control room. As we finished listening to a playback of “Will You Be There?” (off the Dangerous album), I pressed STOP on the tape machine and Michael considered the question above…would Mr. Yankovic remain true to form and record yet another parody of one of MJ’s songs.

You see, I wasn’t always a photographer. I graduated from college with a music degree. The very next day I was on a plane bound for LA to begin a career in the recording industry. That flight began a 25 year career as a music engineer, producer and tv/movie audio guy. Those first few years were a whirlwind…as luck would have it. I was blessed to land a job at one of the world’s premiere recording studios, after I hounded the studio manager continuously for a couple weeks. He finally relented and gave me a job as a “go-fer” or runner. As a young 21 year old in Los Angeles I made $5/hour and I would work the 5pm to whenever shift…making coffee, fetching dinners for clients and vacuuming the hallways and studios after hours. About a year later I was promoted to a staff assistant. When a client would book the studio they would get a room and an assistant. There were about 7 of us on staff for 5 studios, so we were always busy. There was a constant revolving door of artists…Dionne Warwick was my first gig. Michaels Bolton, Jackson, and McDonald were all projects I was assigned to during my time there. I worked on A League of Their Own, Dick Tracy, and The Commitments as well. The hours were loooooong but there was never a dull moment, that’s for sure. U2 recorded “Rattle and Hum,” Prince did “Sign O’ The Times,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers were in the studio for months. Almost all of the Indigo Girls albums were recorded there, as well as Whitney Houston’s classic from The Bodyguard, “I Will Always Love You” (I had my ear to the control room door when she was singing it). A career highlight for me was working with MJ on two songs from the Dangerous album, “Will You Be There” and “Keep the Faith.”

Me and Faith Hill at the studio after she dropped the kids off at school and was preparing to sing.

Fast forward about 7 years to when I moved to Nashville, Tennessee. By then I had gone freelance, working on my own projects and records. During that time I had the distinct pleasure of recording Wynnona Judd, Three Dog Night, Chet Atkins, Amy Grant and Faith Hill…among others. Please forgive me, I’m not trying to name drop. It was just my job. You see, the actual work of recording music is kind of a “blue collar” gig. Long hours, intense work with a very high attention to detail. We worked alongside talented musicians, artists, technicians, staff, and other support folks. The job required building trust, allowing creative freedom, providing support, and offering kindness.

Mixing an album for a country band from Bakersfield, CA.

The “why” I got out of that line of work is topic for another time (it had to do with the shift in the music industry at the time). Life took me away from music as a career and eventually landed me where I am now.

A photographer.

And you know what? The music industry prepared me for the work I do now as a wedding photographer. There is the art side….composition, tone, color, contrast, rhythm, pace, attention to detail and balance. And there are the people skills…building trust, project management, and creating a safe space for folks to be themselves. Much like a singer might feel vulnerable behind the mic, so might a bride and groom standing at the altar on their wedding day. Your wedding planner develops the overall plan for the day, but it’s essentially the photographer that monitors and adjusts the day’s progress. Just like recording in the studio, one has to be prepared for the fluid nature of photographing a wedding. Wedding photographers juggle a dozen balls AND yet are expected to create art out of thin air at any given moment. It comes with the job.

Today…I am here to help you deliver your best performance. Helping you look your best, putting you at ease, and guiding your wedding event are my top priorities. My music career prepared me for this responsibility. And I’m good at it.

A young version of me…I have no idea when this picture was taken. But I think it was in LA.

Shall we make music together? Let’s connect!!

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PhotographyERIC RUDD

Eric Rudd Photography, where cherished moments are immortalized through the lens of artistry and passion.

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Eric Rudd Photography is a highly sought-after photographer renowned for capturing the essence of weddings with skill and creativity. Based in Indiana, Eric's expertise extends far beyond state lines, offering his services for destination weddings worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to excellence, Eric brings a unique blend of professionalism and artistry to every project, ensuring timeless memories for couples wherever their special day may take them.