The Story Behind the Photograph

Throughout the years Seven Pillars Photography has captured live moments of local musicians.  There are some that stand out because they have a story behind them.

Let me share these stories with you.

Moments of Time That Have a Story

Justin Landers 1

Justin Landers - The Perfect Shot

The problem with a perfect moment is that we have a tendencies to attempt to repeat it, knowing full well that the "perfection" of that time has disappeared like steam off a cup of hot coffee on a cold morning. 

The problem with understanding this recognition is that it kept me from Buck's Backyard for many months.  I knew I would want to "do it again" and either fail miserably and stop going altogether due the frustrating experience; or succeed repeatedly and stop going due to boredom.

After several months, I made a pact with my mind that I would go back and if something similar happened then I would be happy about it and if it didn't then I would be satisfied with the other shots taken.

To this day, I always try to get the horns behind the musician and have succeeded  quite often. The shots are excellent and I have not gotten bored with them.

The lesson I learned is that there is nothing wrong with trying to repeat a past moment as long as we appreciate the uniqueness  of the present.


“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

AJ Vallejo takeing a ride 1

A.J. - Taking a Ride

May 22, 2021 - I am at Come and Take It Live. Patrick Davis is having his 512 bash, the first since COVID lifted. He has lined up some incredible talent: Saucer, Vallejo, Jelly Ellington, Souls Extended, and Curtis Lee.

The venue is packed. At this venue, I am able to snap photos on the side of the stage. This allows me easy shots of the drummer and good side shots of the band.

Vallejo is playing and I am snapping shots everywhere. I am on the upper floor getting full band shots. I am tired. I have been at CATIL going on 4 hours with more to go. I force myself to walk down to the side.

A gentleman there, whom I have never met, looked at me and said, "Look at the drummer's feet."  Okay, I immediately turned my camera's attention towards Alex Vallejo's feet and began snapping shots. As I am shooting, I am thinking this is boring. I immediately turned my camera in the direction I had originally intended and saw A.J. on Patrick Davis's neck. I missed  the prior because my focus was directed elsewhere. But I captured this prize shot.

There are two ways to look at this.

1). If the gentleman had not directed my attention elsewhere then I would not have been perfectly positioned for this shot.  Had I stayed the course I might have missed this shot because I would have gotten some shots and then left prior. Yes, I would have gotten a different angle. I also missed prior. (A number of scenarios could be created.)

2). The man caused me to miss some better shots than Alex's shoes. (But what if......)

Everyday, we make decisions and have some of those decisions redirected because of circumstances either beyond our control or by other people. I hate reliving a moment thinking what if I... or Thank God I....  I hate this because it is a waste of time.  The outcome is the outcome. It is the reality one has to deal with good or bad.  

"Accept responsibility for a decision made, good or bad, and get on with life." - Michael Wright

WC Clark 1 (1 of 1)

W.C. Clark - The Unicorn I Captured

August 28, 2021, I have been photographing W.C. Clark for almost a year. Each performance, he has worn a hat. This makes it difficult to catch his face. But I learned how to photograph him. When the song is about to end, he will lean his body and his head back. This is how you capture his eyes. 

This day I was on my way to photograph a group in Pflugerville. I had time to stop and capture 30 minutes of W.C. Clark. I arrived at the Saxon Pub early and watched them set up. W.C. will always turn his back to the audience while he tunes up. He will also put his hat on the amp to be picked up and placed on his head when he turns around. This day, he did not.

I couldn't believe my eyes. The music started playing and I had free reign to capture this legend. I didn't need more photos of W.C. I had plenty. When you are photographing a musician sitting down there are only so many shots you can capture. I love his music. I love music period but my main focus are the photographs I hope to capture. I was and still am excited. I captured the Master without his hat.


Opportunities to succeed in anything you do await. You just have to put forth a bit of effort and get out to explore this beautiful world. Sitting at home will watching something is like exploring Italy reading a book. You learn and can imagine but,

it is not an experience.

- Michael Wright



  1. James ( Jim) Hyde on October 27, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Very glad to have met you guys last night in Round Rock.
    I believe we are kindred spirits with a purpose, to be doing what we do.
    Shalom !

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