You don’t have to be a fan of country music to like these Nashville Portraits by Jim McGuire. Many of the portraits are of 70’s / 80’s stars and of icons like Johnny Cash. I liked this one of Emmylou Harris:

I prefer simple black and white portraits. Photography, to me, requires taking out information – and color carries a lot of informational baggage that distracts from what the photographer may be trying to accomplish.  With just the guitar case, you know what Emmylou does.

McGuire, in studio, keeps things simple as well. As in this Earl Stanley (bluegrass pioneer) portrait:

A top light, subject right light, and a backlight combine to bring out detail (information) in just what McGuire wants – Earl’s experienced face and hands and the instrument he has spent his life with.  Perfect!

McGuire’s work reminds me of Mapplethorpe’s portraiture – purposeful, black, and white, few props.  McGuire approaches portraiture from love of subject, a far more inspiring route.

Visit to see all of them.