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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tonight in Photographers Who Shoot Live Music: Blush Photo

posted by on April 1 at 10:25 AM



Blush Photo is a one-woman operation run by talented local photographer Kristen Truax. Her work has been featured in GQ, The Stranger, The Sound, and Alternative Press, to name a few, and she’s done ad work for T-Mobile and Toyota. She’s also available to shoot your wedding or party.

You no doubt know the name already because Blush Photo is also a regular contributor to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool and her work has been featured a number of times on Line Out as the Flickr Photo of the Day. She’s shot some of your favorite photos of some of your favorite local and national rock stars and party people, and with her growing business, she’s becoming a camera-wielding rockstar herself.

For many months, Blush Photo has been the house photographer at Neumo’s, and tonight she’s displaying the best of what she’s seen through the lens via Blush Photo’s Music Photo Show.


I asked Truax few questions about what Blush Photo is, what to expect from tonight’s show, and how she manages to make people look so damn sexy.

My keen detective skills (read: MySpace) have taught me your real name is Kristen Truax. Is Blush Photo all you? Or is it a photographer collective?
I don’t think many people realize that Blush Photo is a one person operation, which is good. I intentionally promote Blush apart from ‘Kristen Truax’. My plan is to become a collective of kick-ass photographers under a beautiful pink and black Blush umbrella…it would be amazing.

Sometimes people can have an adverse reaction to getting a camera pointed in their direction, but all your photos not only make people look sexy, but the subjects also look happy and confident—it’s unreal. How do you manage to capture that best side of people? Do you even know?
Thank you so much for recognizing this in my imagery. I do believe there is something outstanding and special about each of my subjects. Sometimes its my simple philosophy that we are all a part of something great together- making up what is happening in Seattle at this time. Although we are all coming and going- I have an amazing representation of the life here. It’s like Studio 54- to me. I go out with the goal of achieving the best I can do, and capturing the absolute best in everyone. I hate to sound like a dip- but I am emotionally connected with each of my subjects. It’s truly a wonderful feeling, and I believe that is the difference between a picture and something worth hanging on the wall for all to admire.

What is it you love about shooting live music (assuming you do, in fact, love shooting live music).
Shooting live is a challenge for me. I am so grateful for Neumo’s giving me this amazing opportunity to flex my existing skills and to build more where I lack.

The first concert I ever shot was Harvey Danger at Endfest 2000. I was 18 years old, still living with my mom, and attending school at the Art Institute. I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing at the time, and thought I would be able to make some kind of living doing it. Of course, this was all film. I would blow through rolls and rolls of film. It was some of the best fun I ever had.

However, nowadays the fact that I can’t control the lighting or meet my subject is a huge hindrance when shooting live. When St. Vincent played at Neumo’s, I begged to have some face time with Annie. It just wasn’t possible due to a strict photo policy. Even a couple of snap shots in Neumo’s basement has made for gorgeous portraiture—such as my 10 minute Dyme Def session prior to their performance in February.

Any great stories about funny things people have done to get you to take their photo? I know you have to have a few… some people are attention whores.
Honestly, a lot of the stuff I shoot would be happening whether or not I was I there to capture it. It’s kinda like the saying: If a tree were to fall in the forest, and no one was there to hear it, does it make a sound? Of course it would, it’s a tree falling. It’s a shame to think of all the outrageous stuff that goes on and no one is there to document it. Seattle has so many wonderful people who make it up, attention whores no doubt, but whether or not there is a camera involved, I think all that crazy shit would still be happening.



How long have you been a house photographer at Nuemo’s? Also, who are some of the artists/musicians featured in the photos you’ll be showing?
I met Jason at a mutual friends wedding last summer. It must have been magical because I have been shooting for Neumo’s ever since. I have so much appreciation and respect for Jason as a person because he truly appreciates art, photography, and the time I spend doing what I love. We started up a Neumo’s flickr page ( and he invited me to hang my work.

I had a terrible time narrowing my shots down to a 15 piece show, but eventually I selected shots from Leslie & The LY’s, Mountain Goats, Ben Kweller, some rad crowd shots (as seen on the flier), etc. My hope is that everyone will buy up all the pictures. I decided to price the mounted 12x18 pieces on the cheaps to get them out into the world, onto people’s walls, and into people’s hearts. Awwwwww….

I’m sure this is a loaded question with the possibility of 100 answers, but do you have a favorite shot? Or three?
It’d be easier for me to call out my favorite photographer, than a favorite image, but one of my favorite photographs of all time is the Annie Leibovitz piece of John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their New York home. This image is my favorite for countless reasons, and was created just hours before the end of John Lennon’s life. I actually had an opportunity to photograph Annie Leibovitz when I was a younger 20-something. She then gave me her new photo book at the time (American Music) and told me to “Keep On-“. I cried a little bit. Hopefully she didn’t notice.

As far as my own work goes, I have a few faves. I have a great story behind this shot:
It involves Jacob, his french horn, forgetting it, leaving a wallet in the middle of nowhere, and eating sandwiches during a 3 hour car ride. It was quite the adventure!

To see Blush Photo’s work, head to Neumo’s tonight (the photo show is in the mezzanine). It’s free, there will be drink specials, and if you’re lucky, Blush Photo will capture you on film (or memory card) and make you look super hot like everyone always does in her pictures.



RSS icon Comments


Kristen Truax is by far the most talented and beautiful photographer I know. Her work at Neumos is amazing and her photographs of St Vincent are stunning.

Glad to know you!

Posted by Lindsay | April 1, 2008 11:30 AM

Just remember that, in order to get those awesome on-stage shots for all the world to see, photographers are always shoving people near the stage out of their way, with varying degrees of rudeness. It's not usually a big deal here in Seattle, but at media-soaked events like SXSW, it's a major headache that seriously harshes the mellow of LOTS of 'ordinary' music fans. You know, the ones who took the time to get to the show early and suffer through the opening acts, because they don't have an excuse to arrive 5 minutes before the headliner starts and then push their way to the front.

Sometimes I think the biggest 'attention whores' are the photographers themselves.

And if Truax is actually physically attractive (I don't know what she looks like, although undoubtedly I've seen her, like at that Raveonettes show), well there's your answer why performers look relaxed and happy while she's taking their pic. Most everyone unconsciously responds that way to beautiful people.

Posted by rk | April 1, 2008 11:50 AM

"Of course it would, itís a tree falling." Haha, that totally cracked me up! This is a great article on a great company.

Posted by Mel | April 1, 2008 12:00 PM

On the contrary rk, I have a nifty exclusive spot at Nuemos next to the security guard (of whom all are amazing at Neumos- nice guys! Don't give them shit!) I am out of the way of all people's view.

I am extraordinarily courteous at shows. When requested, I have even been known to send photos to complete strangers if I happen to catch a cool photo of them. I am constantly giving back to everyone- I don't feel like I am taking. Plus, my big head never gets in the way. Everyone wins!

Posted by Blush Photo | April 1, 2008 12:20 PM

Can't wait to see the show Kristen!

Also, #2 - one of the funniest things at SXSW this year when devil-punks MONOTONIX poured beer over the entire photo pit at their Bourbon Rocks show. I've never seen so many pissed off khaki-vested middle-aged men in that frantic of a panic in my entire life.

Posted by KELLY O | April 1, 2008 1:06 PM

Every time Blush Photo hangs a show, we're in for a treat! There's no doubt that Blush has world-class talent and incredible images. The resume and professional prints speak for themselves! Keep up the edgy, interesting, gorgeous, amazing work, Blush!

But what other photographers make their events about the GUESTS as much as the art?? Blush does a wonderful job making the event super fun for gallery-goers. Last time I saw Blush's work hanging at The McLeod Residence, I dressed in costume for the theme of the night and won a raffle, getting a gift certificate for a hair color! There are great things going around whenever BLUSH is in the building!

Trust me, you do not want to miss this show! It will surely be a treat...

Posted by Shannon | April 1, 2008 5:10 PM

It's great to have someone in this town that's dedicated and skilled in their profession. It often seems so many other twenty and thirty somethings in Seattle just hope that their hair do and skinny jeans gets them somewhere! Way to do the thing, Blush!

Posted by Kat | April 1, 2008 6:29 PM

Damn, Anthony Kiedis looks hella young in that second pic!

Posted by E | April 1, 2008 7:40 PM

Heck yeah, Kristen!

Posted by Amy Dials | April 2, 2008 4:26 PM

I've been blessed with the treat of getting to know Kristen and even having been in her lens a time or two. She is one of the most generous, loving, and gorgeous people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Her heart is easily as massive as her talent! I love you, Kristen!

Posted by Amber | April 2, 2008 8:02 PM

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