Meet Glen Rose

Glen Rose believes that photography is singular, personal, unique. If you’re not revealing a musician, a child, a businessman in their truest light, you didn’t get the picture. It has informed his career – and given his work a clarity and a stopping power that’s not based on tricks or notions, but offering a true window into who his subject is at their deepest, truest places.

Born in Germany and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Rose’s worldview came into focus as a small child obsessed with National Geographic  – where the young man who would graduate from Cal. State Sacramento with a degree in psychology realized that how we see things is as much about what we encourage people to reveal as it is how we frame and light the moment.

Not that photography was a quest, more the result of assisting legendary rock photographer/video director Jim Shea, who recognized the young man’s unique eye. A year later, Rose shot Todd Snider for Step Right Up, the follow-up to the breakthrough Songs From The Daily Planet.

Melting the barrier that the lens can be, the Snider sessions were followed by a long stint of indie rock bands, maverick country artists and songwriters interested in expressing themselves beyond the standard issue plastic packaging. In addition to extensive shooting for progressive country glossy TWANG, Rose became a first call for Robert Earl Keen, Jack Ingram, Tim McGraw and noted Texas songwriter Bruce Robison.

On Jan. 3, 2000, Kenny Chesney called to have Rose film his homecoming show at Thompson Boling Arena which turned into his “Don’t Happen Twice” music video. That project was followed by shooting the cover of George Strait’s For The Last Time: Live From the Houston Astrodome.

Steve Earle employed Rose for the intently searing Jerusalem portraits, further demonstrating the soft spoken shooter’s facility for revealing the depths of an artist’s humanity.

The list of artists he’s shot is a who’s who of the best of modern American music.

Projects have included the Black Crowes in the recording studio for The Lost Crowes, as well as Willie Nelson’s recent Moment of Forever. He’s been on the road, shooting documentary pictures for Chesney, Tim McGraw, and Dierks Bentley and his studio work has ranged from the Kings of Leon to Tanya Tucker to Dr. Ralph Stanley.

“I think simple is always best… Create a space – even in the middle of the chaos in the road – that is still, and the artist will emerge,” Rose explains. “There is nothing natural about this process… about ‘posing’ for the camera… so the more I can make you feel you’re relating to me, not the camera, not the film, not the people looking at these images, the more truth about who someone is – versus how they’re packaged – can be achieved.

“And it’s still amazing to me how unique and special each subject is. It is as much about understanding where the subject is coming from as it is knowing which angle to shoot from – and often recognizing aspects of who people are that they may not even realize about themselves.”

Rose’s work has appeared in People, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Spin and myriad daily newspapers. His personal portfolio features landscapes and the unseen, the things that originally drew him to photography.

Holly Gleason
June 2008