Cole Schwartz is a multi-faceted artist with the passion and experience in both music and film. At the age of 6, Cole discovered his love for music by attending a Metallica concert with his father. That experience changed Cole’s passion and direction for the rest of his life. He began immersing himself with influential artists on YouTube, following and mimicking some of legendary musicians such as, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page and Randy Rhoads. This lead him to find his creative voice and inspiration.
After performing with amazing bands such as Stone Sour, Chevelle, Black Veil Brides, Pop Evil, Flyleaf, Three Days Grace, Buckcherry, The Pretty Reckless, Black Stone Cherry, Highly Suspect, and Thousand Foot Krutch (Just to name a few *pops Cole’s collar*). Cole started to get involved with the business side of the music world, which is when he began shooting and truly owning the visual components of their performances as independent artists. Cole mentions, “That’s how I fell in love with film. Like music, a film is a form of art that I could show others my life through my lens. I spent several years now engulfed in photography and film, and it's my passion – everything from short films, documentary vignettes, concert footage, live music videos and lots of people and places photojournalism stuff.” Cole also said, “When I started to think of my life beyond music, I couldn’t really see myself doing something that wasn’t creative, let alone something that I couldn’t be emotionally attached to. Something about the visual image connected with me in the same way music does. It seemed like a natural thing.” Now, Cole is slaying the music video scene and bringing his combination of passion and skill for music mixed with his power of telling a story through a lens, to best serve all his artists.
As a filmmaker/musician who showcases other musician’s stories, we asked Cole what some of his favorite gear to use on set. Cole stated, “I think my favorite piece of gear to work with is the Alexa Mini. It looks great, simple to use, and most importantly, it is extremely reliable. Definitely my go-to camera.” Also, when talking about Cole's personal style, he mentioned, “I’m a huge fan of using weird lenses or filtration, so getting to experiment is always fun for me.” We get a taste of that in many of his projects! See for yourself in these two music videos he was the Director of Photography for working with Lyrical Lemonade: Kevin Gates - Change Lanes and Lil Skies - Nowadays ft. Landon Cube.
Artists are inspired by those around us. We asked Cole who some of his inspirations are at the moment. “A few of my favorite DP’s & photographers include, Benoit Debie, Scott Cunningham, Steve Annis, Danny Clinch, and Neil Zlozower, although there are many amazing eyes out there.”
Cole’s advice for artists that are feeling burnt out or possible uninspired, “When I get “creatively burnt out” I usually like to go on a walk or get out of the house. I try and not think about a certain project, but rather just let my mind refresh a little. I also like to listen to records on vinyl.”
On what advice Cole would give to upcoming DPs or Photographers looking to break into the industry, Cole said, “I think the best advice would be to have an open mind and get on as many projects you can to network. It helps finding a set crew you like to work with, too. Everyone will grow together. You also have to be willing to make sacrifices, as filming takes time.”
Finally, as a multidimensional artist, we asked what legacy you want to leave behind for other creatives. Cole emphasized, “My goal is for someone to look at my work and feel some sort of emotion. Additionally, I’ve always been a huge fan of photojournalism, so I aspire to have my work viewed as a piece of history when people look back at this time.”
Interested in seeing more of Cole’s work? Go check it out on: “Lyrical Lemonade”: Youtube - Lyrical Lemonade
All images rights reserved to: Cole Schwartz