Phinehas, For Today, and Friendship / by Liz Brown

Phinehas played a showwith For Today in Iowa City a few weeks ago, and I drove straight from work, making it just minutes before their set. Why? Well, not only do they put on a great show, but Sean, the vocalist, is engaged to my best friend Sarah. Meaning he is one of my dearest friends, too, and thus worth the drive.

I shot their set from stage left with Sarah and it was a blast. I love creating with her.

Due to where we were standing, most of my shots were of Daniel and Sean, but I snagged a few full band shots throughout the evening

After Sean finished, we all hung out in the green room and walked around outside for a bit, and I snagged a few portraits of Sean and Sarah.

In the alley next to the venue, Sean introduced Sarah and I to Mattie, and naturally I asked for a quick portrait. It’s just what I do. He was willing and ready and posed without prompting.

After getting food, I snuck back into stage left to shoot the end of For Today’s set. It was so hot in that room that my lens kept fogging up. Crazy.

There’s a lot of black and white in this series, for two reasons: I like it and the lighting wasn’t super spectacular and black and white is more forgiving of that.

Choose to surround yourself with people who are better than you and inspire you.

It’s easy to look at feed networks from places like Portland or LA or Nashville, in sort of envy-sweeped admiration. And when you do that, you miss the amazing folks around you. They exist, I promise. No matter where you live.

A year ago, i didn’t think there were many creative folks in Des Moines. I sure was wrong. I was invited to a couple meet-ups and showed up. And that’s a lot of it: showing up. And through showing up, I’ve met some of my favourite artists who are now my best friends. And vice versa. Some of my best friends are now my favourite artists.

Maybe you’re an artist. Maybe you’re not. That’s okay, too. Find accountants you admire. Find folks that own pet stores. Find farmers. It just so happens my field is art. So that’s where my friends are. But there are swell people everywhere. I believe it.

Sarah and Sean are some of those people. They create absurdly well separately and even more so together. I’m inspired by their art and by them as humans. Sarah loves people genuinely and deeper than anyone I’ve ever met. Sean is one of the kindest humans. He always greets me with a hug, and even walked me through fixing my headlight.

Not that it’s bad to find inspiration from the internet. But those aren’t real people in your life. Make sure you’ve got some good real ones, too, and when you find them, don’t lose them. Keep them. Learn from them. They’re treasures.