Promo Photos: Mortal Flames Album

John Dennis is an Americana artist based here in Nashville, and I was so excited when he contacted me to do some promotional photos for his Mortal Flames album. It's a spectacular, poetic album exploring the depth and mythos of pain and mourning as well as an eagerness and appreciation for life that are masterfully melded. John is also one of the kindest and funniest humans on the planet, so we had a great time collaborating ideas for two different shoots. I wanted to be able to match the tone of his album in both, but switch up the forward notes.

At the time that John contacted me, he already had his album art, in which he was standing against a night sky, surrounded by candles. So we first did an indoor shoot, leaning into that idea of being the flickering but unwavering light in the darkness. I sourced a suitable backdrop and props and designed a set that highlighted those elements.

The Second Shoot

As an artistic enterprise, John and I were excited by how the original photoshoot reflected his album. But I wanted to give him some suitable options for headshots that reflected him wholly as an artist, that he could use even beyond promoting this particular album. So we set up a shorter shoot outside at golden hour. John's songs delve deeply into the human condition, the tales we lean on, the scars we live with--but also the light we seek, the hope and love that pulls us back up from the dark. In this photoshoot, my goal was to balance the seriousness of his songwriting with the levity of his personality. Indeed, I spent half the shoot taking photos and the other half begging him to stop making me laugh so I could hold my camera steady. I'm so grateful that he entrusted me with not just one but two photoshoots back to back.

You can learn more about John Dennis by visiting his website, You can listen to the album on Spotify and wherever else you stream music.