Leon Bridges is on his way to the Grammys. This photographer feels blessed to be documenting his journey

Barbara Merkley



CNN
 — 

Leon Bridges is known for his soulful hits, reminiscent of songs from a long time past. The Texas indigenous is nominated for two Grammy Awards this calendar year, getting received his to start with in 2019.

Bridges’ slow but continuous increase to stardom has been captured powering the lens by a delicate-spoken Nashville photographer named Cedrick Jones. His wonderful pictures of Bridges on tour are not just about the moments when the singer usually takes the phase. They also capture the stillness and joyful times at the rear of the scenes.

For Jones, who moved to Tennessee soon after substantial school to pursue a photography job, the work is a aspiration.

Bridges sits at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, prior to his peformance there in October 2021.

“We met via Twitter,” he instructed CNN in a recent interview. “He was in Nashville one evening and he just tweeted out, ‘Any photographers in Nashville want to come shoot?’ So I was just one particular of the numerous photographers that talked about again, ‘let’s work, let us get the job done.’ And I didn’t really assume way too much of it. It’s like he possibly won’t see this.”

But Bridges did.

“Five minutes later on he adopted me back again and I misplaced it bring about I’ve been a enthusiast since … I’m from Mississippi, so I’ve been a enthusiast due to the fact I was back residence. So when he followed (me) and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, like what is occurring?’”

While that face didn’t transform into an immediate gig with the singer, it was just the beginning for Jones.

A year later, in 2019, Bridges invited him on tour.

Bridges warms up backstage in April 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bridges rehearses for a show in Los Angeles in October 2021.

“I came to rehearsal, took some photos and I know he currently had a photographer on the tour, but it was just cool of him to provide me out to rehearsal, just to shoot some behind-the-scenes things,” Jones mentioned.

“I guess just after that he just sort of appreciated what I did for that rehearsal. And I received a call at like 10 o’clock that evening inquiring me if I could arrive on tour for like a thirty day period … it was just very good timing … we just clicked.”

Jones accompanied the singer again on tour in the drop of 2021. He states that Bridges has elevated his images to new heights. Now he finds himself consistently hoping new tactics, applying film in its place of a digital digital camera.

One of his favourite pics transpired when they have been making ready for a exhibit in Atlanta and Jones got an strategy.

Bridges poses at a hotel in Atlanta in September 2021.

“I was basically sitting down in my resort home and I was hunting out the window and I noticed these curtains, just like a really great forest green type of color,” he claimed. “I went to his home, just took some photos, moved some chairs about and advised him to sit in front of the curtain bring about I’ve often preferred to shoot in front of like a actually entertaining, interesting resort curtain.”

Powering the scenes, Jones claims Bridges is shy at situations. But it is in those quiet times when he receives to soak in the encounter.

“He doesn’t hurry anything. He’s client … from time to time you just capture him sitting all over, just like taking part in a history, a track that he has not concluded nonetheless, but just like a few traces and he just, like, keeps organizing,” he claimed.

Bridges plays his song

Jones mentioned he enjoys looking at performers like Bridges work themselves up just before a exhibit.

Bridges is seen during a rehearsal in Aspen, Colorado, in October 2021.

“You’re hanging out with them, and they are typical individuals, but then when they strike the stage, it is like a swap! I adore seeing that change. It is like, oh, snap, like, this is Leon Bridges. You know what I imply?”

Another standout minute for Jones was a time in New York City when Bridges’ mother was grooming his hair.

“It’s just this kind of a unique moment. I did not know it until finally following I shot (it),” he reported. “That was actually cool, just to kind of see how effortless it is for her to do his hair.”

Jones doesn’t choose these moments for granted and is grateful to be along for the journey.

Bridges and Brittni Jessie perform

“I’m from Mississippi. I was in no way like, flying around like that, you know, airplanes. So I had to get utilised to stuff like that and viewing various cities, just hoping new things and traveling to places. I just in no way grew up wondering I would ever be in a position to (do this) … it’s just been exciting,” he said.

“Like you’re a lover of the audio, but when you get the appreciate person? It’s pretty much like a pleasurable hang with your buddies and you get to operate.”

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