About Me

Do people really read the “about me” pages on websites? Probably not, but just in case, here’s my “about me” page. What I think I’ll do is use it to answer the question that people most often ask me…how did I develop this specialization in drummer photography?

Years ago, more years than I’ll admit to, I met Modern Drummer’s associate editor Billy Amendola at a Ringo concert. Billy needed pictures of Ringo playing the drums so minutes before the concert began he made his way down to the photo pit and out of about eight or nine photographers in there, by sheer luck of the draw, decided to approach me. He introduced himself to me and explained what he was looking for. I told him not to get his hopes up because we, the professional photographers, were only permitted to shoot the first three songs, Ringo wouldn’t be playing the drums until the fifth song. Unfortunately I was right and all I was able to provide him with were pictures of Ringo air-drumming…fun, but not what he needed. But a couple of things came out of this chance encounter…Billy and I became friends and I became acutely aware of the person in the band who is surrounded by the most glorious gear of anyone else on stage…the guy who, pound for pound, exhibits more emotion per square inch of playing area than any other member of the band…I’m speaking, of course, about the drummer.

Fast forward those x-amount of years and I’m pleased to say that I have developed a specialization in drummer photography, regularly working with many of the USA and European drum publications. Several years ago I was asked by Modern Drummer to help them start a new column. You’ve probably seen it…“Gearing Up” (I’m the one who came up with the name). I hit the ground running, not only photographing drummers, but interviewing them as well, specifically about their gear. It didn’t take too many interviews for me to realize that I was ill-equipped to do this, having little knowledge about playing the drums. So I did the only sensible thing, I started to take drum lessons.

After a few years of lessons, I’m still nowhere near pro-ficient (get it?), but my drumming ability is adequate enough for me to put the headphones on and rock out to some of my favorite songs (that typical interview question ‘what CDs did you practice to when you were first learning to play drums’ has taken on new meaning for me). I started my drum lessons thinking it would be a necessary chore and wound up enjoying the heck out it. I think part of the reason that I love it so much is because there is absolutely no one relying on me for my drumming prowess, I play completely for fun and just for me. But thanks to my teacher, Mark Poiesz, I have developed an “ear” and while I don’t have talent to replicate all that I hear, I can understand and visualize the drum patterns and fully appreciate the artistry that is necessary be a drummer. Needless to say, the lessons have also improved my interviews (I now write feature stories) and it has helped my photography. For example, when I want that great ‘into the hi-hat’ shot, I ask my drummers to play the beginning of “Suspicious Minds.” In other words, because I now know what kit components are being played I can better direct the drummer during a photo session in order to get the shots that I’m looking for.

In case you’re still reading this and you aren’t a drummer, I have come to discover that my cameras also work on guitar and bass players, keyboard players, lead vocalists and other band members. They seem to work on just about everything.

When given a photographic assignment, my goal is to attain the best, most authentic images possible. I want to provide my clients with compelling images or, as I’m fond of saying, images that they can hear.

It might surprise you to learn that I have an MBA, I’m a marketing specialist and I minored in English…in other words, I’m no empty chair.

Whether you’re a musician, a manufacturer, a publicist or just someone that wants to arrange an opportunity to make some wonderful pictures, I can help you. Most multi-pose, single location shoots are $1600 (prices might be higher or lower based on usage), Nashville Drummers get a substantial discount. Call me at 954-292-7938 or email sayre@sayrejoanphotography.com.

Contact Sayre:

Phone: 954.292.7938 Email: sayre@sayrejoanphotography.com


“Sayre’s unbridled enthusiasm for the world of drumming is totally undeniable and the results speak for themselves…she is a real pleasure to work with!”
Roger Taylor (Duran Duran)

“Sayre is without a doubt the most passionate photographer of drummers and drumming that I have ever worked with. Sayre kicks ass!”
James Kottak (Scorpions)

“Sayre knows drummers. Yes, she loves drums and even plays drums, but it’s the community spirit of drummers that has brought Sayre to this place. By focusing on the drummer, she is able to capture all of the spirit, energy,
personality and charisma of the sweatiest person in any band! I have Sayre shoot me whenever I am in her area and we always have a fantastic time with laughs, sweat and…drums! I can’t recommend her enough!”
Rich Redmond (Jason Aldean)

“I was really pleased to have Sayre taking the shots and asking the questions for my Rhythm Magazine interview,asking all the right questions and
being 100% thorough with it. With her photography she somehow manages to catch the best side of every drummer… and that’s not always easy!”
Chris Hayden (Florence and the Machine)

“My experience with Sayre was absolutely nothing short of an amazing,professional, and fun. She knew exactly what she was going for and how to get it. We had a short opportunity of time and she took full advantage of that, getting everything we needed.”
Troy Luccketta (Tesla)

“Sayre is a great photographer but in addition to that I was impressed with her attention to detail and concern for authenticity. We did our photo session on stage before our set and she worked efficiently and unobtrusively to get the job done. AND…she started taking ddrum lessons several years ago so that she could become even better at all of this. How’s that for dedication!”
Ray Luzier (KoRn)