Ten Best Photography Songs
Songs For Shutterbugs
I haven't done a top ten videos lens since back when I wrote for Squidoo and they were lenses. Now I write for HubPages so it is a Hub. I think. But I decided to raise the bar on this one. Could I come up with ten videos of songs strongly related to photography or cameras? Not just photos or it would be ten love songs about faded photographs and photos covering up something on the wall and not being in love.
And to tell the truth it was a pretty big challenge. Some songs start out well, they really do. Penny Lane alone keeps mentioning photos, but then it wanders off to mention cars and all sorts of things, Penny Lane included. So could I do it? Could I find ten songs that make photography and cameras sound good? Read on to find my picks and judge for yourself.
And yes, there are eleven songs, not ten. I figure if gives readers a little something extra. All videos and songs are shown for entertainment purposes only. If you hold the copyright or are the original artist and want something removed or credit and a link please let me know.
Please Note: I tried to keep most of the songs fairly g-rated, that said, please be on the lookout for language alerts.
Kodachrome - Paul Simon
OK, I figured I'd start off with the most popular camera related song ever. One, because if I didn't you'd be thinking about it for the entire article, and two, because it is the song that most likely pops into everyone's head. Even if they never used a camera or know what Kodachrome film was for. Which is fine, because those of us who remember family slide night can tell you it was slide film from Kodak.
And it did give bright and vivid color if you knew what you were doing. And although there is now an effect on my current digital Kodak called Kodachrome, you can't replace the old film and resulting slides, you truly can't. Because it gave you those nice bright colors.
Photograph - Nickelback
One for the younger readers and young at heart. At least this song revolves around looking at the photograph and the memories it evokes. The memories it evokes for me are of having a film camera, I had an Olympus as my last one, and the pride I had in it at the time. But there were always cameras around, so the song stirs up good memories.
And although it is about the girl that got away, for me it is about the film that got away. So many of us jumped to digital for whatever reason. But it isn't the same, sliding a card into a slot, I don't care what format you shot in. And the prints are not the same either. Film does something film alone can do.
This song makes me nostalgic in a good way, for old friends and old cameras.
Love Is A Camera - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Not only is the video filled with lush photography to make any photographer go faint with joy, the song itself evokes so many of the myths about cameras and the more positive side of photography. We humans die, that's a fact. But a photograph indeed preserves us forever, or at least long after we are gone.
And it was believed by some, or said to be believed, that an image taken by a camera could capture part or all of the soul. Add in a femme fatale photog and you have the recipe for the song I wish my camera played. Love is a camera full of memories for photographers and being a practicing witch (the good kind) I find the magical element amusing.
Reba At Christmas
Lyrics alert! But love or hate him this boppy song is all about the website and photography. Sure he shows himself off as a ladykiller, and yup, some people will find it shocking or offensive if they prefer more staid photographers but I like it. Who else is going to make a song about shooting RAW and do some of the coolest posing you've ever seen in a music video?
We photogs tend to take ourselves way too seriously and be about as mirthful as a hangman. But this song reminds us that photography can be fun, silly and irreverent. It is about the joy of the dance with your camera, not about pixels and sharpness and only following the rules some boring old drudge set down.
The Song of Photographers
This song is new to me and one of the most lyrical and beautiful I've ever heard about photography. It will make you stand a little straighter and walk a little taller. We are artists, gosh darn it, and we capture the beauty of the world. The wonderful sounds our camera companions make and the stunning beauty of the credited photos is sure to make it a visual and audio treat for any photographer.
And it's inspirational. It makes you want to take a beautiful photo instead of shooting brick walls and newspapers to show off your camera, doesn't it? Heck, makes me want to buy some 110 film and take one of my old but good sweethearts out for a spin.
Look At This Instagram - College Humor
Strong language alert, but we photographers have to laugh at ourselves. Younger people with phones may think they invented taking obnoxious amounts of photos, but we shutterbugs been doing it since we had slide carousels. Back then folks were a captive audience. Now everyone can pitch a fit when their friends and family and millions of strangers don't get their artistic genius.
So whether you shoot with a camera or camera phone the song is a lot of fun because you've probably shot ever single thing they sing about and cursed when it came out blurry. And there is just something about the video. Crude? A little, but fun.
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Freeze Frame - J. Geils Band
The song that almost didn't make the list. It's loaded with camera references, so many packed in at first that when it dawns on you he actually is singing about cameras, mostly, and his relationship with his lady love, well, that can, in a very strange way, be the relationship between photographer and camera as well.
When we find The Camera, we think there's no other camera for us and the dance is perfect. We shower or beloved with filters and lens hoods and it is a moment of pure joy, much like the upbeat song. And if we are lucky that relationship keeps going on. I like the video as well for this one, they do try to stick with a camera theme more or less. Well, kind of. But this was back when the video could have nothing whatsoever to do with the lyrics and often changed your view of a song completely.
Snapshot - Ru Paul
This song is just plain awesome. How many singers celebrate photographers or want us to follow them in adoring throngs? Not only is the fabulous Ru Paul ready for a close up, there are cameras everywhere in this upbeat video. It's a celebration of decadence that somehow cameras and photographers get swept along in. Makes you feel lucky to be owned by a camera, doesn't it?
And let's admit it, a lovely and photogenic subject that is easy on the eyes helps. Loads. Photographers have a bad rep of only shooting celebs but there is something about a person who captures you interest, celeb or on the street that you just have to take their picture. Or you'll combust or something. When all else fails blame the camera.
Camera Full of Kisses - The Flipper's Guitar
Be honest. Just the title is enough to own this one a spot although Flipper's Guitar is no longer with us, the song about a camera full of kisses, the dark nights being over and a happier day is here, even if they are saying goodbye. I think I got that right my Japanese is terrible, sorry! But there is certainly a camera full of sweet memories in there.
And the song just makes you feel good. And it is a great song to point out that cameras transcend just one place or culture. They pop up globally in songs, either as the star or just hovering on the edge of the lyrics as a refrain.
The song that's an ad for Yodabashi Camera! If you speak Japanese, or look up the lyrics you will get directions and a list of the lovely electronics the carry, cameras of course included. I've never been but you either learn to hate this song with a passion or love it as it plays in the store. Often. Some say on a continuous loop. But it isn't the worst song to be stuck in the camera section with, so I'd say go with it and take that credit card or traveler's checks with you. Oh, here's a lovely site with the lyrics translated for you.
Camera Camera - Nazia Hasan
Some songs transcend our ability to understand the rest of the lyrics. With the lush music and beautiful singing voice of Nazia Hasan we really don't need a translation. There's a camera involved and that's good enough for me.
Photography Wishes and Shutterfly Dreams
OK, there are no cameras in this song, but it is about a photographer and from a romantic film with a photographer who makes the ultimate sacrifice (spoiler alert) his sight, for the woman he loves. And I'm including it because he actually looks like a photographer in the film. He isn't afraid of the camera, he isn't over-acting, he just looks natural. Plus, it's a beautiful song.
Want Even More Music?
I tried to keep out songs that were overdone on other lists or just didn't seem to actually be about the camera or photographer in the title even remotely. But this is your Hub, so if there's a song you insist be on this list let me know!
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