Jeff Fasano Preserves Cultural Legacies With New Photography Book ‘Americana Portrait Sessions’

Nashville-based photographer Jeff Fasano’s life purpose is to champion the greatness of others.

After a long stint in corporate America, he felt a spiritual calling towards a lifelong passion of photography. His new journey begins here, at 40, expanding his social network, his artistry, and his capacity for creative expression. 

Fasano published his first photography book, Americana Portrait Sessions, on April 15th, 2023 with Vanderbilt University Press. And it’s pretty spectacular.

With a throughline of inspiring others to shift, change, and grow, this book manages to capture one of the most historically rich music scenes in America. And it just so happens that Americana Portrait Sessions is the first comprehensive photographic record of the genre. 

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In 2003, Fasano was asked to shoot Wilco at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, a career-boosting gig that immersed him into the world of Americana. Their portraits are, of course, present in the book, along with a tender forward from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier. She writes, “When you grow up as an outsider, you become an observer. Jeff and I are both observers. Him with his camera, me with my songs. We document and chronicle what we see.” 

Americana Portrait Sessions represents the work of a photographer who has carved out his own path. The book includes portraits of legends like Kris Kristofferson, Dave Alvan, Nick Lowe, Wanda Jackson, Margo Price, and countless others. Beyond capturing their likeness on a stage, Fasano shows them as human beings, with diverse and lively personalities reflected in their music.

Through a deep understanding of light and texture, these artists are presented as if they’re at home, even if they’re caught backstage or stepping off a tour bus.

Through his book, Fasano has managed to string together all the disparate strands of Americana into one comprehensive picture book. In capturing portraits of cultish figures like 1970s folk-rock singer Rodriquez and highlighting masterful instrumentalists like Tom Paxton and David Crosby, Fasano has found a way to amplify the impact and evolution of the genre throughout the years. 

Americana Portrait Sessions can be purchased from Vanderbilt University Press or most anywhere you buy books, but ordering from his website is likely the best way to support him directly.

Kris Kristofferson & Jeff Fasano

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