HAAM stands for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. It’s a fantastic organization that provides access to affordable health care services to support Austin's low-income and uninsured musicians. HAAM’s services fill a large hole that affects Austin’s creative residents due to a number of factors like Austin’s gentrification, rising rents and costs of living.
Each year HAAM throws a fundraiser called Corporate Battle of the Bands that raises money for programming, staffing, and health care services. I had wanted to volunteer photography for them for a while and this awesome event was the perfect time to do it!
Bands are made up of employees from different companies around Austin who practice for hours and hours to perform original pieces and covers in front of a packed house at the ACL Live Moody Theater. The bands are then judged by several prominent music folks from the Austin area. This year, the judges were Omar Vallejo (bass player in the band Vallejo and founder of 512 Studios), Graham Wilkinson (local musician), and James Minor (head of the SXSW festival). The event also has super cool, music-related items that are auctioned off, e.g. ACL tickets and signed guitars.
When taking these photos I wanted to focus on the chemistry between band mates, the enthusiasm that these musicians had with each other, and the beautiful lighting that performing under the Moody Theater’s lights afforded. I also wanted to try and get intimate shots of the audience and judges reacting to the artists.
I’m really happy with the results. It's incredibly important to be reminded of the critical role that non-profits like HAAM play in our community, filling-in the gaps that are left by a healthcare system that isn’t affordable and doesn’t cover all people. I can’t wait to work with HAAM on future events!
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