My Photography of Stevie Ray Vaughan

The Texas Story Project.

I started taking pictures of the young Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble when the band first started playing in Austin around 1980. It all started with a small 110-format pocket camera. When I bought my first 35mm camera, I actually learned to use it by taking pictures of a then little-known guitarist named Stevie Ray. 

I improved my skills and over the years I ended up with a nice collection of live performance photos from 1981 through 1985. When Stevie died, it truly changed my life and I met people that influenced me to do something with my art. I started showing my work in restaurants and then sold photos in local Austin stores.

As I became better known as a photographer of Stevie Ray Vaughan, doors started opening for me and other opportunities arose. After Stevie's death, Double Trouble's Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton got together with Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton to form the Arc Angels. Because Tommy and Chris already knew who I was, it made access to them — and other Austin musicians — easier.

I went on to become a music concert photographer. Favorite memories include Buddy Guy and B.B. King, of course. In recent years, I've not been as active photographing live performances, but my established connections still come in handy from time to time. When Eric Clapton came through Austin, Doyle Bramhall ll was his guitarist and I managed to talk my way into a photo pass.

I still go see Charlie and Doyle to continue documenting their careers whenever possible. So, starting out with a little pocket camera taking pictures of a young Austin, Texas guitarist sure changed my life.

Bob Bissett is an avid photographer of live music and his world travels. But he credits his music photography for establishing his popularity and for changing his life.

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