Songs About Photography

Songs About Photography

This list is just a start. Please add more to the comments section. Anybody have any idea about the first reference to photography in a song?


Cindy of a Thousand Lives – Billy Bragg
People Take Pictures Of Each Other – The Kinks

Picture Book – The Kinks
I turn my camera on – Spoon

Carry this picture – Dashboard Confessional
Paint A Vulgar Picture – The Smiths

Getting the picture – Jimmy Buffett
Panorama – The Cars

Picture – Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow
The Picture – Hubert Kah
Local Boy in the photograph – Stereophonics

F-stop blues – Jack Johnson
Photographs and Memories – Jim Croce

Life through a lens– Robbie Williams
Photograph – Weezer
Photograph – Nickelback

Photograph – Ringo Starr
Photograph – Johnny Mathis
Photograph– The Verve Pipe

Take a Picture – Filter
Pictures of You– The Cure
Distant camera – Neil Young

Please just take these photos from my hands – Snow Patrol
This Is Not A Photograph – Mission of Burma

Send a picture of Mother – Johnny Cash
Camera – R.E.M.

Freeze Frame – J. Geils Band
Camera One – Josh Joplin Group

Every picture tells a story – Rod Stewart

I Am A Camera – The Buggles
Into the lens – Yes (same song as I Am A Camera – The Buggles)
The Camera Eye – Rush

Posted by James Pomerantz
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48 Responses to Songs About Photography

  1. Shaun Kelly says:

    Nightswimming by REM

  2. Adam says:

    Just got another one from Pandora today: Jack Johnson – Pictures of People Taking Pictures
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLQ7tQnniVE

  3. Faith says:

    I think David Todd ’09 is working on a similar list…you should collaborate

    from my collection:
    I am a Photograph – Amanda Lear
    Photographs of Naked Ladies – Toy Love
    Polaroid – Front (from German New Wave Rarities)
    Your Picture – Clarence “Frogman” Henry
    Let Me Go Where My Pictures Go – Ludus
    Fuji Film – Otomo Yoshihide (from Night Before the Death of the Sampling Virus, also containing tracks called Canon, Nikon, etc.) (instrumental)
    Snapshots of Nairobi – The Homosexuals (instrumental)
    Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture – Outkast
    A Picture of her Face – Scott Joplin (instrumental)

  4. Kate Wilhelm says:

    Just this afternoon I heard a song called “I am the photographer” by Memphis. I can’t find the lyrics and can’t hear them well enough to say but you can listen to the song here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARfgsyra9X0.

  5. sofia says:

    nickel back, photograph. probably already been mentioned, but nevermind.

  6. Martin says:

    Anything by TAKE THAT..ha ha!!!!!

  7. Ying Ang says:

    “Where you’ve been hiding” by Architecture in Helsinki

  8. Adam says:

    My apologies in advance, but here’s Rupaul “Snapshot” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf-A0XdzhRA

  9. Iain says:

    What about Cat Power “She’s got you”? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCdR3ZWqqMU
    “I got your picture, she’s got you”

  10. Wendy says:

    I’m late to this one, but Mutemath’s “Picture” would be a good addition to the list.

  11. mari says:

    one more for a good measure?

    grizzly bear, la douches anne

    definitely about photographers, tired as ghosts, and stumbling into each other on the road…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrB342D500c

  12. mari says:

    um, I mean Camera OBSCURA.

  13. mari says:

    was this included:

    Camera Obscure Your picture:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQk17bCMCJY

  14. “Photograph” by R.E.M. with Natalie Merchant

  15. Sarah says:

    Diana Krall-Popsicle Toes.

    I smile every time she says the line,
    “How come you always load your Pentax when I’m in the nude.”

    So I thought of that song instantly, regardless of the fact that its not a song about photography, specifically.

  16. Sara Macel says:

    Fun list, James! I’d like to contribute Tom Waits “Picture In A Frame”. I think it is interesting how many of these songs about photography are full of one-sided sadness and loss. Willie Nelson has a great song called “If I Were A Painting” that basically taking on the other side of the singer/image relationship saying that if he were a painting, he wouldn’t feel pain.

  17. alex villanueva says:

    the first picture of you by the lotus eaters

  18. Bertrand Carrière says:

    You may want to look up guitarist Bill Frisell. He just did a project on Arkansas photographer Mike Disfarmer.So it’s music inspired by photographs, subjects, light, etc… Frisell uses all his talent as a «jazz» guitarist to revisit the american music traditions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfWlnnyqoiM&feature=fvw

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Disfarmer

  19. Jen Davis says:

    “There’s an old Kodak camera in my dresser drawer
    I ran across it just this afternoon
    And I realized that I don’t ever use it anymore
    In fact last time I did I think it was with you”

    Who Needs Pictures by Brad Paisley

  20. Karin says:

    Also a song that isn’t about photography, but the cover for their single “Nowhere Girl” was a tribute (or a rip-off) of a famous Bill Brandt photo.
    http://www.discogs.com/image/R-150-101231-1173312614.jpeg

    http://www.englandgallery.com/artist_work.php?mainId=172&groupId=none&_p=1&_gnum=8&media=Photography

  21. Although it is not a song about photography, Don Henley’s “the end of the innocence” video is a direct quote to Robert Frank’s The Americans .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FPEBWZ1EOY

    And, «Que reste-t’il de nos amours» by Charles Trenet, 1942
    He writes: «Que reste-t’il de nos amours, une photo, très vielle photo de ma jeunesse…»

  22. Jen Jordan says:

    “Photograph” by Jamie Cullum

    “Her name was written on the photograph, right next to her red sunburned face / It all had happened in that long, tall grass / About a mile from her old place…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKG6VbJH4to

  23. Karin says:

    How about “Wishing” by A Flock Of Seagulls?

    “If I had a photograph of you / It’s something to remind me / I wouldn’t spend my life just wishing…”

  24. Greg says:

    Just a quick response to your photography in music blog.

    You could consider Belle and Sebastian, whom I have always had the impression where very interested in photography.

    There’s also an e.p called 3… 6… 9 seconds of light which should be of interest. It features an old (agfa) camera on the back sleeve and an interesting reference in the [http://www.belleandsebastian.com/recordings.php?release=14&view=info] liner notes. There is a further photography reference in the lyrics to the song [http://www.belleandsebastian.com/recordings.php?release=14&view=lyrics&lyrics=103] Beautiful.

    Further to this is a simple reference in the song [http://www.belleandsebastian.com/recordings.php?release=12&view=lyrics&lyrics=121] Photo Jenny.

  25. Marielle says:

    A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise by Phosphorescent

  26. Erin Trieb says:

    “3×5’s” by John Mayer.

  27. Albert says:

    Let me take your photo – The speedies
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8XluynKckE

    With the added twist that the singer is Gregory Crewdson!

  28. Eric says:

    Renai Shashin by Ai Otsuka
    Photograph by Jamie Cullum

  29. Tom Jobim, Desafinado “fotografei você na minha rolleiflex, revelou-se a sua enorme ingratidão”

  30. Marten Elder says:

    Speedies – Let Me Take Your Photo
    AND Gregory Crewdson was in the band

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8XluynKckE

  31. Chris says:

    Kamera by Wilco. Kinda.

  32. Jocelyn says:

    The Soviettes – Photograph (talks about looking at a photograph a couple of times)

    Bishop Allen – click click click click

  33. Camera Shy – The Lucksmiths
    The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye – Morrissey
    I Hate Camera – The Bird and The Bee
    Pictures – Mojave 3
    The Bad Photographer – St. Etienne
    The Camera Loves Me – The Would Be Goods

    That Japan song is terrible and hilarious! Oboe solo!

  34. Juanes – Fotografia
    Depeche Mode – Photographic
    Depeche Mode – Photograph Of You
    Death Cab For Cutie – Photobooth
    Fujiya & Miyagi – Photocopier
    Taking Back Sunday – This Photograph Is Proof (I Know You Know)
    Belle And Sebastian – Photo Jenny
    Elliot Smith – Pictures Of Me

  35. Aljaz says:

    Depeche mode – photographic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUP5W10wGEA

    DM, important influence for me

    reguards

  36. Kate George says:

    Pictures of Matchstick Men – Camper Van Beethoven

  37. oh and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones : Pictures to Prove It

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwVcULy6_Z8

  38. REM : Nightswimming

    Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
    The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
    Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
    Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse
    Still, it’s so much clearer
    I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge
    The moon is low tonight

  39. Hey Terry,
    it’s already there about 3/5ths down the page.

    jp

  40. Terry Moore says:

    Kodachrome by Paul Simon

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