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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Machcinski

Catching up with RalphReal; Why I love photographing music

It's fair to say Ralph Washington does everything loud. He's the kind of guy whose voice you hear boom into a room before he daps you up with a friendly, "what up?"

Tuesday, his soulful voice and keyboard boomed off the brick buildings well before we made it to Cherry Lane for his performance. That's just his deal.

But his loud persona fits what he does -- bringing York to stages across the world.

When I profiled him a year ago for Our York Media, he once told me how he's happy to use that vibrancy for good.

"I'm here like, 'York has some of the most talented musicians, actors and artists," he said. "You just have to sit back and listen."


An artist friend recently asked me what my favorite subjects to photograph. I didn't need long to answer.

"Music," I told her.

There's something in every musician I've been lucky enough to photograph and it's expressions like this one from Ralph. No matter how big or small the stage is, the artists transport themselves into a different realm.

Music is their passion. Years of honing their skills manifest in just a few minutes in front of the crowd. The energy is so tangible that the crowd can't help but sink their teeth into it, regardless of the artist.

Beyond the artist, the stages they perform on bring even more intrigue. Here's a few examples of what I mean:

For me, photographing music is a limitless journey. Unlike sports (another favorite to shoot) where the action tends to be similar game to game, I could see the same artist three times and get a shot I hadn't gotten before.

I don't know when this pandemic is going to end, but when it does, I'm taking advantage of the next live shows I can shoot at.


Since he was kind enough to let me grab a few photos of him, let me plug some of Ralph's work.

First, to learn more about him, you can read the story I wrote, "Ralph Washington: Life of Music" on Our York Media's website.

For his latest updates, you can check him out on Facebook and Instagram.

In 2020, RalphReal dropped a pair of albums -- "All Skate" and "Assorted" -- both of which are available. I've linked the Spotify versions above, but you can also find him on Apple Music, too.

Finally, I caught this live set with Assorted Studios below when it was published during the COVID-19 pandemic. I enjoyed it a ton, so I hope you guys will, too.

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