On the Record
By Libby Peterson
I met Brian Guido last fall at a PDN’s 30 panel
in New York City. A mellow, easygoing guy
who offhandedly mentioned he’s an editorial
photographer based in L.A., Guido shoots for
a wide variety of clients—Spin, The New York
Times and You Tube among them. He asked if
I’d like a promo (my answer to that is always
yes, as my cubicle walls can attest). This is the
photo I chose. And you bet your sweet grass
it’s on my wall.
Guido shot it for WIRED’s story about Better
Records and the company’s owner, Tom Port,
who sells vinyl with only the very best sound
quality. Here, an employee queues up one of
the many copies of a single record for Port’s
elaborate stereo system as he sits poised with
his notepad, ready to listen and grade the
record based on the playback.
“Right before I took this photo, Tom
decided he didn’t want all his secrets to be
in the open and covered the receiver with
that green towel,” Guido says. “I loved that!
There’s such an interesting parallel with the
photography world and equipment, and while
I’m using a pretty standard setup for this photo
(a Canon 5D Mark III), I truly believe it has less
to do with the specific equipment than what
you personally bring to the moment you press
The impeccable color temperature is
what drew me in to this photo, and I loved
that Guido filled the scene with a speed
light instead of deferring to ambient light.
Everything in the frame is suddenly crisp and
nearly tangible; you can almost hear the soft
click of the needle touching the record.
Guido talks more about what to bring
to the moment you press the shutter, on