Sedalia drummer and photographer Patrick Monahan never leaves home without his camera and a pair of drumsticks.

Monahan, who plays drums with Stalfos, Every Other Friday and several other bands, said he took up photography around two years ago. He uses a Canon EOS 77D and incorporates his photos onto the stage when he plays. Since he’s already on stage, Monahan photographs bands while they are playing, but he also enjoys photographing nature and creating candid shots of people.

He said from the Making the Band Studio Wednesday morning that he began taking photos because a mutual friend enjoyed photography.

“I just kind of always liked it,” he noted. “I just picked it up and did it on my own, and it’s pretty fun. I like to do things a little different.”

He was recently asked to photograph a large family gathering, and he wanted to create photos that were personable.

“The whole family was going to be together, like 30 or 40 of them,” he explained. “And they weren’t going to be together again for a long time.”

He decided instead of grouping everyone together for a static, posed portrait, he captured intimate, candid moments of the family members.

“I like to get photos that aren’t staged,” he noted.

Monahan has participated in several NoBro Art Events in downtown Sedalia. He said he began using a 3-D printing process to print some of his photos and hopes to show them once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

“I take the photo with my camera and I put it through a computer,” he explained. “This is printed on (hard) plastic, so it’s an actual photo I took, but then I print it like a lithograph.

“What’s weird about it, is it’s not very thick, but there’s like 100 lines in it,” he continued. “It’s not about filling the space, it’s about leaving dead space. So, if you looked at this thing under a microscope, it would be like mountains. Like a spectrograph.”

When he does capture images of band members, instead of using a flash, he uses the light from the show to create the images and he enjoys capturing the total blackness of the background.

“It helps that I know my way around a stage too,” he added.

Besides photographing bands, Monahan may be seen capturing photos of raindrops, lightning bolts, sunsets, insects and flowers. Monahan said if he uses digital manipulation it’s obvious, but with most of his work there are “no fake shots.”

Meeting new people is always a bonus when photographing.

“I like to expand who I know, and have a good time,” he noted. “I’m funny, and talk and if I can get a real laugh and smile out of them that’s what’s important.”

He said he enjoys photography because it makes him happy.

“It’s just like the bands, yeah getting famous and making money … that would be fantastic,” he said. “But even if that never happens, I’m never going to stop doing this. Drumming’s about the only thing I’m good at and photos.”

Monahan said he encourages everyone to follow their passion.

“You know whatever it is,” he added. “Go out there and really try, but you have to give it your everything.

“If you feel yourself stretched thin, then don’t be afraid to say ‘no,’” he continued. “More people need to, especially these kids, go out and do stuff like that. Don’t just sit around and don’t hate on everyone else for what they’re doing.” 

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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