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Capturing concert energy with photos makes photographer's heart sing

Jamie Miles loves photographing fans and musicians live. She looks forward to this weekend’s Ramble Jam country music festival in Farmington. Kara Hildreth / Contributor1 / 3
Local photographer Jamie Miles is proud of this shot she captured of country music star Keith Urban at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., at the Country Music Association Festival in 2016. Photo courtesy of Xpressive Images by Jamie Miles2 / 3
Jamie Miles captured up-and-coming country artist Kristian Bush from Sugarland on the steps inside the iconic Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Ga., in November 2017. Photo courtesy of Xpressive Images by Jamie Miles3 / 3

Capturing cheering fans and country music bands through her camera lens makes photographer Jamie Miles's heart sing.

For the eighth year, this Twin Cities photographer will capture thousands of shots of up-and-coming, country bands and cheering fans who scream and shout this weekend at Ramble Jam, the two-day country musical festival in Farmington.

With thousands of social media followers, Miles has built a solid reputation as a concert photographer. She travels to shoot concert venues in Nashville, Tenn., but admits she looks forward to shooting Ramble Jam at Dakota County Fairgrounds each September.

"My favorite is Ramble Jam because it is a close community and everyone is so nice like a little family, and we have worked together for so many years and they trust me to do my thing," Miles said.

In the Twin Cities, Miles, 42, loves capturing the energy at outdoor music festivals like WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Lakefront Music Festival in Prior Lake. This past Thanksgiving, she was fortunate to travel and capture one of her all-time favorite bands, Sugarland that played in Georgia.

"I like the constant change with the lighting and the action and the music, and I can pair music and photography and I love it," Miles said.

Working as a professional photographer with Xpressive Images by Jamie, Miles became a shutterbug as a teenager when she was a young concertgoer. She recalls the first band she photographed was New Kids on the Block.

As a student at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, she studied hospitality management. But her mother suggested she take photography since that was her passion and she liked taking photos.

"I said people do that - people go to school for that and so I did," Miles said smiling.

She admits she dreams of landing a career as a full-time concert photographer for a band like Sugarland.

"Probably my favorite photos are those I have shot from Kristian Bush who is one half of Sugarland," she said. Miles first became acquainted with Sugarland when she entered a contest when they were looking for a photographer.

"I sent in my stuff and they picked me four years ago," she said. "They let us shoot backstage and in the dressing room and at that time he was playing never heard of pieces of songs that are now hits," she said.

Miles travels to Nashville every June to capture photos at the CMA fest and she loves to photograph all the happenings of this country music event.

Working in the music industry as a photographer requires many professional skills, however.

"A photographer is more than a photographer these days — you are web design, marketing and videos, editing," Miles said.

"Many artists say at Ramble Jam, you make us look professional because without the photographs, who knows about the festival?" Miles said. "I just like the up-and-comers we get at Ramble Jam."

This weekend at Ramble Jam, Miles looks forward to photographing country musicians Michael Ray and Justin Moore, along with new artists and loyal fans who show up to take in the music at the outdoor, two-day festival.

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