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14 – What Apps Do You Use? // Dusty Barker, Photographer, Artist Manager, & Brand Consultant

When Brandon and Jason said they wanted to talk to a music industry photographer they only had one guy in mind. He was busy…but Dusty said he would do it if we had bourbon. Your guides supplied the drinks and Dusty supplied the stories. Today’s show is an inspiring tale of a small town kid getting out in the world and figuring things out. The guides thought Dusty had been taking pictures all his life, but come to find out it has been a recent discovery!? He has taken pictures for some of music’s biggest stars–Kelly Clarkson, Brantley Gilbert, Augustana, Maggie Rose, and Easton Corbin to name a few. His photos have been featured on CMT, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, National Geographic, and various online and local publications. Dusty’s decision to live in Nashville is an unconventional story but so is everything else about him. He began his adult life studying business at Mizzou, which led to leadership roles and traveling the world abroad. Literally, on a whim he planted himself in Nashville to be a songwriter?! On the road of discovery Dusty realized he was a natural at photography which led to the idea of brand consultation. Dusty started JAX in 2015 to offer brand consulting and management. His clients include Easton Corbin, Brantley Gilbert, Kelly Clarkson, Augustana, Dashboard Confessional, Filmore, and more. Let’s not forget the tours he’s worked on–One Direction, Carrie Underwood, and Dixie Chicks for starts! We hear some exciting stories ranging from Dusty’s experience on the One Direction tour, traveling the world, and of course him working closely with today’s hottest celebrities. This episode is for entrepreneurs figuring things out. If you need some advice when it comes to social media and the purpose of such outlets like Facebook or Twitter we gotcha covered. Social media problems? We can help! There is a long conversation on the subject of branding and marketing as a player, artist, or anybody of business. Dusty supplies his tips for longevity in the industry from an outsiders point of view, and also as one neck deep in the business. Most importantly…WHAT APPS DO YOU USE?


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Dusty’s newest company, JAX, is a full service brand consulting and management company. Clients include Easton Corbin, Brantley Gilbert, Kelly Clarkson, Augustana, Dashboard Confessional, and more. Check it:

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Dusty’s adventure mindset for taking on jobs:

“I do a lot of things in life for the story.”

And on on social media branding:

“You are who people perceive you to be.”
“In this industry, the relationships you make will take you very, very far. If you’re a genuinely good person you will go far…”

-Dusty Barker in Episode 14

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To connect with Dusty, visit and follow him on Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, and LinkedIn.


Brandon Harrington // SMI Co-Host, A&R, Music Director, Video Editing
Jason Kurkimilis // SMI Co-Host, Lead Audio Production & Engineering
Christian Barker // Executive Producer

Props for our music this week go to Steven Gilbert. To check out more of his work, check him out on YouTube, Facebook, and iTunes.

Special thanks goes out to our episode sponsor, Fat Bottom Brewing.
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