Lyle Lovett shares his view of the world in song and in pictures

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In an empty auditorium, before the crowd filters in to take its seats, Lyle Lovett grabs his camera, sets it on a tripod, and captures the moment.

The beauty of the space. The promise of the performance to come.

One long exposure after another, hoping he snapped just the right shot.

He's an artist with an eye for giving us a glimpse into his world. But he says he's not a photographer.

"I don't think of myself as a photographer," said the Klein native. "But I like photographers. And I like taking pictures."

He's more of a musician.

"Some pictures turn out better than others," Lovett added. "And I think songs are the same way."

Lovett is the best-selling Aggie and Houstonian whose songs have transcended genres and drawn loyal audiences across the world.

He sat down with Eyewitness News before a recent concert at the Hobby Center in downtown Houston.

But more than a singer and songwriter, and sometimes actor, he is also a man who loves the aesthetic of photography. And he shares it on his popular Instagram page, with his more than 36,000 followers delighting in the places and faces he shares through his lens.

"It's an amazing new world we live in, isn't it?" he asked with a smile. "To be able to directly communicate with people who are interested is a wonderful thing."

He is choosy about what he posts, however, plucking the right snap, hitting the right chord with those who tap "like."

"I do feel that if I'm going to demand somebody's time, I want it to be worth their time," he explained.

"I want them to be glad they checked in on my page," said Lovett.

Lovett has long loved photography and started taking his iconic empty room shots after seeing his longtime cellist John Hagen set his camera on the front of the stage before concerts.

"It's about being in the moment and capturing a moment," he said of his photography. "I don't mind over shooting to try to get one frame. Mainly, I see a place, I think to myself, 'gosh I can't believe I'm getting to play in such a beautiful place.'"

Each of the venues is different, as are the people he meets along the way.

"There's not a more interesting subject than people," he said, explaining his photographs are similar to his music in how they share his view of the world he travels.

"It's a different way to show how you see the world," he said. "And that's what songs are about. And that's what pictures are about. It's just a different medium, but it's really the same expression."

Seeing the world. Sharing his vision. Songs and photographs that bring smiles to people's faces. For Lovett, it really is one happy place to be.

"I see the world as a place that's really hopeful, that's really hopeful and full of beauty," said Lovett.

Beauty, one empty theater at a time.

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