In 2017, concert photographer Michael Weintrob turned portraits of musicians on their heads with his photobook, Instrumenthead. The collection of hundreds of photos of iconic musicians did what was previously considered unthinkable in portrait photography and blocked all of their faces, instead focusing on the instruments. CBS Mornings recently caught up with Michael Weintrob, who earlier this year released a companion book, Instrumenthead Revealed.

CBS visited Weintrob’s East Nashville studio as he was photographing famed soft rock singer-songwriter John Oates along with his trademark Fender Stratocaster, which has appeared on every Daryl Hall and John Oates album to date. That piece of rock n’ roll history was purchased in New York’s Upper West Side in 1967 for $125.

In an interview, Weintrob explained that origins of Instrumenthead date back to 2000, when he was the house photographer at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins, CO. While photographing the Derek Trucks Band, Weintrob directed bassist Todd Smallie to “do something crazy.” Smallie ran with the photographer’s note, sticking the neck of his instrument down his pants so the body of the bass covered his face. With that, a lasting new creative endeavor was born.

“My immediate thought was ‘this is not a picture of me, this is a picture of the bass. The bass is my head,'” recalled a laughing George Porter Jr., one of the first Instrumenthead participants. “I thought that it was kind of strange, but it was unique.”

In the age of viral media and the constricting relationship of commerce and art, Weintrob sees Instrumenthead as a necessity. By taking away an artist’s face, you takes away their ego (just ask Daft Punk or Gorillaz). The project instead takes a direct angle in capturing what is truly important to an artist.

“I think that these instruments are an extension of who these musicians are,” Weintrob said. “And one might say that they’re hiding behind them, or maybe they’re just showing their true self. Because this is what they think about, this is where their heads are really at is what I’ve always said.”

Check out the full CBS Mornings segment with Instrumenthead photographer Michael Weintrob. His photobooks are available here.

Michael Weintrob’s “InstrumentHead” | CBS Mornings