Doing what I love for a living is something I don't take for granted. While combining my love of music and photography is something I'll never tire of doing, I try my best to photograph a few shows for fun too. I find that taking photos when I'm not on assignment gives me a whole new appreciation for what I do and allows me to try things I normally wouldn't when I have tight deadlines.
So of course, when I saw The Front Bottoms had a free show at Lagunitas, I knew I had to bring my camera along for a fun night out. These are a few favorites from the night.
I wrote a long piece explaining the history the 707 area code plays with in the Bay Area hip-hop and rap community and though I've photogaphed and seen E-40, Nef the Pharaoh, OMB Peezy and Andre Nickatina a few other times, this time felt special. The Rohnert Park stop of 40's The Gift Of Gab Tour was the smallest venues I've gotten to photograph the Bay Area Legend and the line-up was a photographers dream come true.
Over the past few months, I’ve found myself only taking pictures for work but I think it’s important to take pictures for fun too.
The medium doesn’t matter, it can be with a polaroid, digital camera, disposable camera or even a phone.
I recently downloaded an app called HUJI, and I’ve had fun challenging myself to create photos while I’m out on the go. Here are a few faves.
I took some time off after the North Bay wildfires started.
The path I run on everyday doesn't look like it used to. Police cars block it and the area behind them looks gray. It's just one of many places affected by the fires but together maybe we can bring a little color back into the gray areas.
These photos are from yesterday's benefit concert at Atlas Coffee.
Festivals always feel like photolog summer camp to me because I get to spend the day hanging out with a bunch of photographers I haven't seen in a while. This year's BottleRock was no different in that sense. I got to hang out with familiar faces and met a few new friends too.
What was different was the amount of coverage I worked, since I ended up covering the fest for three separate publications, meaning I need completely different content for each one. I wrote a bunch of previews for one, then covered the actual event for two. I ended up doing daily photo recaps of live performances, a behind the scenes portrait series, a crowd shot slide show, and a weekend highlight list. It was a busy one but I'm happy with how all of my projects turned out.
Though my bestie Rebecca and I spent each day running around, we still managed to find time to catch some live music, get covered in glitter and dance around at the Silent disco.
Here's a few snaps Rebecca took of me working and a cell phone selfie from one of the few times we actually got a chance to sit down, because you know, we chose to document our adventure with cell phones and polaroids even though I had my camera on me the whole time.
Ok. So I realize that lately I've mostly been photographing larger venues, but there's a little part of me that will always love photographing D.I.Y concerts. I know that they've recenty gotten a bad rep because of the Ghost ship fire in Oakland but I will never stop going to them.
While yes, this event was tragic and my heart goes out to those who lost some one in this horrific event, I feel this speaks more about the lack of space for the arts in our every day lives and how desperate out housing situation has become in the Bay Area. It's hard for artist and creative spirits to afford housing in the bay, a lot of times people have to live in areas that need a lot of repairs if that means cheaper rent.
As some one who spend a lot of time at house shows and odd spaces watching live music, there is nothing that makes me happier than going to small concerts band's put on themselves. I've laughed, cried, danced and became who I am today because of these impromptu concerts.
So, I thought I'd post a few shots from a show I went to the other night, because for me, nothing heals wounds like live music.
Last year was a bit of a wild ride. I photographed more than 100 different bands and freelanced with tons of Bay Area publications. I'm thankful to be able to do what I love and I'm looking forward to snapping more photos in 2017. To celebrate, I thought it'd be cool to take a quick look back on some highlights.
Favorite Crowd Shots
Twenty One Pilots are super involed with their fans. I love the live energy the band brings to each performance. While I snaped tons of close-ups from the photo pit, my favorite shots were of the band interacting with the crowd on the mini stage they set up in the nosebleeds or crowd surfing.
Top Three Female Artists
This year, I had the pleasure of photographing three of the most talented women in music. I admire each of these women for different reasons but one thing is for sure, each one inspires me.
A show I'll never forget was We Are Scientist at The Chapel. The band saw a man propose to his partner and ended up marrying them right then and there. Haha I guess you can call me a wedding photographer now.
Favorite Album Release
One of my favorite albums this year was This Album Does Not Exsist. I snapped photos of Dreamers various times throughout 2016 and was stoked to photograph them the day this album hit the shelves.
I'm so proud of these guys for releasing the Wildfire EP. It was an honor to write a feature on Red Wood and about how the release came to be.
Favorite Reunion Show
I photographed all of the California Decomposer reunion concerts but the Berekley show was by far my favorite. While the LA and San Francisco ones were a blast, there really is nothing quite like a how town show to make you remember why The Matches were such a huge part of the Bay Area music scene. Long Live L3!
Band I Photographed The Most
I photographed The Struts several times this year. This partly speaks about how frequently they tour and how often I was out photographing shows and festivals. Haha lets see how many times I get to photograph them this year!
These are a collection of shots that I liked but didn't do anything with because they were just a little too candid or just weren't quite right.
Driving in the rain is usually pretty therapeutic, unless you're driving in San Francisco because thats probably more scary than any haunted house or horror movie I've experienced. Of course, this didn't stop me from driving from the North Bay to photograph M83, who made me forget the horrors of stoping at the top of slippery San Francisco hills and walking a mile in the rain once I finally found parking near the Bill Graham Auditorium.
The whole show was basically one giant dance party and the bands live energy was contagious. I still can't get the bands newest single " Do It, Try It," out of my head. Even the calmer songs like "Wait," off Hurry Up, We're Dreaming had the crowd chanting and cheering.
Growing up, I had photos of Good Charlotte plastered all over my binder. In true eight grade fashion, I listened to The Young and The Hopeless on repeat as though the album's home was in my cheap white boombox covered in band stickers. It was nostalgic photographing a band I listened to in my early teens. The most surprising part was seeing people my age running around moshing and crowd surfing.