I acquired my first camera, a Nikon FG SLR, at the age of 14. I kept a journal on my triangle of exposure and how it affected the photos upon their return from the lab. I took my beautiful friends out to beautiful places to stage beautiful shots of beautiful things. Nothing beats learning on a film camera. If anyone asks what my most favourite photo I’ve ever taken was I could easily recall it was on a film camera. My best friend Joel and his majestic beard glowing in the sunset as we watched it descend over a provincial park. He was laughing at something I had said. It not only caught a genuine moment between friends, it had that BEAUTIFUL film grain and look to it that you cannot reproduce on a digital camera.
When I went digital at 18 years old, my shooting life changed. I’d bring my camera everywhere and shoot everything and not worry about buying film and spending money developing it. I started going to punk and metal shows in local downtown bars and shooting the nightlife. I was NOT very good at it. Even though people told me I was, for the most part it was kindness from friends who had someone with a nice camera to shoot their shows. Their support in my craft meant the world to me, just like my support showing up at their shows did to them. It was a different, darker and more appealing scene to me from the beautiful flowers and friends I had practiced on in the past. Much harder to master, too. If you load up my ipod, you will still find the music I most listen to from the local punk musicians back home. I love the light, airy, colourful weddings I shoot, but there is something comforting and fun I feel when going back to shooting punk shows. As if I’m going back to my roots of where I began calling myself a photographer. Shooting live music is always challenging, but very rewarding!
Recently I was asked to shoot a show that consisted of a couple pop-punk bands, a psychobilly band and a horror rockn’roll band at the Grog and Tankard bar near Stafford, VA. Arriving I felt like an old fogey. I was tired. It was loud. I kept running through the 23407 things I needed to do. When the bands finally started I was ready for bed. Even though the crowd that night was sparse, the bands on stage had the energy that really kicked things off for me. I adored them. I wished the bar was full of my musician friends who would all have one foot up on the stage, a fist in the air, and a beer in their hands for these guys. It rekindled my love for late nights and live music. I was able to see three out of the four bands that night – Set to Sail, The Limit Club and By The Graveyard Tree. Now, most of my clients reading this wouldn’t really be into horror punk but if you are, definitely check them out. I can’t say my secret love for punk is that secret to those who know me best – my bachelorette party was a live bar show with my favourite local bands as were the three birthdays I had before that. After I got out of my old lady shell (27 is old lady now, right?) I had such a great time. I’ll definitely be looking for these bands to come back around locally. I’ll be honest, I’m kicking myself for not buying a Limit Club CD. Thankfully, things like ReverbNation exist where you can buy the music online!