Friday, April 29, 2011

Before And After The Show

Anyone who knows me and knows my "taste" in photography knows that I like concert photography.  I've liked it since I was a wee girl.  Like most young girls, I hung up posters and tore out magazine pages of cute rock 'n' roll guys to put on my wall.  As I was doing so, one of the first things I'd do was see who took the photo.  While I haven't reached the level of those guys and gals whose work adorned my wall as a kid (yet ... positive thinking!), I'm the one behind the lens now.  I don't rip pages from magazines or hang up posters any longer; I do have some of my own work framed.  It's an inexpensive and fun way to cover the wall space over my desk.

There was one thing that was missing in magazine photos of "rock stars."  Because most of the people in those magazine photos were of musicians who had achieved some level of success, you didn't get a glimpse of them setting up.  They most likely had crew to set up their gear before the show and clear it away afterwards.  When you go to your local bar or club, chances are, at some point during the night, you're going to see a band setting up or clearing away their equipment.  That side of a show was rarely seen in the pages of the magazines I would browse though.  It's those moments that I enjoy capturing. 

The images you capture often gives you a different look at the artists.  Sometimes you'll catch a performer alone on a stage, lost in thought.  Other times you can catch a couple of band members sharing a laugh.  Sometimes it's just fun to capture a non-performance shot of musicians. 

Andrew Samaha of A Million Years

I generally try to go unnoticed when taking photos before and after a show.  I like to capture a natural body language.  But, occasionally, you're noticed!  You know you've been caught when you get a wave.  Sometimes being noticed makes for a fun photo.

Jaren Johnston of American Bang

Johnston is a balls out rocker when he's performing.  So, I found it fascinating when he sat peacefully with his legs folded, in his own little world, setting up his gear.  Notice the roll of duct tape in his lap.  Duct tape is the most useful thing in rock 'n' roll.  It fixes everything from equipment to wardrobes.  

James Love of Hot Seconds

Love looked tranquil sitting off to the side strumming on his guitar.  The show, one part birthday party (his), would be their last.  Interestingly enough, the photo reflects neither.

Louis Epstein of Jump Into The Gospel

I seem to have a collection of Epstein before and after shots.  I find him easy to capture until he starts performing.  Once he's performing I often wonder how someone so visible onstage can be such an elusive subject.  Above, he's getting things ready before the show.  Below, packing up gear with bandmate Ben Vescovi and sharing a laugh with bassist Lakis Pavlou.  In the photo with Pavlou, I was finally able to work the light leak effect into a photo.  Each time I've tried to use the technique, it just didn't look right.  This time it worked and I'm well pleased with the results.

Ben Vescovi and Louis Epstein of Jump Into The Gospel

Louis Epstein and Lakis Pavlou of Jump Into The Gospel

Kate Young

Young is partner-in-crime to singer/songwriter Adam Taylor.  The pair travel light ... a beat up old suitcase, which you can see a bit of in the bottom left of the photo, and a few other things.  Young always packs the suitcase.  Through the years, rock 'n' roll has been considered sexist and sometimes misogynistic.  But, hauling gear is an equal opportunity job.

Kyle Wilson of Milagres

For some reason, I just like this photo of Wilson putting his gear away.  I'm not sure why but, it really appeals to me.  Perhaps it's the whole beard thing.  I've been fascinated by bearded men lately.  I also like the antique black and white processing.  I've found myself drawn to Lightroom and its addictive presets.  It's possible I may need a processing intervention! 

Rich Koehler of Nico Vega

Koehler is always fun to watch perform.  So, I guess it's fitting that his pre-show set up is fun to watch as well.  I don't recall, snapping this shot.  I just remember seeing him stoop down to fiddle with his guitar and pedals and knowing I wanted to try to capture the moment.  Him sticking out his tongue and me actually catching it was unexpected.

Paul Thornley of U. S. Royalty

Thornley (and his frontman brother) proved challenging to photograph.  When I first pulled this photo up, I nearly tossed it in my "don't use" folder.  But, I decided to fiddle around with it some and it is now possibly my favorite photo of him that I took that night.