At the end of the year, it's a pretty enjoyable task to review my photographic work for the last 12 months. It reminds me of how lucky I've been to be able to be at all these awesome shows, and to be able to attempt to capture a little bit of the magic of live performance to share with you. It's never an easy task, especially as the physicality of the work gets more demanding for me. More than once this year I've had to stop shooting to shove emergency candy in my mouth to counteract low blood sugar. I cannot imagine what some of the bands might have thought seeing this photographer down front in the middle of their show suddenly take a box of Sugar Babies and frantically chew them like some desperate confectionery junkie, although I also find that image very funny.
I am always convinced at the end of the night that I've got nothing in the camera and will be dejected, but that's never true. I'm working on having a slightly more realistic expectation after 38 years of experience. Ah, but maybe the worry of not getting shots is what helps me get them. Given the opportunity, I will work until the last note is played and I've done everything I can to do my best without impacting the experience between the audience and the performers, because that's what it's all about, Charlie Brown.
The criteria I use each year to pick the photos are but two: one, do I love it and two, is it beautiful? Do very much now please to enjoy my favorites from this year, click on the photos to enlarge, and please visit my Flickr any ol' time you like, because it's really just there for you. Thank you.
Ty Segall & the Muggers, Neptune Theater, Seattle, WA. January 12, 2016
I've photographed Ty Segall many times and am always rewarded with dynamic pictures and FUN. Similarly to Thee Oh Sees, unless there's a photo pit, it's nearly impossible to get any pictures if you are up front and center and short like me, because it is always a swirling mass of humanity that tends to knock you and your gear around pretty constantly. For this show at the Neptune, I found a prime spot on the side and stuck there (not like I could move anyway), and got the rare Ty jump shot and a very pretty "reach out and touch somebody's haaaand." The lighting at the Neptune is always excellent, and that makes my job infinitely easier.
Maniac, Pizza Fest 7, El Corazon, Seattle, WA. August 5, 2016
See that pole covered with stickers? That pole is every Seattle music photographer's nemesis. Whenever I shoot at the El Corazon, that damn pole steals half the shots I want, bisecting my subjects with immovable, frustrating certainty. To get a sweet jumper there is YAY.
Gazebos, Macefield Music Festival, Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA., October 1, 2016
Lead vocalist Shannon Perry, also an internationally-known tattoo artist, is always an outstanding subject to photograph: so stylish and unusual and gorgeous. This black-and-white conversion worked well to highlight the lace details of her dress, tattoos, and eyes.
It was joyful to have the Boys back in Seattle after a 3-year absence! But again, lighting challenges! Hot strobes, little front lighting, and the dreaded fog machine combined for a lot of work for even the smartest camera. It's hard to find focus when all of these conspire. I shot half the show with flash and half without. This double-expsore shot of vocalist/guitarist Gabriel Alcala, sans flash, gives you a feeling of his wild, hair-whipping moves.