Do you know WHAT?

Taking live music photographs is REALLY FUN. Even when it's miserably hot, you have beer thrown all over you and your camera gear, get elbowed in the kidney, or have to face strobe lights that feel like a nuclear blast, grabbing images of fast-moving, ever-changing stage situations while grooving to great music is a professional and personal delight. I hope to continue doing it for a long time, and I hope you like that hope of mine.

For a variety of reasons, I did not shoot a large number of concerts this year (less than 40 different musical acts), but I genuinely enjoyed each and every one. From Seattle's pretty Volunteer Park to the big ol' Bumbershoot Festival, from my favorite funky glam club in Miami to my favorite funky punk club a few miles from my house, from brand-new bands to those that have more than 50 years in the biz, I had plenty of opportunities to ROCK OUT, always trying to bring you cool photographs and improve my skills each time I take another crack at capturing magic. My selections here only had only one factor: do I love it? Not "like," not "OK," not "is-this-a-big-band," not "these-are-my-pals" -- just "is this beautiful?" So, please to enjoy, and I will work very hard to get up and running for more in 2015! Thank you for looking at my work, which is also my joy.


Tacocat, Chop Suey, Seattle, WA. 2/17/14


I don't think it's possible to take a bad photo of Tacocat's Emily Nokes --I've never seen one, anyway. She has one of those faces that the camera loves and that goes beyond time or trends. And, she's fun!

Mikal Cronin, Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA. 2/19/14


I am such a big fan of the multi-talented Mikal Cronin. I love everything about this photo, from the slightly-bleached-out colors, to his body position, to the starkness, to the little lights in the upper corner, to the richness of that gorgeous guitar.

MARCH 2014

Partman Parthorse, 2 Bit Saloon, Seattle, WA  3/8/14


If you attend a Partman Parthorse show and DON'T get spectacular photos, then YOU SUCK because Gary Smith's performance skills hand it to you on a golden PLATTER for you to TAKE! We will see more from PMPH later in this post as well. Why did I choose this one? Because when I got home and took a look at what I had shot that night, I gasped to see that a tiny red fake blood heart over Gary's own heart had formed in this instant, and disappeared with the next shot.

APRIL 2014

Jacuzzi Boys, Gramps, Miami, FL. 4/18/14


One of the never-ending challenges of live music photography is dealing with huge variations in lighting. In many situations, flash is not allowed or not right for the situation, and you have to push your camera's capabilities to the max to get anything usable at all. At this Jacuzzi Boys show in Florida, I had to work with what was there, waiting until this silhouette of Gabriel Alcala made my patience pay off.

MAY 2014

Fe Fi Fo Fums & Coconut Coolouts, Highline, Seattle WA 5/1/14

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Once upon a time, there was this perfect couple, Johnny and Betsy. Everyone loved them -- they were kind, generous, talented, loving, crazy, and had the coolest record store/performance space/salon in Seattle. Betsy became very ill, and despite heroic efforts, she wasn't going to be able to win the battle. The couple's many friends did all they could to help them have good times and lasting memories, including a concert featuring some of Betsy's favorite punk bands. Johnny picked up his bass and played. It had been a long time. Betsy was able to attend for some of the night in a wheelchair, surrounded by family and friends, radiant and beautiful.

A month later, she was gone. This show was the last time I saw her. We miss you, Betsy.

JULY 2014

Partman Parthorse, The Rendezvous, Seattle, WA 7/5/14

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See? GOLD! Working with double-exposure effects in Photoshop gave the cool effect to the top photo, and the second photo is fun with Rachel's bass.

Spoon, Capitol Hill Block Party, Seattle, WA 7/25/14

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It was a huge thrill to be able to shoot Spoon on the Mainstage at CHBP for their whole set, a kind favor from lead Spoon, Britt Daniel. The top photo looks like a studio-staged shot, doesn't it? Oh, to have that kind of lighting everywhere! But when it wasn't available, the bottom photo's strong backlighting paired with the black-white-red color theme made for a dramatic shot, too.


wimps, Vibrations Festival, Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA 8/3/14


If you ever wanted to see a jump shot featuring wimps' bassist Matt Nyce in a dress and wig, now is your chance. I was so excited to have caught this, I ran over to the band after their set and showed it to them on my camera. We all went, "WHOA!" because that was the correct response, and then we played field hockey with the Harlem Globetrotters and ate pork chops and applesauce. Only a small amount of that last sentence is true.

Sandrider, Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA 8/31/14


I love photographing at Bumbershoot, and am fervently hoping that the festival returns in 2015 leaner, meaner, and just as fun. Locals Sandrider are rather animated onstage, which makes for great photos. Advice to bands: if you just stand there all still and mopey and serious, it's pretty boring for the rest of us. Also: grow out your hair like this guy. Thank you.

The Replacements, Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA 8/31/14

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This was one of the most-challenging shoots for me, but certainly one of the most rewarding. I was way stoked to see a very rare appearance from the reunited Replacements, but I am too small-potatoes of an outlet to get a Mainstage pass at Bumbershoot, so I could not shoot from the photo pit. There was also a huge moat-worthy gap between the stage and the crowd barrier and tons of fans, so I really couldn't get very close. But I didn't give up, putting my long lens on a crop sensor camera and shooting between heads and waving arms in the crowd. I shot the whole show, despite my hands and arms and neck and feet aching like mofos. Worth it all, to catch this incredibly sweet camaraderie between Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson.


Bomba Estereo, Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle WA 9/1/14


Here is another case of a wealth of photo ops -- this girl was in near-constant movement, singing and shouting and dancing and hopping, pacing the stage like a lioness. The photo pit was packed for their set and it was funny to watch us all like servo-robots tracking her back and forth, up and down. I think everyone got their shots with this one.

The Gods Themselves, Lo Fi Performance Gallery, Seattle, WA 9/27/14

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The Gods Themselves are a new band out of Seattle that have impressed me and lot of others in their few months of existence. The Lo-Fi had appropriate-to-their-name ultra-lo lighting this night, but working with the psychedelic visual aspects instead of flash blasting was the right move. The top photo has some heavy double-exposure effects which are trippy but composed, and all the bottom photo needed was a little contrast-upping to make it look like a black-light poster from Ye Olde '60s.

The Intelligence, Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, Seattle, WA, 9/27/14


When I am working, I'm kind of this split beast -- one part of me fan, just grooving on the show, one part of me ready to POUNCE on a visual opportunity. Sometimes, though, it's not so much pounce as scanning around for what might be not as photographically obvious, but just as good. I've shot faves The Intelligence several times over the last few years. Looking down in front of me and seeing their setlist, a cocktail, a plethora of wires and cords, and Lars Finberg's well-worn shoes, it seemed a nice collage of things that go into being onstage.


Thee Oh Sees, The Crocodile, Seattle, WA 12/1/14

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The Hardest Working (Punk) Band in Showbiz went through some changes this year, swapping out their entire touring backline after many years together on the road. An Oh Sees show is an energy-packed event and great fun to shoot, but again, there are challenges. Staying front and center will FOR SURE get you (and maybe your gear) banged up from enthusiastic moshers. Leader John Dwyer swings his head so quickly and wildly that your only hope is high-burst mode shooting. And light? She is low here at the Croc, too. I decided to forgo the floor and try a balcony shoot instead, and it worked really well, kept my old ass from getting bruised, and gave an interesting, clean viewpoint with a long lens. Again, bands: THINK HAIR. Hair is EVERYTHING.

Also, the last photo was a natural for a Christmas Photoshop. Happy New Year, everyone, and if you'd like to see more photos, amble over to my Flickr RIGHT HERE!