World Photo Day 2016 - My Favourite Shots of 2016
So apparently Aug 19 is World Photo Day! Hurrah! Photography is wonderful to be sure, but it's not for a day. It's for every day. Every day there's something worth taking a photograph of. Just a shame we don't always get to catch them.
Taking photos is easily the most fulfilling thing I do with my time. I'm really lucky that I get the opportunity to take photographs of so many cool events and inspiring people. Documenting passionate people while they engage in the things they're passionate is endlessly fascinating. You'll never learn more about someone than when they're talking about, or doing, what they love. And I get to do that while doing what I love. Sweet deal.
So here's my contribution to world photo day. A few of my favourite photos I've taken in 2016 (or can find on my Macbook. Whatever happened first) and a little about them. If there's anything worth saying. Which is debatable at best.
I'm really getting into this candid portrait thing. Especially in black and white. It's a lot of fun. I managed to capture this one of Erin backstage at one of the festivals I worked with Banshee at this summer. She's proven to be an excellently photogenic subject over the years and incredibly patient with the amount of time I spend with a lens aimed at her.
I love this photo because it seems so effortlessly rock 'n' roll and devoid of all the tired cliches and forced mannerism that make that sort of thing so disgusting in 2016. If this is the future of the "rock star" then we're doing ok.
Probably an other obvious one to drop in here, but getting to shoot my first wedding this year was pretty banging. It was a real privilege to get that much trust placed in me, and though it was a pretty steep learning curve, I feel much better equipped for the next one now. I really, really like this shot, though credit for the creativity here belongs to Michalea Stelle, and I've heard it cause some come contention in quarters too. Careful, you might cut yourself on my edge.
Refused are one of the best bands ever. Fact. Refused are one of my favourite bands ever. Also a fact. You're learning so much. Mind that time I got to photograph one of the best bands ever, who are also one of my favourite bands ever? I do. Mind how I was the only photographer there? I do. Mind how they were still the fucking best? I do. I think all the above speaks for itself as to why I love this image.
The hardest, or more accurately the most frustrating thing, about shooting live music is the three song rule. I can get 300 photos in that time but you never know when the magic moments are going to happen and pit access for three songs only isn't enough to be sure you've every chance of getting them.
I caught this more or less over my shoulder as I was getting ready to leave the pit on their third song at this show, had I gone 30 seconds later I would have this. The lesson here is never put the camera down until you have to.
Having bands trust you enough to give you total access to them is the best. That's what I love about working with bands. Give me a small band with full access over the biggest band for 3 songs from the pit any day. Frontierer were cool enough to take me with them to document their debut performance, on the main stage at UK Tech Fest no less, this year. Caught this little number in the van pre-show.
Natural light FTW. No need for flash. Dan's a really fascinating and disciplined musician, I felt this captured that perfectly.
I had a blast shooting my friends in Banshee at Brew at the Bog this year. Not just their set, but spending time with my friends getting drunk in a really cool place and seeing lots of other really cool bands. Gavin decided to go crowd "swimming" in his tweed jacket during the La Fontaines. Kinda sums up the whole weekend if you ask me.
Another first this year was being commissioned to take photos at the naming day of the youngest child of a couple of my friends. It was a wonderful day, a bonus being seeing my influence on Paul's choice in suits, and the humanist ceremony was very touching and lined up perfectly with my wooly liberal leanings.
Also, I got to photograph the totally sincere love that parents have for their children like in the photo above. That was pretty special too. As much as I go on about passion, love is 100% the best thing to photograph. Bar none.
Continuing the above sentiment, I managed to sneak this candid of my friends at Brew at the Bog this year. It wasn't so long after their first wedding anniversary and was a totally subconscious and sincere moment of affection. It was about as genuinely nice as any photo I ever take is going to be. Love is cool man.
I love Animals As Leaders. That band are sick. I really like Tosin Abasi. I find him a fascinating character so I was really excited to get to shoot them a while back. The Cathouse is always a struggle to shoot, and this gig was harder than most, but I managed to get this shot that I really love. It took a bit of TLC in Lightroom to bring it to life, but it did wondrous business on Instagram, even receiving some love from Abasi himself, so I guess it was worth with it.
I love City and Colour. What a wonderful band and I've clearly taken more than a few style pointers from Dallas Green over the years. I don't love shooting the Academy so much. The stage set up isn't ideal due to how far you end up away in the pit and how far the artist is from the lip of a pretty high stage, and my leanings towards shooting only on prime doesn't help matters. But I love this shot. A good friend of mine even bought a print of it. That made me feel pretty legit.
My surprise discovery of 2016 was Royal Republic. I went to shoot their show as I knew the PR of the opening band so wanted to get them some coverage through work and Royal Republic's PR had offered a slot too. Seemed rude to refused. So happy I didn't. Royal Republic are everything fun about rock 'n' roll with razor sharp short songs and even sharper suits. And they play like a punk rock band. They were the best fun to photograph.
Possibly my favourite photo of the year so far. Banshee played a sick show at this year's Brew at the Bog on a stage decorated by hanging flowers and suspended rusty bikes in stone and wood barn. Totally unique setting that made for a really atmospheric backdrop to their performance. Gav's choice in waistcoats went awfully well with the surroundings too. Style isn't all that matters...but it's pretty good to have some.
So that's my World Photo Day thing. If you like it that's cool. If you've supported on me this jounrey into photography you're the best. I owe you a drink. If you don't care, that's cool too. You find all my socials and stuff below if you want to keep up to date with what I'm doing. Or follow me like a creep. I'm ok with both.