Graduation: Karly

Spring breeds the graduation season! Seeing so many people excitedly gather up their memories of High School and prepare themselves for "adulthood" whether that means post-secondary or going straight into the full-time work force. Every year I am honoured to be able to go back to the small towns that I grew up in for seven years of my life and see some of the different kids in the area graduate. This year I met up with this lovely and quiet girl, Karly and got to photograph her at one of the historical landmarks in her small hometown. 

The location was fantastic! It enabled us to take some photos inside as well as outside. This was really important especially since the wind wanted to take control of everything that particular day. I always love how this area of the world has some beautiful, desolate, imagery as well as the human quirks. Congradulations to all the graduates this year! 

Top10 Photographs From 2016

Every year there is a selection of images that excite me more than any others. In previous years I would sometimes struggle to even find appreciation in my own work. Instead I would browse through my friends and their Top 10s and think about how fantastic they are as artists and how far they have come along since I first started following them and their work. While they are all amazing photographers that I will continue to promote they still inspire me to feel more comfortable with the photographs I want to be taking as well as the ones that I end up taking in the moment. 

This last year was unexpectedly eventful. With the previous year having a lot of focus on working with whichever touring musician came through for Flesh & Bone Magazine it was nice to find that 2016 enabled me to have a lot more personal experiences with so many different artists. I can honestly say that my best tour experiences were in this year and I have met some amazing, fascinating people. There were a lot of struggles and now I can comfortably say that I am overall happy and sending positivity to everyone that I possibly can. So all of that mush and filler being said here are my Top 10 Favourite images that I have taken this year with a brief description of why they exist and my feelings behind them. 

10. Colour In The Clouds Single 27 Flowers Although everything from here on out will essentially be live photographs I decided to start this list off with some commercial / promotional work instead. I remember first talking with the Colour In The Clouds guys about the image of this band well over a year ago and how it was what they wanted to do for an upcoming single release. There was so much talking about it until one day we just sort of sprung it upon ourselves to do this shoot. That morning three of them built a rectangular box, we filled it with a few bags of soil and starting getting the foundation of everything started until the models showed up. I hopped on my balcony and shot down at the girls from there as they laid naked in my backyard and even standing over them I felt generally excited about what we were doing. The shoot didn't take long, the editing on the other hand certainly did. It was one of the first conceptual photos in a long time I was finally excited about doing which is why it is important that it is featured on this list.  

10. Colour In The Clouds Single 27 Flowers

Although everything from here on out will essentially be live photographs I decided to start this list off with some commercial / promotional work instead. I remember first talking with the Colour In The Clouds guys about the image of this band well over a year ago and how it was what they wanted to do for an upcoming single release. There was so much talking about it until one day we just sort of sprung it upon ourselves to do this shoot. That morning three of them built a rectangular box, we filled it with a few bags of soil and starting getting the foundation of everything started until the models showed up. I hopped on my balcony and shot down at the girls from there as they laid naked in my backyard and even standing over them I felt generally excited about what we were doing. The shoot didn't take long, the editing on the other hand certainly did. It was one of the first conceptual photos in a long time I was finally excited about doing which is why it is important that it is featured on this list.  

09. Arkells Shooting X-Fest is always a unique experience as you have this huge crowd of people behind you for two nights who want nothing more than to get closer and closer to the artist. Of course bands like the Arkells would much rather get right in with the mix of the audience anyways. While their vocalist was actually surfing on the crowd at one point i've sort of grown to appreciate that "right before" image. He hadn't even made it on the stands and you can see all of the hands reaching out, fans and their excited faces and to me that was a lot more successful than anything else that had been captured from that show. 

09. Arkells

Shooting X-Fest is always a unique experience as you have this huge crowd of people behind you for two nights who want nothing more than to get closer and closer to the artist. Of course bands like the Arkells would much rather get right in with the mix of the audience anyways. While their vocalist was actually surfing on the crowd at one point i've sort of grown to appreciate that "right before" image. He hadn't even made it on the stands and you can see all of the hands reaching out, fans and their excited faces and to me that was a lot more successful than anything else that had been captured from that show. 

08. Colour In The Clouds After a few tours with these guys I've grown to be a little more experimental with them than with other bands. I went through a faze of putting stars over a lot of my photographs and this was one that started it all (as you will see with the list going on). So at MazzFest experiencing the lighting that they did I couldn't help it. 

08. Colour In The Clouds

After a few tours with these guys I've grown to be a little more experimental with them than with other bands. I went through a faze of putting stars over a lot of my photographs and this was one that started it all (as you will see with the list going on). So at MazzFest experiencing the lighting that they did I couldn't help it. 

07. Comrades Something that always warms my heart is when photographs reflect a specific mood of the artist. Comrades like to use their own bulb lights or else mix it up with the red house lights that would be provided. They, over all, are this beautiful moody experience to watch and I do not think that any other photographs from touring with them quite shows the mood like this one had. 

07. Comrades

Something that always warms my heart is when photographs reflect a specific mood of the artist. Comrades like to use their own bulb lights or else mix it up with the red house lights that would be provided. They, over all, are this beautiful moody experience to watch and I do not think that any other photographs from touring with them quite shows the mood like this one had. 

06. Household  The tour that concluded 2016 tours was with Colour In The Clouds and Household. I was so beyond excited to tour with this band and see them every night from their raw passion as musicians. This particular night was in Kamloops, the second date of the tour, and the venue was so unique and well lit and made for amazing imagery. The first time going through the images I couldn't even decide on my favourites because there had been too many of them. After playing around with colours for a bit I came to find this to be one of my favourite live shots as it became structurally perfect in my mind. Even looking at it I do not think I would be able to edit it down to this way again and am happy that I don't think I would ever want to revisit / re-edit this image. 

06. Household 

The tour that concluded 2016 tours was with Colour In The Clouds and Household. I was so beyond excited to tour with this band and see them every night from their raw passion as musicians. This particular night was in Kamloops, the second date of the tour, and the venue was so unique and well lit and made for amazing imagery. The first time going through the images I couldn't even decide on my favourites because there had been too many of them. After playing around with colours for a bit I came to find this to be one of my favourite live shots as it became structurally perfect in my mind. Even looking at it I do not think I would be able to edit it down to this way again and am happy that I don't think I would ever want to revisit / re-edit this image. 

05. Twenty One Pilots  Another image from X-Fest. I have to say that I was most excited about photographing a band that is so well known for their production. Even though they cut a lot of their production down for the festival it was still absolutely brilliant. But between the silhouettes and running around images that I had taken behind the barricade i found that working in the crowd ended up producing better images. Although Tyler was emerged in the crowd he is just perfectly risen, and then highlighted with his hat. The only other person that is level with him also is wearing the same shade of red. It felt very much like a universe in motion image for me and I am still very excited about it. 

05. Twenty One Pilots 

Another image from X-Fest. I have to say that I was most excited about photographing a band that is so well known for their production. Even though they cut a lot of their production down for the festival it was still absolutely brilliant. But between the silhouettes and running around images that I had taken behind the barricade i found that working in the crowd ended up producing better images. Although Tyler was emerged in the crowd he is just perfectly risen, and then highlighted with his hat. The only other person that is level with him also is wearing the same shade of red. It felt very much like a universe in motion image for me and I am still very excited about it. 

04. Laura and the Pineapple The moment that Laura was given this pineapple by a friend of hers on tour I knew i wanted to photograph her with it. There was just something about her having a pineapple that I loved the idea of. With their van being so brightly coloured I knew that it would be the background to the subjects and the portrait is so simple and ridiculously serious that I have a hard time enjoying any other portrait the same way. I will never forget this fantastic pineapple moment. 

04. Laura and the Pineapple

The moment that Laura was given this pineapple by a friend of hers on tour I knew i wanted to photograph her with it. There was just something about her having a pineapple that I loved the idea of. With their van being so brightly coloured I knew that it would be the background to the subjects and the portrait is so simple and ridiculously serious that I have a hard time enjoying any other portrait the same way. I will never forget this fantastic pineapple moment. 

03. Being As An Ocean This image was taken fairly early in the year. I went to the show for an interview with Silverstein and ended up quoting the Office with these guys at the end of the night. With Emarosa also sharing the same stage as them I wasn't sure who I would end up getting more interesting shots from. The last three times i had photographed Being As An Ocean the venue offered less than adequate lighting and finally being in a venue that had more diversity to it was brilliant. Joel jumped into the crowd and got invested in the crowd. Just as he was about to climb back onto the stage i caught this quick image. I didn't look back onto the photos until the morning after and once I saw this image (also paired with another from the crowd) my stomach turned from excitement. I find something more beautiful in the moments between than those where there is a full-on performance and I feel that this is one of the more geniune photos that I have taken. 

03. Being As An Ocean

This image was taken fairly early in the year. I went to the show for an interview with Silverstein and ended up quoting the Office with these guys at the end of the night. With Emarosa also sharing the same stage as them I wasn't sure who I would end up getting more interesting shots from. The last three times i had photographed Being As An Ocean the venue offered less than adequate lighting and finally being in a venue that had more diversity to it was brilliant. Joel jumped into the crowd and got invested in the crowd. Just as he was about to climb back onto the stage i caught this quick image. I didn't look back onto the photos until the morning after and once I saw this image (also paired with another from the crowd) my stomach turned from excitement. I find something more beautiful in the moments between than those where there is a full-on performance and I feel that this is one of the more geniune photos that I have taken. 

02. The 1975  Waiting until ten hours before the show to find out if i was accepted was so nerve-racking. I was convinced that I wasn't going to ever be able to photograph this band and once I got the email i hauled my way 2 hours in transit to be there. I was able to attend the show with a friend of 11 years (and the 1975 is most certainly her favourite band as she came 8 hours away to see them) and being there with her made the show a lot more enjoyable. Their lighting set up is so suiting to them and beautiful and picking between this photo and one of my photos of Matt was very difficult to do for me. That being said, I love the posture, the rectangles of light and how pink everything was. I hope that this will not be the last time I ever photograph this band with such a brilliant production. 

02. The 1975 

Waiting until ten hours before the show to find out if i was accepted was so nerve-racking. I was convinced that I wasn't going to ever be able to photograph this band and once I got the email i hauled my way 2 hours in transit to be there. I was able to attend the show with a friend of 11 years (and the 1975 is most certainly her favourite band as she came 8 hours away to see them) and being there with her made the show a lot more enjoyable. Their lighting set up is so suiting to them and beautiful and picking between this photo and one of my photos of Matt was very difficult to do for me. That being said, I love the posture, the rectangles of light and how pink everything was. I hope that this will not be the last time I ever photograph this band with such a brilliant production. 

01. Brand New  I had a difficult time picking between this one and my black and white photograph of Vinnie Accardi. I love them both very dearly and am still in awe of even being able to photograph them at all. I had bought tickets to the show months in advanced. Every time Brand New came through Calgary I had been out of town or simply was not able to go. Nothing was stopping me this time. Being well aware of how particular they are with photographers at shows I wasn't even going to try for a photo pass. Maybe about five days before the show i broke down and finally decided to send an email off and was surprised to find out that I was set up to photograph them at this show. That weekend I had photographed a show Friday in Calgary, Saturday in Saskatoon and would be turning around to photograph Brand New in Calgary for the Sunday. I was exhausted, but humbled to have the experience. Although I was escorted to the stage everyone was so pleasant since I was the only photographer granted to work the show and I don't think I could of had a better experience seeing this band live than I had being able to photograph them for the first three songs. I went through the photographs multiple times because I wanted to make sure that I would only have the best images to send over to the bands management and I really do feel that this photograph as well as the one of Vinnie are going to remain a highlight of my photographic life eternally. 

01. Brand New 

I had a difficult time picking between this one and my black and white photograph of Vinnie Accardi. I love them both very dearly and am still in awe of even being able to photograph them at all. I had bought tickets to the show months in advanced. Every time Brand New came through Calgary I had been out of town or simply was not able to go. Nothing was stopping me this time. Being well aware of how particular they are with photographers at shows I wasn't even going to try for a photo pass. Maybe about five days before the show i broke down and finally decided to send an email off and was surprised to find out that I was set up to photograph them at this show. That weekend I had photographed a show Friday in Calgary, Saturday in Saskatoon and would be turning around to photograph Brand New in Calgary for the Sunday. I was exhausted, but humbled to have the experience. Although I was escorted to the stage everyone was so pleasant since I was the only photographer granted to work the show and I don't think I could of had a better experience seeing this band live than I had being able to photograph them for the first three songs. I went through the photographs multiple times because I wanted to make sure that I would only have the best images to send over to the bands management and I really do feel that this photograph as well as the one of Vinnie are going to remain a highlight of my photographic life eternally. 

Tour Blog: Colour In The Clouds

Though I missed out on all but one of the first two weeks of tour I flew down to meet up with Colour In The Clouds to finish off the last week of it all. The journey itself was long with a two and a half hour flight to Vegas, a six and a half hour wait for a bus (which was late by nearly two hours) to LA and finally the 40 minute Amtrak to Fullerton into the van to start off the adventure in California. Lucky for me this was a day off for them and I was able to start off easy, just enjoy the day with them and new friend, Alyson. She showed us around her part of the city, took the guys to authentic Mexican food, and ended the night at the beach to hang out by the Pacific Ocean and have a fire. Alyson had been on the tour with Comrades the weeks prior and I was deeply saddened that the last week of me hopping on she would not be able to keep going with the crew. Early the next day we endured the heat through the California desert into Arizona. Wow. That's really all I can say. 

I think one of my favourite parts about Arizona was the record store right next to the venue. I was able to pick up something and was pleasantly surprised by some of the things inside. I feel like Dave and Dorian's favorite part were the two dogs that occupied the space near the entrance of that store. 

We made it into New Mexico around 5AM. Myself and Yosh had pulled an all nighter talking about spooky things through the winding roads. Once the sun was too much to handle Dave switched out with me. We made it to Albuquerque a few hours later and decided to hit up the Breaking Bad house. We were really careful not to upset the owners after hearing a few horror stories of different people's experiences. After that we hit up the Dunkin' Donuts for that famous cold brew. Just another substance that gave us enough energy to finish the rest of the drive going into Colorado Springs. 

Three days were spent in Colorado Springs, playing shows, hiking, thrifting, and drinking a lot of Dutch Bros thanks to Ben and his obsession with the establishment. I don't think any place has ever treated us with kindness quite like them. After getting a nice blended coffee with six shots of espresso i feel like there might be no turning back from my already alarming caffeine addiction. 

The last day of tour was in Denver, Colorado. I was particularly excited to see different names on posters for the venue including the Dear Hunter, Yellowcard, and Beartooth. The lighting was so relieving and nice to have, especially on the last day. Killing time before the show started a group of us played Ninja Assassin outside the venue. During this time a man came up to us claiming that he had invented that game on a previous tour of his. Through the conversation we learned that he actually played in Drop Dead Gorgeous. He took some photos of us so that he could show his old tour mates and all of us sort of stood around in awe and mild disbelief of what just happened. What are the odds? We were in Denver, after all. 

At the end of the night we were prepared for the all nighter heading back into Canada. All of us could feel the sadness in saying goodbye to everyone in Comrades. We all parted at a gas station, waving goodbye to the bright orange van as it pulled away from us. 

Weddings: Karli + Eric

On July 23rd Karli and Eric's family and friends came together in celebration of their marriage. It all took place in Oyen, Alberta and took on that intimate, small town experience. One of the greatest highlights of their decor were the origami flowers that formed the bouquets for the bride and her brides maids. It may of rained on and off throughout the day but the wedding party had access to the museum's church for photos. The building was beautiful, full of natural light and quirks. Once the rain let up we got out of the church and went over to a run down barn in the middle of Oyen. This group of people were so energetic and fun, constantly making jokes and finding new positions and things that they could set up for the photographs. I have to give a big thanks to my number one assistant, Jenna, and everything that she did to help out that day as well. She's always there to capture the moments when I am working on my own thing within the wedding party. Her photography is beautiful and her helping hand is always appreciated. 

Congratulations to Karli and Eric! 

Tour Blog: Why, Marilyn + Year Over Year

Between August 17th to 27th the members of Why, Marilyn and the single artist, Year Over Year drove around Western Canada in light of the tour, I've Accepted The Things I Can't Change. Having befriended everyone involved over a decent period of time I was invited out to document their journey. Below are several images that were taken on the tour. With so many photos taken it allowed me to take some liberty in different editing options, going back into a lot of my graphic design roots. Hopefully I will be able to get a little more intricate with in the near future but for now there's some exploration in it with the tour stories of Why, Marilyn and Year Over Year.