When asked the routing of the tour by the end of every explanation I was told, "That's a ridiculous/stupid/tiring routing." Then I would have to explain that this first half of the tour is jumping on with the bands Conveyer and Church Tongue from Winnipeg until Vancouver and after that we head out east with Kennedy. That is why this tour blog will be split into two parts ... That and the fact that after 25 days of touring there are far too many images to document or explain. While we still got to keep the Kennedy boys for the remainder of the tour it was truly heart breaking to have to part ways with everyone in the Conveyer and Church Tongue crew.
WINNIPEG, MB, CANADA
After the Winnipeg show we left to find the place that all the bands had been offered to stay at. Though at first apprehensive to go inside, I ventured in with Pope to check out the mansion like house. The porch light was red and instantly threw me into the mindset of a murder house. Once inside we were left in awe with the weird Disney-like beauty of the house, how old it was, all the space in it, and the strange romantic feeling it gave off in the night. At the back of the house Pope showed me a room that was lit with a green light, full of plants. All I could think about was From Indian Lakes and how I essentially had fallen into one of their video aesthetics. Amazing. One of the owners / renters of the house let me take a few photos that are seen in the gallery here among with the show photos. I am so lucky to have been able to experience such a strange and amazing household especially on the first day of tour.
MOOSE JAW + SASKATOON, SK, CANADA
CALGARY, AB, CANADA
EDMONTON, AB, CANADA
GRAND PRAIRIE, AB, CANADA
JASPER, AB, CANADA (OFF-DATE)
We were lucky enough to have two off days going from Grand Prairie down to Vancouver. That meant that we were able to drive through the mountains / Jasper. Most of the time when we routed to Vancouver we would take the Highway 1 and see the same sort of visuals (beautiful but something all of us have done at least three times in the last year due to touring). The drive through the national parks of Jasper enabled us to go to the hot springs, see multiple elk, rams, and bears. A lot of us had previously never seen a bear in person and we ended up seeing five within 24 hours. It was brilliant. I would say if you want to see the best photos from this part of tour check out Jared from Conveyer's instagram. He captured some beautiful images of all of the creatures!
VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA
Vancouver was hard. It was that day where after touring with this large group of people I finally felt at my most comfortable with them. It's when the most laughs and conversation happened and when I really felt a bond with a lot of individuals. Those people I have made sure to continue on talking to throughout the rest of our own separate tour adventures. I am so excited to call so many of these people my friends and to meet them again in the future. If I were to say anything I would say my only regret is not taking more photos of them while I could. But we will all meet again. Both Church Tongue and Conveyer are full of fantastic people and are amazing musicians. Being able to see them every day for a week is one of my personal favourite experiences. Be sure to check them out if they are ever coming through your town.
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!
I was lucky enough to get in touch with the Music family through a part time job. Once their beautiful baby girl was born we decided to do some family photos with the new addition as well as a few of just their little girl. With two active boys we wanted to be sure we could do something that would keep their attention. I had suggested that we have the family build some sort of fort and as it turned out they had actually received a fort building kit from Christmas! Perfect! We took a lot of candid photos that I feel are a genuine representation of this loving family.
Back in August I photographed Yolanda and Reid's wedding. Based on an agreement with the couple I was unable to release the gallery until now, which I am happy to share them. I must say not having my usual assistant with me, Jenna, certainly made for a different and unique experience but i feel that this wedding in itself was a unique experience. Never in my life had I experienced such a laid back group of people. There wasn't the usual tension you typically find in the rush of a wedding. Everyone was there to enjoy one another and play with the children that were running around in butterfly wings as a part of the ceremony. Taking part in a field of Okatoks, the ceremony was intimate, sunny, and beautiful. Shortly after we gathered the party for their photos and made out way back to the church for their grand entrance, their speeches, and banquet. Everyone was so touching and you could sense just how close everyone was to one another in the building. To many happy years for this couple and their newborn child!
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.
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.
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!
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.