Holiday Wishes 2011

I’m not a big Christmas person. I like the food, spending time with loved ones and the spirit of the season, but by the time we get around to it, I’m usually just waiting for the jingle bells to stop and Santa to go back on vacation. I hope this doesn’t automatically classify me as Naughty.

2011 has been a stressful year for me to say the least. More precisely, I would call it my least favorite of the 35 years I have been alive. Marred by death and disease, dealing with Life became the main and often only focus point. I never got the traction I was hoping for to push Another Passion as far as it deserves.

When Christmas rolls around this year, my wife will be nearly done with her radiation treatments. That’s what I am looking forward to the most, not just because of her being Cancer free and finished with treatment, but because it also symbolizes that we’re finally heading for a fresh start and better times.

If I am allowed to wish for more than that, it would be for a busy 2012. I have so many things I would like to do, in terms of growing Another Passion, but also various other projects – from apps to video, photo shoots to writing – but I need the resources to get it all done; time and money both!

I can only do so much as a single individual and having had my own life turned upside down in recent months, it has become clear that help is needed to keep up productivity when Life throws you a curveball. So I’m wishing for an assistant and/or an intern to help out! I would have taken on an intern already, if I weren’t working out of my home with a sick wife and two insane cats.

Wonderfully unexpected and possibly best thing about 2011 for me, has been the outpour of support from friends, acquaintances and strangers all. The community support during the hardest weeks around Kelly’s surgery was absolutely amazing – and continues to help both her and I through dealing with healing, hospitals and everything in between. From notes and emails to flowers and cards, everyone who has reached out, has touched us.

If I may have one final wish this holiday, it will be for my fellow creative and artistic friends to have an inspired, productive and successful 2012.

Two Weekends of Live Performance Photography

Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I would like to share something I am thankful for. Recently I had the pleasure of photographing two very awesome and different shows, two weekends in a row. It was the first real work since Kelly had surgery. She is recovering nicely, but has since started follow-up treatment which comes with its own unpleasantires. Her prognosis is good and she is a trooper, and so the time was right for me to get back to work. I was nervous. I felt rusty, still shaken after a run-in with some paranoid private investigators who happened to be at a client’s place of business that I was photographing. Long story short, it had been a rough few months and I was in need of a break.

Jason Webley’s Night of Elevens

The first concert I shot was Jason Webley‘s 11-11-11 concert at The Moore theater. It came about through a question in a short e-mail: would I like to cover the concert, which was the culmination of a year of massive touring and over 200 gigs? Webley had invited a host of friends, performers and fellow musicians to drop in and add some flavor to the show. And what a fantastic show it was. So riveting at times that I had to put my camera down and just watch. Other times I caught myself doing just that, when I really ought to have been taking more photos.

I shot a few hundred frames that night, and for a moment forgot everything else in the world. There was just the work and the music. These are the kind of experiences I live for as a photographer, when you’re in the zone and the camera almost becomes an extension of your body. Also, it was great meeting one of my favorite authors – Neil Gaiman – with whom I also share a connection to…

A W00tstock Surprise!

Comedians Paul and Storm are half of the master minds behind the traveling geek fest that is w00tstock, and also the subject of my second photo shoot. Having photographed them twice before, returning to the Triple Door to shoot the Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm show was something I had been looking forward to for a while. It was – as all w00tstock productions – a show with many friends involved as well, in this case they were co-hosting with Wil Wheaton (Star Trek the Next Generation), and were backed up by drummer Jason Finn (Presidents of the United States of America), Molly Lewis and John Roderick (The Long Winters). Oh, and apparently – me!

This is something I have definitely never done before as a photographer: early in the show, I was called out and introduced to the audience as the guy who’d be walking around on stage, taking pictures of the performers in action. Not in front of the stage, but on it! This was of course just as awesome and amazing as it sounds, but also a bit of a challenge. Not so much the stage part – I’m fine with making a fool of myself in front of hundreds of people – but I quickly realized how ingrained it is in me not to be in people’s way while covering an event. Stepping out between performer and audience just felt wrong! So I stuck mostly to the sidelines. Mostly.

These experiences were wonderful and just what I needed to revitalize. I am super thankful for being invited in and being able tell kind of stories my camera loves, to follow the process and even become part of the show. That is pretty cool, inspiring and motivating – and definitely something to be thankful for.

Here is a slide show from each of the events.