It’s about damn time. I’ve been wanting to shoot The Vans Warped Tour for years now. I know it’s a fairly easy festival to gain access to, but year and year again, it just kept not happening for me. And while I wish I would have been able to shoot previous years on the tour, looking back on it, I probably wouldn’t have been ready for it. 20 bands in one day had me pretty fucking exhausted by about 7PM, but it was so worth it. I finally got my chance to show what I can really do and shoot Warped Tour with some of my best friends (I’m looking at you, Svetlana Joukova, Jordan Altergott, Nick Reece, and Eric Goitia) and I got to shoot some bands that I love. I’m super stoked on all of my photos from Warped. Below, I'll list every band that I shot and kind of talk about every set a little bit. I hope you don’t mind my rambling – I’m just super excited!
Terror – They were the perfect band to open up my day. They were amazing and high energy and, even though there weren’t any stage drives like usual, they were super fun to shoot.
State Champs – I was super bummed when I missed State Champs when they came through Denver earlier this year, so I was super stoked to get the chance to see them at Warped! I think I was obnoxiously singing along with them in the pit more than I was actually taking photos, but I don’t care. It was awesome!
Stray From The Path – I’ve been jamming to their new album a lot lately so I was pretty excited to shoot these guys too. (Plus some of my friends had threatened to hurt me if I didn’t shoot them, haha.) But their set was a ton of fun, too. Lots of crowd surfers. Lots of cool pictures.
Real Friends – They were another band I was really looking forward to shooting and they didn’t disappoint either. Their vocalist was even jumping around barefoot on stage. I got some awesome crowd surfing photos of my buddy Trevor during their set too.
The Word Alive – Alright, let me talk a little bit about The Word Alive. I shot these guys for the first time earlier this year, and by the end of their first three songs, I was absolutely smitten with Telle Smith. This man is an absolute dream to photograph. He knows how to play a camera and how to help us photographers get great shots and he definitely didn’t hold back at all this time. When I got the photo of him screaming into my lens (below, you’ll know which one, haha) I literally jumped up and down in the photo pit like a little girl. I keep looking at my photos of The Word Alive and I can’t believe how amazingly they came out. I don’t think it’s possible of any of these men to photograph badly.
Yellowcard – I fucking love shooting Yellowcard. And yeah, I might be a little biased because the Denver Broncos posted a photo I took of Sean last time they were in town, but I don’t care. They’re super fun to shoot, especially when I get some sweet posi-jump photos within the first few seconds of their first song.
Every Time I Die – I live for shooting bands like ETID. This entire band is so insane live. Between Jordan running around in circles on stage, Keith leaping into the crowd and Andy playing in the pit, their set was one of my favorites of the day.
Parkway Drive – Parkway was probably the easiest band of the day to shoot. Their vocalist definitely knows how to pose for the camera and I had a ton of great shots before their first song was even over. I left the pit early because of that, and because it was uncomfortably packed.
Four Year Strong – The last time I saw FYS was years ago, so needless to say, I was just stoked to see them, let alone shoot them. Not to mention their new EP is amazing. But yeah, once again, I was obnoxiously singing along in the pit during this set.
This Wild Life – I got the chance to see/shoot TWL for the first time earlier this year and I was so stoked for the chance to do so again at Warped! They’re awesome dudes who make awesome music and incredibly photogenic… haha. I only caught the third song to shoot, but I still got some photos I love. They also got a crowd surfer during their set and it was adorable and hilarious.
The Story So Far – I love TSSF but I don’t necessarily love shooting them. Parker Cannon mostly just stands straight up when he performs, which is awesome for the crowd but not really awesome for photographers looking straight up his nose. That being said, I FINALLY got some good photos of Parker this time around and I’m super excited about them.
Issues – I love love love shooting Issues, but the lighting during their set was god awful. Unlike all of the other bands during the day who had nice shaded stages, Issues set was right around sunset and the sun was pretty much shining directly on them, creating super gross harsh light. Thankfully I still got some salvageable photos of them!
Saves The Day – Once again, I was threatened by a friend if I didn’t shoot them. Their lighting wasn’t preferable either so I only got a few shots I was happy with, but they were super fun to watch – especially their Hotel California cover, haha
Bayside – This was a must-shoot for me, much like many of the other bands I photographed. Anberlin’s bassist, Deon Rexroat also joined them on stage. It was awesome.
The Devil Wears Prada – I’ve shot The Devil Wears Prada multiple times over the past few years and Mike is always a dream to shoot, so I was super excited to get the chance to shoot them in a festival setting. Upon looking over my photos later, I was a little amazed with how much I’ve grown as a photographer since the first time I shot them. You can read an entire post about it on my tumblr, here.
Ice Nine Kills – I only caught one song of their set, and didn’t get many great photos of them, but I’m happy with the ones I did decide to keep. Shooting them was kind of a last minute decision to run all the way from one stage to another, so I didn’t get a ton of photos.
Enter Shikari – I was super excited to shoot these guys all day long! The first time I saw/shot them was actually the second show I ever shot, and I had been completely overwhelmed back then but I knew I was ready now. And boy was I ready. I’m so stoked on all of these photos!
The Color Morale – Once again, I only caught two of their songs because I had to run across the show to another stage to catch The Ghost Inside, but I’m happy with the few amount of photos I got! Super bummed I missed the wheelchair crowdsurfer though.
The Ghost Inside – I didn’t get a ton of great photos of The Ghost Inside, but they were still a ton of fun to shoot. Halfway through their set, their bassist and photographer switched places and it was hilarious, hence the goofy pictures.
Anberlin – Sadly this was the only disappointment of the day. Not because I dislike Anberlin, but because I didn’t really get any photos of them that I was happy with. I do love this one photo, though!