2017 was a year of growth. Like last year, I felt myself getting stuck at times and really reevaluating what it meant to be a concert photographer and what exactly I wanted to create with my images. This year, I wanted to take a step back and capture the most important thing about shows - the emotion and energy.
It definitely wasn't easy, because I tend to get inside my own head too much and overthink things a lot, but I'm really happy with a lot of the images I created this year. I don't want to overanalyze this, but I will say that I'm really excited for 2018. Hopefully this serves as the pushing off point to even better photos next year.
Here are some of my favorites of 2017:
Glass Animals @ The Ogden, 9/25/17
What better way to start off this blog than with a photo from my favorite show I shot this year? I went into this show knowing next to nothing about Glass Animals' set or what shooting would be like and ended up with some of my favorite photos I took all year. If I could just include this entire photo set, I would. This one was just so much fun and they were a blast to photograph. 10/10 would do again.
Senses Fail @ Summit Music Hall, 3/31/17
I've shot Senses Fail plenty of times, but every single show, I walk away hating my photos. Buddy is so much fun to shoot, but when lighting conditions are hard, getting his movement and the energy of the show is near impossible. This show was PERFECT though (shoutout to squeek lights) and I finally walked away with THE photo that I've been dying to get of these guys. There are actually quite a few that I really love from this show. Picking a favorite is hard.
The Band Perry @ The Gothic, 3/18/17
This was probably one of the most unique shows I've ever shot. Instead of using the full stage at The Gothic, The Band Perry had a small circular stage set up in the middle of the venue, making for a really intimate show. It was really fun wandering around the venue to take advantage of all of the angles for this one. This little moment when Kimberly and I made eye contact was pretty awesome too.
Too Close To Touch @ The Marquis, 2/21/17
This was the first show I shot with my new camera, and I'm really glad I got to experiment with it during Too Close's set. I love these guys and I love these photos. This was probably the most comfortable I've ever felt shooting a show which gave me a chance to focus on just getting good shots.
6LACK @ The Ogden, 11/7/17
Over the past year, I've really grown to love shooting hip hop shows. If you would have told me a few years ago that one of my favorite shots from this year would be of 6LACK, I probably would have been like, "But what about *insert metal band I've shot 10+ times here*???" or "Who???". For real though, my favorite thing about 2017 was definitely experimenting with my work and really stepping out of my comfort zone. No genre or artist should be off limits - it would be stupid to limit myself to shooting just one type of music.
Blackbear @ Pepsi Center, 11/10/17
This shot was an unexpected favorite from this year. I knew shooting was going to be difficult because he wasn't the headliner, and sure enough, the lighting was pretty bad during the first three songs and I found myself struggling to get the shots that I wanted. Before I knew it, the first three were up and we were getting escorted out of the pit. I don't really know what made me turn around as I was walking away, but when I did, I quickly caught this shot, which ended up being my favorite of the night.
The 1975 @ The Fillmore, 5/6/17
The 1975 are one of my favorite bands and this year I got the chance to shoot them two nights in a row when they were in Denver. I'm so proud of these photos, especially this one because it's so subtle, but there's so much emotion. (Also, these are some of my favorite colors to photograph.) Everything about this show was perfect.
Don Broco @ Summit Music Hall, 4/14/17
I have been waiting a long time for Don Broco to finally come to the states so I could see and shoot them, and this show was definitely worth the wait. Although shooting was a little rough because they didn't have many lights, it was still a lot of fun. This show reminded me that it's not all about pretty colors or clean lighting, but rather capturing energetic moments that matters.
LANY @ The Ogden, 10/25/17
This was another show that I was REALLY excited to shoot this year, and it ended up being one of the most interesting ones I photographed as well. The day of this show, I decided to pull the trigger and finally buy a 200-500mm lens for soundboard shoots, and I was immediately glad that I did, because there was no pit access for this one. It was the perfect test run for the new lens, and I'm really happy with how the photos turned out.
888 @ The Marquis, 3/3/17
This entire show was so much fun, but this photo takes the cake. As soon as I took it, I knew what I had captured and almost started screaming on stage. Jump shots are definitely a lot easier than they used to be when I first started out, but it's still really rare that I capture one that's so perfectly in focus and composed as this one. Definitely one of my favorite photos I've ever taken.
AFI @ Red Rocks, 7/27/17
I shot AFI twice this year - once at the tiny Gothic Theatre and once at Red Rocks. Both were challenging in different ways. At the Gothic show, there were a TON of photographers and no room for us to move, which made shooting very difficult. For this one, Red Rocks can be a challenge when it comes to lighting and angles. Being an outdoor venue, there really isn't much front light, and because the stage is very low, you have to shoot on your knees, which makes shooting an energetic band like AFI difficult. Normally, I really love my photos of Davey, but I adore the composition and movement of this one of Hunter.
Being As An Ocean @ Summit Music Hall, 3/15/17
Holy noise. I love shooting BAAO, but this set was a big challenge. Joel is really fun to shoot because he gets in the crowd, but obviously there was no light in the crowd and I didn't want to use a flash. After the first 3, I followed him, cranked my ISO and got this shot. I really love the emotion here. Even though I'm normally a sucker for really clean photos, I feel like the noise makes this one. I guess that says something about stepping out of your comfort zone.
Jacob Banks @ Larimer Lounge, 11/11/17
A few years ago, the thought of shooting a sold out shot at Larimer Lounge would have terrified me. That venue is so long and narrow, if you don't get a good spot right away, you're stuck either shooting from the back with a long lens (which sucks when you're short like me) or from the side of the stage. This show, I made friends with some people up front to get some quick shots during Jacob Banks' set, but of course, one of my favorite shots ended up being one I took between two people in the crowd while some old lady glared at me (sorry old lady.) I just really love this emotional, intimate little moment when he turned away from the crowd.
Yelawolf @ The Ogden, 10/18/17
Over the past few years, Yelawolf has become one of my favorite artists to shoot, so this show was a real treat. I showed up to The Ogden to find out that I had all access for this show, and took full advantage to grab a few shots from an angle that I don't normally get to see. This moment was just perfect - the way he leaned back, the white lights, the smoke. It really embodied the vibe of the show.
The Used @ The Fillmore, 10/30/17
This show was an interesting one. A couple songs into their set, Bert invited a little kid on stage to sing happy birthday to him, and then the kid proceeded to spend the entire show up there. It made shooting kind of hard, but it also made for really cute shots like this one.
Imagine Dragons @ Pepsi Center, 10/14/17
This show was just a blast to shoot. Imagine Dragons are a lot of fun and their production was a dream. Honestly, there weren't really any challenges that came along with shooting this show - it was just a lot of fun and really easy to make pretty images.
Polyphia @ The Marquis, 3/14/17
I keep coming back to this photo, and for the longest time, couldn't figure out why. It's not a big moment. The lights aren't even all that pretty. It wasn't hard to get or rewarding when I shot it, but after coming back to it again and again all year, I think I love it for the same reason I love that photo of Jacob Banks. It's a small, intimate little moment where Tim just got lost in the music. I love being able to step into someone's world like this.
State Champs @ Summit Music Hall, 4/14/17
I love this photo for purely aesthetic reasons. State Champs had stunning lights and this moment was just perfect.
Stick To Your Guns @ Vans Warped Tour Denver, 6/25/17
This was another jump shot that I was super stoked about. Right place at the right time. I love that everything is in the frame and that you can see his face through the arm and guitar.
Thursday @ Summit Music Hall, 4/17/17
I just really love Thursday. This moment when Geoff leaned down and into my camera was just perfect. Like the Being As An Ocean shot, this one goes against the vibe of all of my other photos - it's black and white, dark and noisy, but I really love it. Again, it just goes to show that it's good to step outside of your comfort zone.
Phoenix @ Red Rocks, 6/7/17
This show was nuts. Right before Phoenix was supposed to go on, the sky opened up and it started POURING. Then hailing. I conveniently left my poncho in the car, so I got SOAKED. Anyway, I really love this shot in particular because one of my favorite things about Red Rocks shows is when the artist looks up at the massive amphitheatre and packed crowd for the first time. (It's kind of like when the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle at a wedding. Right? Right???) This look was a special one because it was when Thomas realized that, even though it just hailed, the venue was still packed and everyone was having a great time.
The 1975 @ The Fillmore, 5/7/17
Whoops, The 1975 made it on here twice. As I've mentioned before, I tend to rely on pretty, vibrant colors for a lot of my shots, but I've been trying to play around with black and white and focus more on "moments" this year. I really love this shot in particular for the same reason I love the ones of Polyphia and Jacob Banks. This was just Matty getting lost in the music.
Circa Survive @ Red Rocks, 7/27/17
This is easily one of my favorite photos I've ever taken at Red Rocks. Circa Survive's entire set was pure magic, but the moment Anthony jumped into the crowd, I knew something special was going to happen. I wasn't wrong.
The Bloody Beetroots @ Summit Music Hall, 11/2/17
THE FUCKING BLOODY BEETROOTS. I have been dying to photograph them for years, and this show didn't disappoint. Sir Bob is a madman on stage and honestly a photographers dream. This was the jump shot to end all jump shots - I only had a split second to compose this when I realized what was about to happen and the strobe went off at the perfect moment. It's everything you want as a concert photographer. What a show. I want to take more photos like this in 2018. More moments. More energy. Less worrying about pretty lights or crazy editing. I just want to capture the raw energy of a show.