"Nice photo! You must have an expensive camera!"

photo of me by Amanda Fiske

photo of me by Amanda Fiske

In case you haven't heard, "Nice photo! You must have an expensive camera!" is the worst thing to say to a photographer. It's like saying "wow congrats on passing your final exam, you must have had a really nice pencil!" It has nothing to do with the instrument, it has everything to do with the talent of the user. Sure, an expensive camera can take some great photos but it doesn't do it by itself. It takes a skilled operator to make it capture moments to its full potential. Put me in a fully built drift car and I can guarantee you that I won't be putting that thing sideways anytime soon.

That being said, I decided to challenge myself. I was in The Bahamas last week and I wanted to prove the point that you can capture beautiful moments with any camera. I did so by using a camera that you either have in your pocket or are holding in your hand right now... an iPhone (which isn't a bad camera at all actually). And to take the challenge to another level, I decided to only edit the photo on my phone... I decided to edit in VSCO.

I posted a handful of my iPhone photos below, so if you find yourself saying "wow these are pretty good," realize that I didn't take these with a $6,000 camera setup; I used the same camera that you use for SnapChat and you can too! So whats the lesson here? Talent can't be bought, it takes a lot of time, passion, and commitment. So whether it be photography, music, or whatever else you love doing, invest yourself completely so that you can make a lot of out nothing and build yourself a legacy around what you love to do.

BTS Photos for Hoyle's New Music Video "Jenny's Room."

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A couple of weeks ago, we all got together to shoot 2 music videos at a warehouse downtown. Nathan (Hoyle's frontman) and I walked up to the building that looked pretty run down and had an auto mechanic sign outside, we were like "there is no way that this is the building." Shortly after, the whole crew showed up and we eventually realized that we were at the right place. Inside was a cool little church... we would have never guessed. 

We spent about 4 or 5 hours in there shooting. My favorite thing about working with this crew was the fact that there was no messing around. We took virtually no breaks, there was no slacking, and everyone was always working on something. This crew consisted of people that don't understand the concept of being lazy and only know how to hustle.. and the video proves that. It's a crazy thought to think that we are working at 100mph but enjoying every second of it, what a blessing.

That being said, I work work with all of these guys over and over and over again, love you all. Please watch the video below to see how great of a job everyone did. Also, scroll past the video to see some of the behind the scenes shots I took. I'm really proud of being a part of this one!

**Also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

- Hoyle: Nathan Beam, AP Harris, Corey Chin
- Director: Josiah Sampson
- Cinematographer: Seth Dunlap
- Film Team: Christian Gonzalez + Peter Roquemore
- Producer: Jeremiah Dunlap
- Actress: Renée Gabrielle Tooley
- Location: the Cross Orlando 

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Good Charlotte in Rhode Island

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I had the opportunity to fly up to New England and explore Boston a bit. While in the area, I took a share trip to Providence, Rhode Island to shoot Four Year Strong on the Youth Authority Tour which was headlined by Good Charlotte with the support of The Story So Far and Big Jesus. Such an indescribable feeling to shoot my favorite band from middle school, Good Charlotte. Their music meant so much to me back then and it still does to be honest. If you haven't listened to them lately, I recommend you go back to feel some nostalgia and also listen to their new stuff, its actually really good.

I got to the venue with my friend Amanda and it was in the 40's and I was completely unprepared, I WAS FREEZING. So we hide in a Starbucks for about an hour waiting for doors. Well that hour eventually ended and we had to head out and deal with the weather that this Floridian was definitely unprepared for. The line outside of Lupo's wrapped around the building and after waiting it out and almost freezing to death, I realized the guest list and press pass had its on line that at the time was only 5 people long. Wish I would have realized that earlier but oh well, I wouldn't be able to write about it right now if i hadn't (thats me trying to justify it).

The venue had a really cool layout, it had a seated balcony at the top and the bottom floor was general admission with some cool lounge couches along the wall. While in the photo pit, I experienced was most wild show I've ever seen; I've been to hundreds if not thousands of shows but this show had by far the most crowd surfers I have ever seen. I had people falling on top of me and kicking my gear while shooting, I'm surprised I got any shots honestly. Tt was a good time though because I got to shoot along side my homie Ryan Watanabe and I got to meet a Patrick Moran who is another talented photog. Both are doing some dope stuff in the photography world so definitely look them and give them a follow!

 

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"if you're still bleeding, you're the lucky ones."

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My last blog was about shooting one of my all time favorite bands, LANY. Well 2 days ago, I had the opportunity to shoot another band that meant a lot to me. The band Daughter came into my life at an extremely low point of mine... they're song "Landfill" helped me get through some tough family things I was going through. Seeing the songs played live after only hearing them through headphones was nothing less than euphoric. 

Like the LANY show, the entire crowd at this show was completely mesmerized by the music. It was a difference type of connection though.. People at the Daughter show were emotionally connected to the music because of how relatable all of their songs are.. A lot of their songs are about love and the inevitable sad side of it.... Heart break. You could tell that everyone in there knew the exact pain the Elena was going through when she wrote it.

The show in general was phenomenal, everyone there was on the same wavelength. We were all there for the same reason.. to listen to great music that speaks to us. You could tell by the energy in the room that there was as a lot of love and positivity (but also hurt); everyone was so nice, which is not usually the case when I shoot concerts. It was such a pleasure to shoot for Daughter.. big thanks to them and Vancouver Sleep Clinic for putting on such a great show.

 

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"i just kinda wanna listen to LANY"

One of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced is watching an audience be completely lost in the music. Most people expect a show to be full of mosh pits and rage.. but seeing fans be zoned-out with tunnel vision as they watch their favorite artist perform a song they have only heard through their car speakers is indescribable. The room was full of so much positive energy. Click on the first image in the grid below to see my capture of this moment.

The concert promoter that I work for, ONElive Music, booked LANY (who is one of my favorite bands) to perform at Backbooth on 10/13/16. They put on such a beautiful show.. it was hard to work because all I wanted to do was watch and listen. Their light show was visually captivating and added another dimension to the concert experience; it really complimented the music. Transviolet also performed, they were the support act of the tour. I hadn't heard of them until this tour but they definitely got my attention. Such a good time!

With so much hurt and hate in the world, its really refreshing to be able to squeeze into a room with 350 other people to peacefully bond over some good music.

 

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"F*CK YEAH NOLA": New Orleans for the weekend

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to link up again with Zach Deputy who I'm currently the traveling photographer for. We met up in New Orleans on Friday September 30, 2016 for the Bear Creek Bayou Music Festival. The festival was held at Mardi Gras World and had acts such as The Flaming Lips, George Clinton, Soulive, and The Nth Power just to name a few.

We left Orlando on Thursday to make a stop in Jacksonville to take some live photos of the band New Kingston who was playing at 1904 Music Hall in downtown Jax. Early Friday morning, it was time to hit the road again for another 10 hours. We made it into beautiful New Orleans right on time to catch Zach's Friday set which he actually performed with a full band.

The remainder of my Friday consisted of exploring the city and all that it has to offer. I had the chance to wander around the French Quarter, Uptown, and The Garden District. I've been to a lot of places but I have to say the New Orleans might possibly be my new favorite city; there's so much art, culture, and history all over.. its so easy to feel inspired. (Side note: I had the best meal of my entire life at a brunch place called Atchafalaya.)

Saturday was a very eventful day for me and my camera. Spent the morning following Zach around to get behind the scenes shots before finally catching his final set of the weekend which he performed by himself as he usually does. Also got to run around to shoot some of the other stages and acts including the Flaming Lips who put on one of the most beautiful visual shows I have ever seen. 

If you ever feel too tired to get up and do something even though you know you probably should, make your own energy and get up. Nothing in life is easy, everything is earned and if you're "too tired" to achieve your dreams.. well there is someone else out there that is fighting through exhausting to achieve exactly the same thing that you "want" to do and they're going to take whats yours while you're still in bed. So if The Flaming Lips is playing in 30 minutes but you can't even keep your eyes open because you haven't slept in 60 hours, whats an extra 3 hours? Get up and do it because its what you love and you might get the shot of your life.

 

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