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Live Shoots

Artists, performers, musicians, and VENUES! I love live performances. I love being up front, in the middle of the action, getting the best shots possible. Capturing the moments and emotions for you [the artist, venue, etc.]. But sometimes a road block is put up. For concerts, it’s typical to only get the first 3 songs from the pit, no flash and even in some circumstances, only able to shoot from the sound board. Why? So I can get over crowd shots that every other photographer on the tour is going to get? If your set is the same night after night, then what diversity do you hope to get from your photographers? Maybe I get this from the venue’s stand point; they want to show off their stage. Ok fine, let me get that shot for you. But then, let me go get the action shots, the in your face crowd shots from the pit throughout the show. Let me get side stage/back stage/on stage photos. I digress…

Nine times out of ten, I’m brought in with one of the bands but restricted to the venues rules. To the bands, artists and performers out there, especially those who I’ve worked with, what are your thoughts on this? Coming with you to your show is an honor, and I hope to return that honor by providing the images that I get. Let’s band together [pun not intended] and make the magic happen. If we decided to work together, can we get these venues to loosen their rules for photographers specifically brought in with or by the bands/management? So much is reliant on social media these days. Let’s get these IG worthy shots for you as a team. I hate paperwork. I hate contracts. I especially hate the small print. Let’s make live performance photography great again!

~Will

FUCK YOU, TONY NORTHRUP!!

FUCK YOU, TONY NORTHRUP!!!

 

 

That’s what I was going to title my newest Youtube video. I’ve always had a distaste for the Northrups. Perhaps not on a personal level, but on a professional level. I don’t follow them on social media anymore, and haven’t for quite a while. But a week or so ago, Youtube suggested Tony’s new video about Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl photo. So I watched it. Throughout it, I just wanted to scream ‘FUCK YOU!’ but then I found myself agreeing with him on several points. Thus, sparking the motivation for a new video for my own channel. Well,  I’m not going to flog this horse since the video has been taken down, but rather, I’ll redirect you to Ted Forbes’ [nearly] hour long discussion on this subject with Jaron Schneider. Ted is a bit more composed and showcases this in a much more professional manner than I would have had I immediately put out my video.

 

What I will say however, is…as photographers we hold a certain amount of responsibility. From photojournalist who should be showing the truth, not altering it [even tho sometimes it’s out of their hands once their photos are delivered]. To street photographers taking photos of those not wanting their photos taken [ a subject all it’s own], To the photoshoppers altering reality and making skin and body features look unrealistic thus giving young women a misleading perception of what beauty is…really the list can go on and on. 

 

Watch Ted’s video, and think about the Afghan Girl image. But most importantly, never send a person to the wolves without first gathering ALL available information, and then process that information to provide the best version of the truth. I see this a lot with friends and family on social media sharing “news” stories based on title only. Always read the article first, verify sources, verify sources again, re-read, then…after all that, if what you honestly believe to be true and feel it needs shared…click that share button.

                                                                                                                    

Ted’s video:  https://youtu.be/_gjHhOi3wak

 

New Location!

It’s been a busy and productive year! It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost over. With the new year approaching, comes a new location. We are now setting up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Tulsa area). We are excited for this move and absolutely love the area. If you have a wedding or any other event coming up, give us a shout and we will discuss our end of the year special pricing! (up to 50% OFF!!!)

~Will

U.S. Bombs!

  First show of 2018 and it was The U.S. Bombs at White Oak Music Hall in Houston, Tx!

This was my first time shooting at WOMH, and I was very impressed. The place was great. Sound and lights were great. Staff was great. Parking fucking sucked ass, but it's Houston so I guess that's to be expected. 

 

  Duane Peters and the rest of the band were intense! But first lets backtrack a bit...

DP has been a force to not be wreckoned with for many years. From going pro (skateboarding) back in the 70's, earning the name 'The Master of Disaster', he is the embodiment of all things PUNK! Shredding his way through the 80's and fronting the U.S. Bombs. 

  Then POOF! He seemed to have disappeared. Reminiscent of 'Animal Chin', "Have you seen him?" was a common question asked whenever any brought up Duane's name. Gone. No facebook or instagram posts. No incoming or out going calls. Where was he?

  I have no idea where he went, but the important thing is...HE'S BACK! And this time, he's bringing his 'Bombs' out on the road again. The tour is just starting to kick off and has quite a few dates coming. As well as some dates with the Vans Warped tour this summer, then followed by a European tour!  So be sure to catch one or maybe even a couple of their shows!

You can find them socially at:

https://www.facebook.com/USBombs

instagram- @TheUSbombs

Home- https://sloperecords.com/news/u-s-bombs-2018-us-tour-and-new-releases/

Mouthing Tape Release

The last show of 2017, Mouthing at Walter's downtown in Houston, Texas. 

 

  I'll admit that I'm not 100% sure about anything in this "noise" genre of music. Some of it sounds like industrial music from the late 80's/early 90's while some of it sounds like death metal vocals sung over the sounds of a blender full of bolts. 

  That being said, Mouthing has a very unique sound. They are very musically inclined, Darcy's vocals are reminiscent of Lord of Acid meets *insert favorite nordic female death metal singer here*. The crowd interaction is intense, as this being the second time seeing them, and I have yet to see them on a stage. They prefer the floor and have the crowd gathered around them. It's as much performance art as it is a musical performance. 

  Loud, intense, dramatic, dark, electronic, and every intense dream you've ever had all rolled into one performance. In a word...PERFECT.

 

 

Geneva Jacuzzi

  This little lady, Geneva Jacuzzi, is a dark, emotional, firecracker. I had honestly never heard of her before seeing her on the Poptone bill. I was talking with the head of security when the show started, all I saw on stage was Poptone's gear, and some plastic on the floor. Then I see a figure slink around from behind the stage and climb under the plastic, then moaning echoed from the sound system, breathing, heavier, and faster and then the music started. The only thing I can equate the style of music to is if Siouxsie Sioux and Simon Lebon made music while making love back in 1983. It's dark, its poppy, its...completely Geneva. And halfway through her performance, a girl in front of me was tweeting "when you come for the headliner but the opening act blows you away!" and posted a photo of Geneva from performing inside a plastic bubble (the aforementioned plastic on the stage turned out to be an inflatable bubble!).

  I can definitely get down to her music, being an 80's kid myself, I've loved the sounds of synthesizers, 808 beats, and dark goth music. And Geneva Jacuzzi throws it all together and ads some great lyrics to boot. I can see some of her songs being used in skate videos in the near future.  

 

 You can find her at:

www.genevajacuzzi.com

https://www.facebook.com/genevajacuzzi

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwgbIRYugF77jt65m2CtYYg

Poptone!

  Poptone invited me along to shoot their show in Houston at Warehouse Live! This band consists of Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Tones on Tail), Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Tones on Tail), and Kevins daughter, Diva. 

  They played songs from all the previous bands they have been a part of. And sound phenominal. The touring manager, Tommy, kept going to different parts of the crowd to make sure the sound was on point at all times. There were quite a few people at this show, far less than I would have expected, but everyone there were 100% die hard fans. The only thing that would have made the night better was being able to capture it from beginning to end but, cest la vie. 

  I'm so happy to see these guys back on the road and still playing and making the music that they love. It was a joy meeting Lola, Kevins other daughter who was on merch duty that night, and made sure I didn't leave empty handed.

  If you see Poptone on any of your local calendars, be sure to go check them out, you will NOT be disappointed!

  You can find them at:

www.poptonetheband.com

https://www.facebook.com/poptonemusic/

Instagram @poptonetheband

Epica!

Epica was such an amazing show! From the sound, to stage, it was perfect! 

Lacuna Coil

I was lucky enough to be brought in to shoot the Lacuna Coil show at Warehouse Live! in Houston this week. Great venue, great sound, so much fun! Lacuna Coil brought with them one hell of a show. The music, the sound and the stage presence were top notch! Definitely one of the greatest shows I have been to.

Cirque La Vie

Houston is full of surprises. Namely, the people. Among them are a Circus group called Cirque La Vie. We have been following them around for a few months and have been getting to know them quite well. 

Each performer has a different background and story, but yet they all ended up here...together. 

I stumbled upon them a few months back when looking for something to do on a Friday evening. I heard they were performing at the George R. Brown Convention Center, so we headed down, and being from Vegas I really didn't know what to expect from a Houston act. 

What I saw was beyond anything I have seen in Vegas, or anywhere else for that matter. From contortion, to acrobats. From comedy to performers flying...literally flying across the stage. It's something that should definitely be added to your "to do" list while in Houston. 

Cirque La Vie fails to disappoint, and their passion, and dedication to their arts is astounding. P.T. Barnum would greatly approve!

Houston has been more than welcoming

  For years, if anyone asked my opinions on Texas, I'd roll my eyes and say "Don't even get me started." But that has changed after coming to Houston these past couple of months. Now, If I had to sum it up in one word it would be.. "diversity". 

  I've had the pleasure of shooting two shows here so far and the bands, the venues, the show goers, all from different walks of life, different backgrounds, different ages, every race imaginable are all part of what makes it all unique. 

  So despite dealing with a ton of people who have no reason to be behind the wheel of a car, the music scene in Houston makes it all worth while. 

  Looking forward to shooting more shows and learning more about the history of Houston, from those who live here and are a part of it.

 

~Cheers Houston!

 

W.V.

Barks and Brews Houston

 Had the extremely, amazingly fortunate opportunity to cover this event. BarkHappy hosted this event at Axelrad Beer Garden in Houston, Texas. 

 

You can view the full album and download high-resolution images at:

 https://www.flickr.com/photos/vonzfoto/sets/72157683799391966

getting behind

been on the road shooting sooo much the past few months, it's hard to keep up at times! UPDATES COMING VERY SOON! 

Finding old photos

Came across some old RAW files of a show I shot back in 2013 of Kitty in a Casket at the LVCS. I brought them over into lightroom and edited a few. Super stoked on this show, and some of the shots are way radder than i remember them!!! 

 

See the full gallery at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/126114178@N07/albums/72157681173833195

 

Been a busy couple of weeks

From shooting the Reverend Horton Heat, I had a family photo shoot, newborn shoot, and another live music show to shoot. Time for some RNR, then off to Boulder, Colorado for some live art and music!

 

Check out the bands at:

Eloisa Rain Bustos- https://soundcloud.com/mahomiebustos

Wait and Shackle- https://soundcloud.com/waitandshackle

Wheelchair Getaway Drivers- https://www.facebook.com/wheelchairgetawaydrivers/

 

and see the full gallery at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126114178@N07/albums/72157680952749676

The Reverend Horton Heat with Jello Biafra

This was the second show of the weekend. The Reverend Horton heat with special guest appearance by the Legendary Jello Biafra! (Dead Kennedys). Captured this performance at The Larimer Lounge in Denver, Colorado.

Great time, the bands were amazing, and the staff at Larimer Lounge were very welcoming. I hope I get the chance to shoot there again soon!

 

Here are some samples of this show:

Well it's been an interesting week...

 I've been the busiest I think I've ever been. (Which is a great thing!). Went on a couple photo excursions with my family to Colorado, and then shot two shows this weekend, followed by newborn photos on Sunday afternoon.

 

  The first was a local show at a record store in Cheyenne, Wyoming called Ernie November. So much fun, and the photos turned out great. 

The bands were PlagueHammer from Cheyenne, Wyoming and a touring band from Kentucky called Barren. Here's a couple shots from that show.

 

 

Calico Basin, Nevada

While back home in Vegas we drove out to Calico Basin. It was very summer like out there. Captured a lot of awesome images of the rock climbers. The full albums can be seen on our facebook and instagram pages. www.facebook.com/vonzfoto instagram @vonzfoto 

Another live set with Eloisa Bustos @MahomieBustos

Another wonderfully intimate performance by Eloisa. Here's some shots after her set. You can check out her version of Blackstreets 'No Diggity'. Performed live at The Paramount Cafe in Cheyenne, Wyoming...Here---------> https://youtu.be/qFc2Ehxf-nY

 

you can also find her on Soundcloud @MahomieBustos and on Instagram @MahomieBustos

Where has all the art gone?

Photography, for ages, has been an art form in and of its self. From composition, to proper exposure, etc. It seems now, more than ever, that it [photography] is evolving. Perhaps in a good way, perhaps for the bad. It seems everyone with a smart phone is now a "photographer" and yes, I know 'one who shoots a photo is technically a photographer'. But you go through instagram and see all these overly processed photos, photos that have undergone drastic alterations, with apps and filters over filters, etc. And as it seems, this is the "go to" style for many companies looking for "stylish" ad photos.

I guess in a sense, this makes it easy for the companies to find IG'ers that "create" the kind of photos they are looking for, kick them a couple bucks, or maybe even just the opportunity to create an ad for a company is enough for them, since they would probably get more followers and "likes".

But is this still "photography"? Is it still "art"? Yes, art is "subjective". Not all art is for everyone. But if all you're doing is snapping a pic, layering it with filters, and add appropriate hashtags, is it still art?

If you look at most of these photos with the mindset of an "old school" photo mentality, the photos are so "wrong" that they would have been thrown in the trash in the days of film. The exposures are through the roof, out of focus, and lets not talk about color correction.

Another problem with this is the fact that now you have millions of IG "photographers" out there potentially taking work from hard working photographers. Photographers that work hard, put in the time it takes to create a great image, and know the rules of photography. Photographers that work as photographers for a living, and don't live in a world full of "likes" and "followers".

Now I know I'm not 100% honest with my photos, as I use Adobe Lightroom to "Process" my images. Key word here is "process". In the day's of film, you didn't just shoot a photo and be done with it. You had to properly develop the film, then go into a dark room, for hours at a time, and properly create an image from the tiny little 35mm negative. Using LR is much like the latter. I take an image I shot in RAW format and then adjust it as needed. And YES LR does have filters and presets that are included, but aside from converting to black and white, I never use them. I use LR to bring out highlights or shadows that I could see with my eye but maybe the camera didn't pick up. Adjust the color to make it look more natural, not blown out as many filters do.

But I guess it all comes down to person style, what YOU like, not what I like. How can "art" be judged if its subjective? In a world of participation ribbons, I guess we all win, right?