Sunday, December 25, 2011

Las Vegas Concert Photography: Top 10 Pics of 2011


As 2011 comes to an end, many people will look back and give pause to all the events that happened to them and around them. Photographers will dig through all the images they've captured and highlight the ones they best feel portray their perspective of 2011.  Be it a portrait, a landscape, something abstract, or even architectural; whatever the photo, it captures a moment of the year that was 2011.  It's the (billions of) photographs taken during the year that will allow us to look back and reminisce in those fond and/or tearful moments.  Hence the beauty of the art of photography.

As for me, I look back on 2011 and the work I've done as a photographer, and think fondly.  This was my first year as working as a professional photographer.  I received my first large scale recognition by having a photo featured on the Popular Photography webpage. I had a photo receive place recognition in my first photo competition.  I also begin working as a contributing concert photographer for Las Vegas Seven Magazine, which allowed me to really begin to peruse a part of photography that I'm extremely passionate about.  I covered some pretty amazing artists, both mainstream and local, and was awarded the opportunity to capture some pretty incredible moments.  It's a rewarding experience to be able to capture a moment and then share it with others through both published and online media outlets.

One of the best parts about this job is that photography has also introduced me to some new friends.  I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to pursue a passion, making money while doing so, and enjoy the gift of friendship on top of it all.

So this post is supposed to be about my top 10 photos of 2011.  Would that be my top 10 photos, overall?  Perhaps it should be.  But being that I work as a concert photographer, my concert photos are where I feel I've been able to capture and contribute to the memories of 2011.  So below, in no particular order, are my top 10 concert photos of 2011.  I still have one large gig coming up, in which I'll be covering Guns N Roses at The Joint, so there may be one photo swap from these pictures after that show, but for now, these are my top 10.


Poison at the Red Rock Hotel

Motley Crue at the Red Rock Hotel

Rise Against at The Joint 
Grace Potter at Red Rock Hotel
Minus the Bear at The House of Blues

Neon Trees at The Joint

Duran Duran at The Joint

Ted Nugent at Sunset Station

Blink-182 at Red Rock Hotel

The Cab at Mix 94.1 Bite of Las Vegas

I love hearing from my readers.   You can follow me on Twitter or use the "Contact" button to get in touch, so feel free to send me your comments and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Please visit my the concert section of my website to see these and additional photos from all the shows.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Las Vegas Concert Photography: The Nines

The local music scene!  Every city has one.  It's the reason the various dive bars in any given town exist.  Granted, certain bars do gain a cult like following—probably the result of some delicious libation with a rather foul name, like the pretty darn tasty Ass Juice served up at the Double Down Saloon here in Las Vegas.  Regardless of a dive bar's source of popularity, the local bands and the dive bars maintain an almost symbiotic relationship—each benefitting from the other.

Sometimes a local band is really, really good; conversely, sometimes, not so good.  I've seen bands take the stage and have been blown away—wondering why they're not on the radio yet.  I've seen bands take the stage and have been blown away—wondering who, in their right mind, would book such an awful act.   Most of the time, in a situation where the band sucked, it really wasn't the band as a whole.  It was the lead singer.  They either had no stage presence, or couldn't sing, or they suffered from the unfortunate combination of both.

But this weekend, I got to meet a group of guys who have been playing together for many, many years.  They play funk, jazz, soul, blues, and everything in between.  And they're AWESOME!  On Saturday afternoon, the Double Down Saloon hosted The Nines.  Unfortunately, they don't have much of a web presence, with the exception of their MySpace page, so predicting when and where these guys will pop up next is pretty difficult.  But, I highly recommend checking them out if you can find where they'll be performing next.  Order up a bucket of beers, or the cocktail of your choice, sit back, relax, and enjoy some guys who really know how to jam!

Pics from the show:

The Nines


The Nines



I love hearing from my readers.   You can follow me on Twitter or use the "Contact" button to get in touch, so feel free to send me your comments and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Please visit my the concert section of my website to see additional photos from the show.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Las Vegas Concert Photography: Rise Against

10 minutes.  That's about, on average, how long I've got as a concert photographer to get my shots.  For some strange reason, concert photographers are normally bound to a three song rule, which means that we're only allowed to shoot the first three songs and then we must leave the photo pit.  So the average length of a song is somewhere in the 150 seconds range, multiplied by 3, equals approximately 10 minutes.

When I recently photographed Rise Against at the The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, 10 minutes felt like 10 seconds! These guys have so much energy that the first three songs had past in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  And yet I had managed to capture 500 pictures!  I vaguely remember hearing their hit song, "The Good Left Undone," amid all the jumping around on stage, the frenzied fans, and the awesome sounds of Rise Against rocking the joint (no pun intended), but other than that, the whole photo shoot was mostly a blur, with only the images in my camera to clue me in as to what I had just experienced.

This is one show I wish I could have really experienced, as opposed to being consumed by the mania of rapid time compression.

Pics from the show:


Rise Against


Rise Against


Rise Against


Rise Against





I love hearing from my readers.   You can follow me on Twitter or use the "Contact" button to get in touch, so feel free to send me your comments and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Please visit my the concert section of my website to see additional photos from the show.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Las Vegas Concert Photography: Dwight Yoakam

One of the things I love about concert photography is that regardless of the genre of music, if an artist is good on stage—good vocals, good interaction with the fans, a true musician—they're going to take someone who may not be a fan (not to be taken with a negative connotation) and give them a very enjoyable time.  Such was the case with me last night when I had the opportunity to photograph Dwight Yoakam when he took the stage at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Dwight has been around in the country music scene for a very long time.  The one song of his that I know which, for some strange reason, I've always remembered is off his 1990 album "If There Was a Way" called "Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose."  Why I know that song, I have no clue.  I grew up in a smaller Florida city where country music was pretty popular so maybe it was played at a high school pep-rally or something and just stuck with me since then.

I digress.  So unlike typical rock shows that I've photographed, which rely heavy on the theatrical lighting and huge stage sets, Dwight takes to the stage with his just band and some nice simple spot lights.  The sound guy is not working overtime to apply heavy reverb or other sound altering techniques.  What the fans get is an artist who can sing (country) songs very well, and who's equally talented on the guitar.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, and again, and again.  One of the true tests of a musician is how well they perform live (without crazy vocal enhancements), and how well they engage the audience.  Dwight Yoakam definitely excels.

While I'll never be a huge country music fan, if presented with opportunity to go see another Dwight Yoakam concert, I'd have no problem, throwing down my money for a ticket.  He gives a great show!

Pics from the show:


Dwight Yoakam
Dwight Yoakam performs at the Las Vegas Hilton


Dwight Yoakam


Dwight Yoakam


Dwight Yoakam



I love hearing from my readers.   You can follow me on Twitter or use the "Contact" button to get in touch, so feel free to send me your comments and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Please visit my the concert section of my website to see additional photos from the show.