#tbt New Zealand part ii

Part I is here
I’ve become lazy with blog post titles lately. Also, really lazy about these Throwback Thursday posts about New Zealand! I will do one today and then one at would be the end of the journey, in about 3 weeks. So, not every week, but that would be excessive anyway.

I was sitting in a restaurant last Friday night in New York, eating a really spicy, really expensive burger that I myself created, and this song came on. Which.. Even thinking about this song gives me goosebumps! At the Outdoor Pursuit Centre, we were this group of 18 teenagers, and on any given night (as long as we weren’t wiped out from the day’s activities) we’d have these dance parties in a little carpeted room, and Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger became our anthem. We played it our last night at OPC (July 22) and the next day we said goodbye to each other and it was one of the saddest days ever. Anyway. I’ve heard that song a few times here and there, but hearing it out of the blue, so very close to the actual 10 year anniversary I left OPC, I got chills. I texted a friend from those days, Leslie, who lives in New York, and I said we should get together. So we did! I saw him the next day, and he’s the first person I’ve seen from that group in 10 years, and neither of us could believe it! I guess what I’m trying to say, is that this is a trip that was utterly life changing, and is still affecting me in crazy ways today.

But, anyway. The photo up there I think was taken on a two-day backpacking trip we took from I dunno, somewhere (they drove us in a van) up to the tippy top of Mt. Ruapehu! Backpacking is hella hard, especially on volcanic ash for miles and miles. Plus at this point everybody had all but chosen the clique they were in. Teenagers. I recall we walked through a forest at one point, and it was completely this lush green color. Everything was colored in it. My camera was in my backpack and I couldn’t be bothered. I can’t imagine myself on a similar trip today. I’d need at least 3 lenses for this trip, and some sort of complicated rig that makes me look like a tool It was winter in New Zealand at the time, but it rarely snowed anywhere where I was. Once we got high enough I guess, that’s where it started. We had trekked to a little hut (they have these all over New Zealand, for hikers and stuff), had a fire, had food, played card games. Then a brave few of us decided we were really going to rough it that night. The coolest thing about that night, is that when we left the hut to go down to the tent, I looked up and was nearly knocked back because the sky was jam packed with stars. It was, and still is, the starriest night I’ve ever seen, and it was snowing! It was amazing. It was fucking cold ass camping though.  Read more ›



Oh hi! I took a little break from blogging this last week (mostly unintentional) so I could fly out to New York to visit my friend Anna who *just* got her Master’s Degree in “visual narrative” (I think that kind of speaks for itself?). She did a really really cool project (that I got to help a little on!). It’s been a while since I’d been to NY. It’s not Alan’s jam so this was a true first experience for me: A solo, self-funded trip. Which is NUTS considering I am 27 years old. But I didn’t have a lot of money before. I stayed with my friend Holly, who used to be my Art Director at vita.mn, in Queens (lots of traveling between there and Manhattan, but very cost-efficient). I arrived last Wednesday afternoon after a canceled flight from Chicago to NY  and I got rerouted through Charlotte, and heavily considered taking a long nap until night time, but opportunity and adventure pulled me out (I kinda wish I had slept!). But the plane rides first:NEWYORK-1I hoped to be in NY at around 11:30 AM so I left Minneapolis BALLS early. I saw the sunrise. It was beautiful. I also upgraded my seat to First Class for 50 bucks, because that’s what you do when you’re traveling by yourself and have a little money to burn. Vacation!  Read more ›

Festival Wear and Gear


Since I’m a festival shooting novice, I spared no expense when preparing my gear. After shooting Rock the Garden I took serious inventory. The 18-35, while a phenomenal lens, was just not going to cut it. There wasn’t enough range. I considered renting the Canon 24-70 2.8 lens, because from what I’ve heard, it’s a great lens with versatility. I was dissuaded from that and ultimately opted to go with the 70-200 for *sick* range (and, that image stabilization is no joke. It’s just, ugh, it’s such a good lens). I also thought, maybe, in a high pressure environment, over a weekend where I will be camping, having a spare camera would go along way. And this way, I could be equipped with two different focal lengths and instantly change from one to the other. I did some research on ishootshows.com to see what a bonafide concert shooter has in his bag, and I got to work. It was pricy to equip myself properly, but I also felt totally confident in what I had, and that absolutely nothing would deter me. I rented a second 70D so I would know exactly what I was working with. FESTIVAL_GEARTwo batteries for each camera (just in case, though I never needed to tap into the second batteries for either), a ton of memory cards (in my main camera, I used the 128 all weekend [note: that should be 128 GIGS, not MEGS], and the 16 and 32, respectively, in the rental). The Double Rig was a hesitant purchase because I do not own two cameras regularly, however, it’s adaptable to be turned into a single cross-body strap, which is great if you hate the neck strap set up normally (which I do, immensely). Good earplugs are a must in the pit. You gotta be focused and you’re going to want to get up next to some giant speakers at some point. I brought the 50mm 1.8 with me to Wisconsin, but ultimately left it behind because I didn’t think it’d be worth it to try to change up lenses in the pit. I do wish I’d had something midrange though. That is a significant gap between 35 and 70mm. And lastly, a good bag is important, because I did have to carry all this stuff with me. The Topo Field Bag is a great bag with lots of pockets, though I think they’re lying in those photos about a body and 70-200 lens lying comfortably in it. I don’t think I was able to get that kind of fit. Although, the bag was stuffed.

Additional items I had with me were a water bottle (you MUST stay hydrated at these things), a couple rainsleeves (it was supposed to rain all day Saturday!), a notebook, a lens blower and lens cleaning cloth

My wonderful husband was also there, and he helped me bring my gear into the festival this weekend (in his lumbar pack, which easily fit the telephoto lens) and held my bag when it became too overwhelming for me. He also got me water when I needed it, and beer when I really needed it, and he stood in line for food when I couldn’t. So, my recommendation for festival shooters is that you get an amazing, selfless husband who will do whatever in order for you to do your job right. Alan, you’re my hero!FESTIVAL_WEARAs far as festival wear goes, comfortable shoes designed for walking (and socks) were a must (and my feet didn’t bother me hardly at all, except I still got a blister somehow! Good thing there were first aid stations everywhere), a light, flowy t-shirt, since you’ll have a bunch of straps on you all day. Light, breathable shorts with ample pocket room. These are key. The only other shorts I had were either denim or running shorts. These were perfect for comfort, BUT… I had some gnarly chafing on my thighs, and that was a major buzzkill. Bring some gold bond, or anti-chafing cream. I used baby powder the second day and it worked in a pinch. Lastly, in case of rain, a rain jacket. You still have to shoot, even in the rain, so you might as well be as dry as possible. I’m grateful it didn’t rain at Eaux Claires, because if I’m being totally honest, I don’t love that rain jacket. I’m thinking I might try to find a better, more breathable one.

Basically, if you’re shooting a music festival, especially in the woods, treat it like a hiking trip. It’s the same thing, really.

This post is sponsored by Canon and Columbia. Just kidding.

Minnesota, WI

EAUXCLAIRES-37Wowzers, what a weekend. EAUXCLAIRES-43EAUXCLAIRES-13EAUXCLAIRES-3EAUXCLAIRES-4It was a whirlwind from start to finish. We left early on Friday morning and arrived at the media check-in at 10:30. Then to the campsite, which really was kinda roughin’ it. We set up our tent over dandelions in close quarters with other campers. It was hot. The whole weekend was hot. I didn’t stop sweating the entire time. Around 2:30 we got aboard the camp shuttle to bring us to the festival, and promptly went to the media tent so I could get my gear on.  Read more ›

EXC bound

What do you guys got going on this weekend? Well since you asked, I’m having a pretty major one. I’ve been prepping for months now for the Eaux Claires festival, which sounds like it’s going to be pretty spectacular, and really special! I’m so stoked to be going to the inaugural event, AND I’ll be shooting it all for City Pages.

And I’m a little terrified. I’ve had dozens of nagging concerns in the back of my mind for a couple weeks now. 

What if I’m over encumbered with gear? What if my outfit doesn’t breathe well? What if it rains? What if my battery dies?

Luckily, I have thought of every possible scenario (though I’m not quite sure how bathroom breaks are going to work) and I’m prepared for every eventuality. 

Probably deciding to shoot Rock the Garden was the smartest move I could’ve made in anticipation for this weekend. 5 bands, 3 songs each left me absolutely wrecked, for a number of reasons: Unbreathable clothes (weird cotton-linen t-shirt and denim shorts, birkenstocks. blech), uncomfortable neck strap, basically one lens. Overall I had a pretty great time and I came up with some good stuff, but it had me seriously doubting my gear, which seemed very piddling compared to all the other photographers. PLUS, this was 5 bands. Eaux Claires is two days (meaning: a lot more bands). So in the last couple months, after I got my assignment, I’ve been tireless about accruing gear. I’ll share the whole experience on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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