Rock the Garden 2016

ROCKTHEGARDEN-12I was feeling ever so confident on Saturday morning that shooting Rock the Garden this year would be easy breezy. After all, I’d survived the two-day, multi-stage juggernaut Eaux Claires festival last July there was no way a simple one day two-stage event would overwhelm me. But I was wrong, and suffered as a result of my own hubris. It was hot out. And the sun was the worst part. 5 minutes in the sun wearing a double-DSLR harness was like being suffocated. If it were just me, I probably would’ve just dealt with it, but shooting a festival in 90+ degree heat for 7+ hours while pregnant was plain recklessness. Several times Alan (sweet Alan, who was my water gofer and who I sternly advised to not drink too much beer during the afternoon while I was extra vulnerable) said I could call it, that my health was more important than this job. It’s true. I was shooting a slideshow that would pay very little. Not worth hardly doing anything. And my deadline was early the next morning. After shooting from 2-9pm, I’d have to go through 3 memory cards worth of photos, select the best ones, edit them, and then pick the best of those and upload them into a slideshow. Overall, my whole day was about 12 hours of work.

Oy. Never again.

But, I love shooting concerts. It’s extra fun when the band or frontman or whomever moves around and looks interesting and does cool shit. You just have to be there and be fast. That’s a satisfying challenge. ROCKTHEGARDEN-16ROCKTHEGARDEN-19ROCKTHEGARDEN-5A good frontman will always make any photo job more fun. ROCKTHEGARDEN-21ROCKTHEGARDEN-31ROCKTHEGARDEN-33ROCKTHEGARDEN-23Sometimes you get a tall stage.ROCKTHEGARDEN-36This was a first also, I split editing between color and black & white. I’ll sometimes get too married to one preset, so this time I got married to two presets. Maybe one day I’ll talk about my editing process. ROCKTHEGARDEN-37ROCKTHEGARDEN-38ROCKTHEGARDEN-54ROCKTHEGARDEN-55I would’ve taken more crowd shots, but it was honestly difficult not to just take pictures of white boys, so I mostly abstained. ROCKTHEGARDEN-66ROCKTHEGARDEN-68ROCKTHEGARDEN-73ROCKTHEGARDEN-78ROCKTHEGARDEN-77I bought another 70D last week; just figured it was a good investment to make. I was able to use my trusty Sigma lens and my new-ish Canon 24-70 lens. I had used it a few other times up until now, but you can’t really appreciate the quality of first-party gear until you’re under pressure. The fast Canon lenses have extremely good auto-focus and rapid shutter. I ended up using my new rig more than my old one. Now I just need the 70-200 and I’ll be unstoppable.ROCKTHEGARDEN-95ROCKTHEGARDEN-96ROCKTHEGARDEN-88ROCKTHEGARDEN-91I understand that sometimes blogs need to send someone in to take some pictures to accompany a review. And I understand that sometimes all that person has is an iPhone. But I had to tell this girl not to dance in the pit, and put her hand up in the air, like she just didn’t care. Her hand was getting in my shot. She looked at me like it was a huge imposition. Argh, casuals!ROCKTHEGARDEN-106ROCKTHEGARDEN-107ROCKTHEGARDEN-113ROCKTHEGARDEN-114ROCKTHEGARDEN-115ROCKTHEGARDEN-112ROCKTHEGARDEN-117ROCKTHEGARDEN-118ROCKTHEGARDEN-119ROCKTHEGARDEN-129You can’t imagine how relieved I was when it was all over. I didn’t faint. I didn’t go home before the job was done. I didn’t even super mind staying up another few hours to edit. Editing is 70% of the final product, and luckily I love doing it.

Knowing me, I will volunteer again next year to shoot, hopefully when it’s back at its smaller venue, and I don’t have a bun in the oven. Phew.

KV Crimes


A quick post today. I went to Mill City Nights (formerly The Brick) last night to shoot Kurt Vile for City Pages. The Brick (as I’m calling it from now on) is kind of an unpopular venue, though that’s putting it lightly. The sound is awful. I couldn’t hear sweet Kurt’s angelic voice at all. I also tend to hate venues that are long rectangles where the only way to get up front is to fight your way through a hundred people. They feel like fire hazards, and I get claustrophobic. I greatly prefer a more open layout like First Avenue. But that’s like saying I prefer going on vacation to getting sick.

Anyway. You can see my little slideshow (including some shots of Waxahatchee, a cool indie folk band) right over here.

Take me to CHVRCHES

This is my 200th blog post!  640d7308a265833084450da056c526d0 copyCHVRCHES-27

I had the pleasure of shooting CHVRCHES for City Pages on Saturday night. If you aren’t aware of these guys, definitely listen to their music. They’re carrying on a synth pop tradition passed down to them by the likes of New Order and Depeche Mode. When I heard they were coming to Myth (the shittiest venue in the greater Twin Cities), I immediately asked to shoot, because I knew it would be a visual feast and I wasn’t wrong.  Read more ›

See ya, Summer

SUMMER-1I don’t always love the summers here because they tend to be hot and sticky. I’ve mentioned in the past, I like the cool air. In past summers I would tend to stay inside a lot, and unapologetically so! I don’t have to like sunshine and humidity. I shouldn’t force myself to be out in it if I don’t want to. But, this summer was so different. I took every opportunity to get out and do shit, and it was the best summer ever. So if you’re looking for a way to kill time on this Friday, here’s my summer recap.


(I’m gonna say this summer started in May, when we went to Georgia for 5 days of music festivals and hiking!)


RIP This event had sad consequences, apart from the obvious, in that I lost a job I loved and found difficulty the rest of the summer to get a routine again. The adjustment of changing jobs so abruptly is really hard. KITTEN-7052Kitten Forever @ AAW

ANNIVERSARY-7We went to Duluth for our first anniversary and got into some nature!

I played a lot with my new camera this summer. 

RTG2015-64I shot my first music festival!

CAMPDOS-62Annual “CampDos” trip with a bunch of our friends to Do Nothin’ Campground in Wisconsin.

(this didn’t get blogged about, but the first weekend of July had us doing a Northeast Bar Crawl for a friend’s birthday, and seeing Dillinger Four on 4th of July at the Triple Rock. Punk rock weekend!)
Last minute cabin weekend with a bunch of pals!

he big one: Shooting a massive two-day music festival in Eau Claire. It was both exhausting and totally surreal.

NEWYORK-37The very next weekend I was in New York just walking around, totally sleep deprived the entire time, breathing in piss-tinged subway air… Typical New York.

Annual family cabin trip, parts 1 & 2.

INTERSTATE-18It’s good to have friends who want to go hiking.

HEIDI-ANDY0830-41Also good to have friends who want you to take their picture

LABORDAY-28…AND invite you to their rad family cabin for one last hurrah in the summer air.

WHEW. What a crazy couple of months. I did it right, summer. I did it right. And hey, you can even see how my camera work improved from May – August.

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 ›

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