Top Favorite Music Photos of 2017

Here are some of my favorite music images I captured this year with some stories behind them. I usually only do 10 photos every year but this year I wanted to squeeze in a couple of extras.

  The Story So Far / one-off show - Lake Park, FL   So the day after Self Help Festival in Orlando, my show promoter friend Alex had TSSF booked to play at Kelsey Theater the next day. I was running off maybe 3-4 hours of sleep over the entire weekend and had to race over to West Palm for this show from Orlando in time. I’ve never experienced a TSSF headliner in a small local venue but all I know from other photos or videos taken of them it can get wild. And it was!! It had to be one of the best top 10 shows I’ve ever attended and one of my absolute favorites to photograph. It kind of felt special in a way since it was just a one off show they did in South Florida and nowhere else — we don’t really get too many exciting random gigs like West Coast does or even tri-state area but when this show was announced I’m sure most of us wouldn’t have wanted any other band to do a random show in our town than TSSF. Besides photographing it, one of my good friends Sara got to run sound and received an awesome thank you from the band during the set. Overall it was a great show and for once it was just nice to shoot a raw and sweaty local show with a band we enjoy without any crazy production or lights.   x   x

The Story So Far / one-off show - Lake Park, FL

So the day after Self Help Festival in Orlando, my show promoter friend Alex had TSSF booked to play at Kelsey Theater the next day. I was running off maybe 3-4 hours of sleep over the entire weekend and had to race over to West Palm for this show from Orlando in time. I’ve never experienced a TSSF headliner in a small local venue but all I know from other photos or videos taken of them it can get wild. And it was!! It had to be one of the best top 10 shows I’ve ever attended and one of my absolute favorites to photograph. It kind of felt special in a way since it was just a one off show they did in South Florida and nowhere else — we don’t really get too many exciting random gigs like West Coast does or even tri-state area but when this show was announced I’m sure most of us wouldn’t have wanted any other band to do a random show in our town than TSSF. Besides photographing it, one of my good friends Sara got to run sound and received an awesome thank you from the band during the set. Overall it was a great show and for once it was just nice to shoot a raw and sweaty local show with a band we enjoy without any crazy production or lights.

x x

  Splash Zanotti / Trap Circus - Miami, FL   I’ve stuck to the same genre when it comes to shooting shows probably since I started music photography which has been about 10 years now. I’ve been really wanting to branch out into different music genres so I was stoked to cover this new rap festival that came to Miami called Trap Circus. My friend  Luis  hooked us up on the festival as the main media team for the day. Since Splash did a music video with one of my best friends ( Bobby ) I wanted to make sure I got some extra good shots of him. Minus the chaos that comes with working a festival, I’m still so happy to have documented something new and different.   x

Splash Zanotti / Trap Circus - Miami, FL

I’ve stuck to the same genre when it comes to shooting shows probably since I started music photography which has been about 10 years now. I’ve been really wanting to branch out into different music genres so I was stoked to cover this new rap festival that came to Miami called Trap Circus. My friend Luis hooked us up on the festival as the main media team for the day. Since Splash did a music video with one of my best friends (Bobby) I wanted to make sure I got some extra good shots of him. Minus the chaos that comes with working a festival, I’m still so happy to have documented something new and different.

x

  State Champs / State Champs Tour - Orlando, FL   STATE CHAMPS!!! The weekend this show happened, I had a few things I was trying to balance/deal with. I was working a youtube festival called Playlist Live, received a speeding ticket, scored Harry Styles tickets, and it was Cinco De Mayo. So after I finished up Playlist Live, I raced over to the State Champs show downtown and met up with one of my friends, Elliott (SC photog), and he let me shoot their whole set! I really loved this photo right after I snapped it since I struggle a lot with trying to get awesome shots of guitarists and bassists. The whole tour, production and line up-wise, was perfect and I snapped some of my favorite show images that can be found here.    x   x

State Champs / State Champs Tour - Orlando, FL

STATE CHAMPS!!! The weekend this show happened, I had a few things I was trying to balance/deal with. I was working a youtube festival called Playlist Live, received a speeding ticket, scored Harry Styles tickets, and it was Cinco De Mayo. So after I finished up Playlist Live, I raced over to the State Champs show downtown and met up with one of my friends, Elliott (SC photog), and he let me shoot their whole set! I really loved this photo right after I snapped it since I struggle a lot with trying to get awesome shots of guitarists and bassists. The whole tour, production and line up-wise, was perfect and I snapped some of my favorite show images that can be found here. 

x x

  Intervention / Afterlife Home Show - West Palm Beach, FL   If there’s anything I noticed after shooting so many local shows this year is that the local scene of South Florida is alive and well. I got my start in music photography when I just entered high school and it felt like after my high school career ended, so did the local music scene. I’ve absolutely loved seeing how many talented bands are coming out of our town and I cannot wait to see where they go next. I shot this photo of Drew in Intervention under probably the worst lighting ever on the back porch of Respectables but it’s definitely one of my favorite shots I’ve ever taken from a local show like...ever.

Intervention / Afterlife Home Show - West Palm Beach, FL

If there’s anything I noticed after shooting so many local shows this year is that the local scene of South Florida is alive and well. I got my start in music photography when I just entered high school and it felt like after my high school career ended, so did the local music scene. I’ve absolutely loved seeing how many talented bands are coming out of our town and I cannot wait to see where they go next. I shot this photo of Drew in Intervention under probably the worst lighting ever on the back porch of Respectables but it’s definitely one of my favorite shots I’ve ever taken from a local show like...ever.

  Paramore / After Laughter Tour - Miami, FL   I have been dying to photograph this band probably since I got into music photography (14 or 15 years old) and it FINALLY happened. Over the last few years, if you haven’t noticed, Paramore didn’t grant too many photo passes out, mostly only to friends or people they’ve worked with in the past. With this tour, they slightly opened up more to press and I was finally given a pass through a friend on their team. It was definitely one of the hardest and best sets I’ve ever shot. I did a LOT of research on whether there was photo pit or not, where do we stand to shoot, the stage setup, etc. When I was about to get ready to shoot them in September, a hurricane came and ruined that chance. Thankfully my friend was still able to get me a pass on their rescheduled date and wow I was really nervous. I was so sure that you were able to shoot somewhere around the photo pit. Well at last minute, I found out that it wasn’t exactly soundboard, but you would be standing a bit away from the stage so a telephoto or zoom was definitely in order. Unfortunately the best telephoto lens (hardly a telephoto) I had was a 85mm prime. Between the anxiety of driving to Miami (which usually only takes 1 hour, took about 2-2 1/2 hours) and finding out there were definitely standing restrictions on where to stand, I was so incredibly close on letting my friend know that I was just going to pass on shooting. I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t have the right setup, it just wouldn’t have been worth it and nothing would kill me more than not getting 1 good shot of them and going home extremely disappointed. I called every rental place I could find asking how much a telephoto lens and it was way out of my price range for only renting for a few hours. So before I completely gave up and shot a text to my friend, I made a Facebook post asking if anyone had a suitable lens and BOOM, I had a telephoto lens from my sister-in-law in our house. It didn’t have the most depth but it definitely did the job just fine. I really hope I get to cover their set once more in the future with different photo restrictions but if not I’m just happy I finally got the opportunity to finally cover them.   x   x

Paramore / After Laughter Tour - Miami, FL

I have been dying to photograph this band probably since I got into music photography (14 or 15 years old) and it FINALLY happened. Over the last few years, if you haven’t noticed, Paramore didn’t grant too many photo passes out, mostly only to friends or people they’ve worked with in the past. With this tour, they slightly opened up more to press and I was finally given a pass through a friend on their team. It was definitely one of the hardest and best sets I’ve ever shot. I did a LOT of research on whether there was photo pit or not, where do we stand to shoot, the stage setup, etc. When I was about to get ready to shoot them in September, a hurricane came and ruined that chance. Thankfully my friend was still able to get me a pass on their rescheduled date and wow I was really nervous. I was so sure that you were able to shoot somewhere around the photo pit. Well at last minute, I found out that it wasn’t exactly soundboard, but you would be standing a bit away from the stage so a telephoto or zoom was definitely in order. Unfortunately the best telephoto lens (hardly a telephoto) I had was a 85mm prime. Between the anxiety of driving to Miami (which usually only takes 1 hour, took about 2-2 1/2 hours) and finding out there were definitely standing restrictions on where to stand, I was so incredibly close on letting my friend know that I was just going to pass on shooting. I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t have the right setup, it just wouldn’t have been worth it and nothing would kill me more than not getting 1 good shot of them and going home extremely disappointed. I called every rental place I could find asking how much a telephoto lens and it was way out of my price range for only renting for a few hours. So before I completely gave up and shot a text to my friend, I made a Facebook post asking if anyone had a suitable lens and BOOM, I had a telephoto lens from my sister-in-law in our house. It didn’t have the most depth but it definitely did the job just fine. I really hope I get to cover their set once more in the future with different photo restrictions but if not I’m just happy I finally got the opportunity to finally cover them.

x x

  The Dangerous Summer - St. Cloud, FL   When I was just starting college, I remember going to a Dangerous Summer show with all of my friends at a local venue without knowing any of their music. They quickly became one of my favorite bands overnight and I still can’t believe I was able to document some of their recording process of their new album. I became friends with AJ a little less then a year ago through my friend  Fish  & social media and when they picked St. Cloud, FL as the place to record the new album, I got set up to shoot a couple of videos, promos and behind the scenes of them. I’ve done work with many bands before but it’s completely different to work with a band who literally made soundtracks that relate to most of your life (DEEP) and connect one on one with them. Probably one of the best experiences that I’ll never forget.

The Dangerous Summer - St. Cloud, FL

When I was just starting college, I remember going to a Dangerous Summer show with all of my friends at a local venue without knowing any of their music. They quickly became one of my favorite bands overnight and I still can’t believe I was able to document some of their recording process of their new album. I became friends with AJ a little less then a year ago through my friend Fish & social media and when they picked St. Cloud, FL as the place to record the new album, I got set up to shoot a couple of videos, promos and behind the scenes of them. I’ve done work with many bands before but it’s completely different to work with a band who literally made soundtracks that relate to most of your life (DEEP) and connect one on one with them. Probably one of the best experiences that I’ll never forget.

  Tigers Jaw / Spin USA Tour - Lake Park, FL   I’ve!! Been!! Dying!! To!! Shoot!! Tigers!! Jaw!! I discovered this band on Tumblr many years ago and I was obsessed with photos every photographer would snap of this band. Seeing them perform was also a first for me and overall it was a special show. Not much else to it.   x

Tigers Jaw / Spin USA Tour - Lake Park, FL

I’ve!! Been!! Dying!! To!! Shoot!! Tigers!! Jaw!! I discovered this band on Tumblr many years ago and I was obsessed with photos every photographer would snap of this band. Seeing them perform was also a first for me and overall it was a special show. Not much else to it.

x

  Hey Violet / Q&A-Radio Tour - Fort Lauderdale, FL   I’ve never shot a Q&A/acoustic tour type deal in my life. I saw Hey Violet was coming to town on a radio tour run and so far I’ve never had a bad experience shooting their performances (+ their music is bomb too). I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve never shot a Q&A before but it was pretty fun and different! I think the only downfall of the set is that there were tons of cords and such everywhere and mics were blocking most of the members in the most inconvenient way but besides that it was a fun experience. This is about my fourth time shooting HV and I always gain awesome new images of them. I was so stoked on this photo since the lighting hit Rena just right (and that pink on pink on pink tho) and it’s just a simple and soft clear image of her.   x

Hey Violet / Q&A-Radio Tour - Fort Lauderdale, FL

I’ve never shot a Q&A/acoustic tour type deal in my life. I saw Hey Violet was coming to town on a radio tour run and so far I’ve never had a bad experience shooting their performances (+ their music is bomb too). I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve never shot a Q&A before but it was pretty fun and different! I think the only downfall of the set is that there were tons of cords and such everywhere and mics were blocking most of the members in the most inconvenient way but besides that it was a fun experience. This is about my fourth time shooting HV and I always gain awesome new images of them. I was so stoked on this photo since the lighting hit Rena just right (and that pink on pink on pink tho) and it’s just a simple and soft clear image of her.

x

  The Devil Wears Prada / No Sun/ No Moon Tour - Lake Park, FL   Every time I’ve photographed TDWP, it’s been at Warped Tour and they were always at the top of my list to shoot. Over the years of them performing in house tours, their production always looked insane. So when I was hired to shoot this gig, I was pumped to cover them since i knew their lighting would be amazing (and they definitely did not disappoint). I have a ton of images from this show that I’m still sorting through to find my absolute favorites so I can add them to my website.

The Devil Wears Prada / No Sun/ No Moon Tour - Lake Park, FL

Every time I’ve photographed TDWP, it’s been at Warped Tour and they were always at the top of my list to shoot. Over the years of them performing in house tours, their production always looked insane. So when I was hired to shoot this gig, I was pumped to cover them since i knew their lighting would be amazing (and they definitely did not disappoint). I have a ton of images from this show that I’m still sorting through to find my absolute favorites so I can add them to my website.

  All Time Low / Young Renegade Tour - Orlando, FL   It was a hot second since I’ve shot All Time Low and I was stoked to catch their set in Orlando for the first time in ages. I feel like some venues are becoming way more strict now with photographers bringing out their cameras in the crowd after the first three songs so this was a hard one to sneak. I may have…..snuck into the reserved balcony VIP section for this shot and I’m not sorry about it. I barely ever get crowd shots anymore and I’m hoping within the next year of shows that can be more of my focus point. Plus this image rocks since you can see my friend  Matty V  in the photo pit. :)   x   x   x

All Time Low / Young Renegade Tour - Orlando, FL

It was a hot second since I’ve shot All Time Low and I was stoked to catch their set in Orlando for the first time in ages. I feel like some venues are becoming way more strict now with photographers bringing out their cameras in the crowd after the first three songs so this was a hard one to sneak. I may have…..snuck into the reserved balcony VIP section for this shot and I’m not sorry about it. I barely ever get crowd shots anymore and I’m hoping within the next year of shows that can be more of my focus point. Plus this image rocks since you can see my friend Matty V in the photo pit. :)

x x x

  Chase Atlantic - one off show / Lake Park, FL   So on this night, I was actually hired to shoot the Citizen show in Margate. When I heard Chase Atlantic was playing here, especially at a venue I love dearly and shoot at all the time, I had to pass on Citizen this one time and cover this Chase gig. Usually this venue never has a photo pit but the band requested one for the night which made my job a lot easier (plus I ended up being the only photographer). This show was announced pretty last minute so even though there wasn’t a big turnout, the band was so energetic and fun to shoot. I really wanted to make sure I covered this show since I knew after this gig they’re just going to get bigger and bigger and probably harder to shoot. The lighting was kind of tricky on this one but I was feeling the blue tones hard and the self merch was the perfect focal point.   x   x

Chase Atlantic - one off show / Lake Park, FL

So on this night, I was actually hired to shoot the Citizen show in Margate. When I heard Chase Atlantic was playing here, especially at a venue I love dearly and shoot at all the time, I had to pass on Citizen this one time and cover this Chase gig. Usually this venue never has a photo pit but the band requested one for the night which made my job a lot easier (plus I ended up being the only photographer). This show was announced pretty last minute so even though there wasn’t a big turnout, the band was so energetic and fun to shoot. I really wanted to make sure I covered this show since I knew after this gig they’re just going to get bigger and bigger and probably harder to shoot. The lighting was kind of tricky on this one but I was feeling the blue tones hard and the self merch was the perfect focal point.

x x

  TAYLOR GURLZ - Miami, FL   So after shooting a rap festival, I’ve noticed there’s a strong difference between photographing rappers and pop punk bands. I’ve grown up in this pop punk music scene and dealt with how tough this group can be. I will always love how grungy and dirty our music world is but shooting a rap festival was extremely…refreshing in a way? I’ve had many pop punk musicians ignore my existence if I ask to snap a photo or dealt with water being thrown in my camera in the pit instead of just politely declining any photos…and I just assumed that’s how it is in every music scene. After I shot Trap Circus, I still truly cannot get over how welcoming and sweet the rap scene can be. None of the artists had any problems with letting me snap portraits or chat with them about photo or exchanging information and overall they were just laid-back and completely different from my usual hardcore setup. This shot was snapped of the lovely Taylor Gurlz before they performed and i’m completely obsessed with the quick backstage portraits we snapped. I’m still hoping to sit down and make a good blog post from this day but I have a ton of images to still sift through.

TAYLOR GURLZ - Miami, FL

So after shooting a rap festival, I’ve noticed there’s a strong difference between photographing rappers and pop punk bands. I’ve grown up in this pop punk music scene and dealt with how tough this group can be. I will always love how grungy and dirty our music world is but shooting a rap festival was extremely…refreshing in a way? I’ve had many pop punk musicians ignore my existence if I ask to snap a photo or dealt with water being thrown in my camera in the pit instead of just politely declining any photos…and I just assumed that’s how it is in every music scene. After I shot Trap Circus, I still truly cannot get over how welcoming and sweet the rap scene can be. None of the artists had any problems with letting me snap portraits or chat with them about photo or exchanging information and overall they were just laid-back and completely different from my usual hardcore setup. This shot was snapped of the lovely Taylor Gurlz before they performed and i’m completely obsessed with the quick backstage portraits we snapped. I’m still hoping to sit down and make a good blog post from this day but I have a ton of images to still sift through.

  PVRIS - North American Tour / Orlando, FL   So this had to be one of the best tours of the year, all female fronted and full of so much talent. I always love shooting PVRIS because I feel like their aesthetic helps me out of my comfort zone and I try something new with my work. I caught their set in LA and I took note of pretty much everything during the first 3 songs. 3 screen setup, lots of strobing, spits of yellow/gold lighting here and there, Lynn plays the guitar during X song, piano playing scene as the opener, all helpful things to know when it comes to shooting them in Orlando a couple of weeks later. When I was younger I used to take the time watching youtube videos or scoping other photographers who shot the same show to get an idea what to expect before I shot but these days I’ve become way too busy or forgetful to keep doing that. Overall, the performance was pretty awesome to see after seeing them start from the bottom to now their own full production headliners. (and P.S. their new album had me spinning for months straight)   x   x

PVRIS - North American Tour / Orlando, FL

So this had to be one of the best tours of the year, all female fronted and full of so much talent. I always love shooting PVRIS because I feel like their aesthetic helps me out of my comfort zone and I try something new with my work. I caught their set in LA and I took note of pretty much everything during the first 3 songs. 3 screen setup, lots of strobing, spits of yellow/gold lighting here and there, Lynn plays the guitar during X song, piano playing scene as the opener, all helpful things to know when it comes to shooting them in Orlando a couple of weeks later. When I was younger I used to take the time watching youtube videos or scoping other photographers who shot the same show to get an idea what to expect before I shot but these days I’ve become way too busy or forgetful to keep doing that. Overall, the performance was pretty awesome to see after seeing them start from the bottom to now their own full production headliners. (and P.S. their new album had me spinning for months straight)

x x

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