2015 In Review
At then end of 2014 I thought that I would try to make 2015 a much more successful year than the one before. In hindsight I feel like that was a wishy-washy target coupled with not much of a game plan for how I was going to get there. I had been working on a new portfolio site and Facebook page and launched them in February this year and I guess they added to some sense of enthusiasm, but whilst I’m quite happy with the portfolio site, there are still improvements to be made with the rest of that “plan”.
What I wanted in 2015 was a chance to shoot my favorite bands, and some other ones too, more frequently, in bigger venues and to try to grow my photography beyond the place it was currently in. So how did we get on?
I shot far fewer bands this year, partly because one of my outlets stopped publishing, partly because I seemed to be sick all the freaking time (colds, bronchitis, food poisoning, pneumonia…), and perhaps because I got turned down a few more times than I use to – the downside to approaching bigger bands, I guess. I did get to work with bands I’d been hoping to cover, and bands I’ve been working with for a while – sometimes shooting, sometimes writing, sometimes both at the same time. In terms of writing, I got to spend the weekend covering the Fuji Rock Festival in July, but didn’t write much after that as it all got a bit too much to take on.
My 3 big highlights of this year were working with Meaning at a couple of shows, covering Machine Head’s show in the summer, and working at Loud Park with GYZE. There were also 3 kickass albums this year from Crossfaith, Her Name in Blood and Crystal Lake, the latter of whom I shot at the Redline Riot show in January. My favourite album of the three is Crystal Lake’s “The Sign”, which has been on repeat pretty much since it arrived in the post – an amazing progression in sound and vibe from this band who have some of the most batshit crazy moshpits around.
I think my favorite shot of the year though, is one I took in January during a photo walk with Jess and Hai from Notes of Nomads and about 100 other people when we descended on Meiji Jingu to photograph the “Coming of Age” ceremony and the amazing kimono on display. This was a one-shot image (as in I took only one photo) of a wedding procession that came through the central quad of the temple. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time with a zoom lens. It’s also an image which has received minimal processing – a slight crop, some selective de-saturation and a bit of vignette to add some pop. It was published on the Metropolis Photo of the Week page, where you can see it in 2000px glory.
Overall, it was another splendid year of shows, but one which seemed too busy to share with you all. Many thanks to all the bands, managers, writers and photographers I worked with this year.
There are some greats shows lined up for 2016 already, so expect more to come and I will do my best not to get sick so much. Until then, rock out the last few days of 2015.
Love from New Zealand,