Sunday, December 30, 2012

Photo of the Year

Seeing how I did a Photo of the Week challenge, I'd feel remiss if I didn't select a Photo of the Year. While it's not my absolute favorite picture that I've taken this year, it is the picture that has had the most impact on my life in 2012.

This is a screenshot from my Light Room library, the program I use to process my photos. There was a massive increase in the number of pictures I shot this year, almost 11,000 more. I think that the photo challenge forced me to take more pictures, but I also covered quite a bit more. I've taken huge steps to streamline my workflow, which was an unintentional side effect of shooting so many concerts. It used to take me a month to sort through and process wedding photos around my day job and I've cut that time in half. I've improved my post processing and color correction skills to the point where no matter how bad the lighting is, I know I can work around it.

I'm sure it's no surprise that I've chosen a photo from a concert as my photo of the year, more specifically, a photo of Gotye. I certainly took a lot of pictures of Wally this year.

This shot is from March and was taken at the House of Blues in Boston. I went into this concert determined to get some cool shots to send along to the band. I hoped that a band would appreciate my work and in turn give me a chance to photograph them with my DSLR. The end result has been more than I ever could have dreamed.

That one picture, the generosity of the man in it and the guts to ask granted me access to photograph Gotye twice more this year. I have gained so many new friends and followers as a result of this photo; it still blows my mind that people care about what I have to say. It gave me the opportunity to do what I love to do and shoot the way I like to shoot. Even though they are musicians on a stage, I focus on the interactions and the moments of passion and intensity. That's the same way I shoot sports, weddings, portraits, you name it.

I might not be taking a traditional path in life. I'm probably not going about this the right way to become a concert photographer. I'm definitely figuring things out as I go, but the biggest thing I've learned this year is that you have to work for what you want. You have to take chances again and again. Be prepared for them to say no, I've been told that and completely ignored plenty, but don't let it get you down. Keep asking. Keep learning. Be prepared for anything and everything because you never know when your moment will come. Never, ever give up.

For me, it's not just the fact that I photographed Gotye; it's the effect those concerts had on me. I covered four different bands before the September Gotye concerts in order to be prepared. I covered three more after because I realized that I'm pretty good at what I do. One of those shoots took a lot of leg work on my part and I'm proud that I didn't give up. I'm not as petrified to reach out to an artist or their management. If I want something bad enough, I can and will do whatever it takes. I'm ready to branch out and find a publication that will allow me to do what I love. Or maybe I can continue to do my own thing. Who knows?

Photography is my way of documenting the world around me and telling the story of others. I am so fortunate that at least one person gets that. "You captured so many brilliant moments from throughout our show, and from each of us individually. Also those moments shared between two or three of us at various points in the show- they instantly take me back to different moments on tour. Thank you again, and know that you'll always be welcome to photograph any Gotye shows, anywhere."

 Who would've thought I could accomplish so much from one little photo?

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