Why aren’t you listening to Chae Hawk right now? This Buffalo NY based rap cinema artist and founder of hip hop collective TeamRadio has been producing some of the best progressive hip hop to ever come out of WNY. Be sure to check out Dance Party for The Heavy Hearted on his website (especially his track Chin Ups featuring another past subject of mine – Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die.)
Guitar slinging, soul, blues, and rock singing badass Mick Hayes is the subject of one of my most recent shoots!
It’s always a treat to get to photograph someone who has shared stages and billing with stars like Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steve Vai, and Los Lonely Boys, and I’ve been lucky these past few years to work with Mick on a bunch of still and motion projects the include the release video and cover art of his most recent album.
More than that, I’ve had the pleasure of actually seeing the man play a few times, and it’s a revelatory experience to see live. Mick can play, sing, and put on one hello of a show. His astounding stage presence, steeped in the influence of his musical roots and coupled with his raw enthusiasm and skillful playing , is one of the reasons he’s endorsed by brands like Hammond and Knaggs Guitars.
Greg Styliades – guitarist of the Buffalo NY based metal band Revealer as the singer/songwriter his acoustic driven solo project The Circus Act.
I love shooting for Alternative Press magazine. I’ve gotten to work with some great up-and-coming acts while on assignment for them, and I’ve always been appreciative of the freedom that Creative Director Christopher Benton has given in letting me explore some different takes on many of these artists. Even though I spend a lot of my time these days working for agencies and corporate clients on more commercial fare, shooting for AP is appealing to me because of the energy and excitement that I get from working with these bands – something raw that stirs up the remnants of the music obsessed geek in me who spent a lot of his youth hanging out in dirty basements at house shows and road-tripping all over the northeast to see bands who never seemed to make it to Buffalo. Continue reading “ON ASSIGNMENT: WHITECHAPEL’S PHIL BOZEMAN FOR ALTERNATIVE PRESS”
A short story to share with you this week.
A few months ago I was in Seattle attending a workshop when, much to my surprise, an amazing mariachi band just walked into the studio and started to jam (John Keatley may have had something to do with that…)
These guys looked incredible and could they ever play. I had a chance to make this quick portrait of one of them during a break in their set.
Josh Travis is the guitarist for the Virginia-based metal band Glass Cloud (and formerly the guitarist for The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza). While I was on assignment a few months ago to photograph Glass Cloud vocalist Jerry Roush for the cover of the Alternative Press AP Tour issue I made it a point to create some solo portraits of the other members of this fascinating band, and this very direct and simple image of Josh was a real standout to me. It might have something to do with the accusations that my crew has leveled against me that I turn into kind of a nerd when I photograph guitarists. In my younger days I, like many others, had aspirations of six string godhood (which is nothing compared to the monstrous eight string guitar that Josh plays) – But I realized that I was actually far more talented at taking pictures of bands than being in them, so I traded in my guitar for a camera and haven’t looked back since then (trust me, it was the right choice – as anyone who has ever seen me at a karaoke bar or sat next to me at a red light will attest, my visual skills far outweigh my musical ones. And if you have had that displeasure, I am sorry for the years of therapy you have had to undergo to deal with the damage I caused).
If you want to hear some of Josh’s amazing guitar work check out Glass Cloud’s album The Royal Thousand.
A few months back, towards the end of 2012, I got a call from Christopher Benton at Alternative Press to photograph two of the bands that were playing that year’s AP Tour, and to be part of the cover project that the magazine was creating for the issue. There were five bands slated for the cover, and all of them were touring in different parts of the world in the months leading up to the release of the tour issue. Ultimately, myself and two other photographers (Jonathan Weiner and Kane Hibberd) had to capture the lead singers of Glass Cloud, Miss May I, Like Moths to Flames, The Ghost Inside, and The Amity Affliction at different times, in different locations, and coordinate our different styles to create a coherent vibe for the cover. It was a fun challenge.
These shots of Chris Roetter (Like Moths to Flames) and Jerry Roush (Glass Cloud) were part of those cover sessions – though originally conceived solely to be part of the final composite I wanted to present these images of the two frontmen as standalone portraits. I photographed Jerry and the rest of Glass Cloud first, at that time I was completely unaware that I would be photographing Like Moths to Flames just a few weeks later when their tour came through Buffalo. Normally I would not tackle two subjects for the same client with such a similar approach, but because these acts were coming together for the cover it required something of a unified approach to the studio portraits from both sessions, and though chronologically shot about a month apart I was stylistically able to treat this duo of images as through they were shot the same day.
I was on my way back from a shoot in NYC a few months back when I got an assignment from Alternative Press Magazine to create a series of images for a feature on Rochester hardcore band Such Gold. No sooner had I unpacked the car and recharged batteries when my assistant and I were making the drive from Buffalo to Rochester to meet up with the band – featured on AP’s 100 Bands You Need to Know list in 2012 alongside acts like AWOLNATION and Bad Rabbits.
Talented but also resilient, Such Gold had come back from the brink of tragedy the previous year when lead singer Ben Kotin was almost fatally stabbed outside of a party. After a lengthy recovery and with the help of friends from other bands filling in temporarily, Kotin was able to return to his frontman duties in time for the band’s full length debut Misadventures (definitely worth a listen if you like melodic hardcore).
These are two of my favorites from what I shot that day in the woods around Cobbs Hill – you can see more by checking out the tear sheet.
Last month I was invited to be part of a very cool project. Alternative Press was putting together the cover for their new AP Tour issue and needed to create images of the singers of each band involved in the tour, the problem was that these groups were on tour in different parts of the world and getting them together on such short notice for a shoot wasn’t logistically feasible at the time. So the assignment went out to me and two other photographers to capture the members individually and coordinate with each other to build this cover. I photographed Jerry Roush from Glass Cloud and Chris Roetter of Like Moths to Flames along with their respective bands for features in the issue as well as their portraits for the cover. You can check out both bands below or on the AP Tour through the month of November.
Special thanks go out to Jonathan Weiner who photographed both Levi from Miss May I and Jonathan of The Ghost Inside; and to Kane Hibberd who photographed The Amity Affliction.
I have been excited to share this one with you for a while – I photographed Rochester NY based hardcore act Such Gold earlier in the summer for this feature in the September issue of Alternative Press (#290 – also check out my old friend Douglas Sonders‘ awesome shot of Chiodos on the cover of the same issue)
Detroit based neckwear designer Cyberoptix Tie Lab commissioned me to create this series of images to promote their line of unique hand silkscreened neckties and scarves (my girlfriend is obsessed with their pashmina scarves). These are ties for rock stars and that aesthetic certainly shows up in this series. Cyberoptix is strongly rooted is responsible production ethics, especially in regards to the choices of ink they use to cut environmental and health impacts as well as their use of fair trade material in all of their silk products. I have shot for them in the past and I truly love how this company’s founder, Bethany Shorb, has brought together art and ethics to reinvigorate a classic accessory in a way that people genuinely get excited about – I am so thrilled when we have the chance to work together.
I am working an another campaign of images for Cyberoptix as we speak – a slightly more conceptual series that I’ll be sharing with you in a few weeks.
Here are a few behind the scenes mobile snaps of Logan from the day of the shoot. We felt that these ties lent themselves so well to rock-stardom that we started creating faux artwork for a nonexistent synth-punk project that Logan fronts in an alternate universe.
Supreme General is getting ready to release a new album this summer and the Buffalo born rapper wanted to create a visual persona for this series of images that was very different from his past promos. Inspired by his own service in the military – Supreme and I talked about creating something that touched on his own experiences as a soldier, writer, musician, and artist to create something that mixes classic and modern styles to tell a very different story than the images that have accompanied his past releases.
This was photographed on the site of an old demolished outdoor nightclub on the Lake Erie shore called The Pier, which was torn down years ago.I actually have some personal recollections (albeit fuzzy ones) of it as the scene of a particularly nasty concussion I received during a concert that got out of hand a few years ago. They have since turned the area around it into a number of dog walking trails, bike paths, and open fields, but these remnants of the foundation and asphalt parking lots remain.
(Check out a Preview track of Supreme General)
Some personal images created during a recent assignment on country music impersonator Don Thompson, during which I was lucky enough to get a small sampling of his chameleonic musical abilities. Don can literally walk out a room as one person and walk back in a few seconds later looking and sounding like someone completely different – but these simple stripped down images of him from our shoot are my favorites from the day.
My friends Beth (from dungareedolly.com) and Jason (from the Royal Crowns) had their amazing engagement party over the weekend and I got a chance to take this über adorable engagement photograph of them as an engagement gift that really shows off this wonderful couple’s unique style. Congratulations you two!
This week I find that I have been avoiding too much music with a lyrical base. I have been able to focus much better with instrumental tracks playing. I am working on some projects that require a deft and subtle hand in post production, and I find the more subdued tracks keeps my hand a little calmer. There are definitely some great treasures on this list, most notably Red Sparowes, a band that has long been in my constant play rotation. Its both driving and relaxing, works fantastic for both computer work and in studio when shooting. Bohren and Der Club of Gore is another group worth checking out for those who find themselves doing a ton of work on the road on their laptop. Cool, dark, and moody jazz inspired tracks that can be pretty much adapted and listened to in any situation. They are very theatrical as well, fantastic personal soundtrack music.
We are introducing a new feature here on the blog, it is called Work Music. Every thursday a new playlist will be posted, 12-15 song lists perfect for retouching, shoots, general office work, and creating moods. We will even be bringing in some guest creatives from time to time to share the music that they work to. With the weather in western New York starting to become a little colder, we are beginning to enter my favorite time of the year; fall. I find myself putting away the frenetic and aggressive music that keeps my energy levels up in the summer (a much needed effect, I am most definitely a cold weather person and generally dislike the heat) and replacing it with more down tempo, melancholy fall music that I often find myself listening to during marathon retouching bouts or long blogging sessions.
Check back regularly for some bouts of inspiration and sonic nourishment to help you through those rough days at work. Highlights of this list for me are definitely the tracks from Leonard Cohen, City & Colour, The Moody Blues, and Angels of Light. All great songs that are worth the purchase.
Todd Gregoire a member of the Buffalo, NY based darkwave trio City of God. A performer, composer and technologist, Todd is a multitalented artist who, along with his bandmates Melanie (City of God’s lead vocalist) and Qwak, has been a staple of the electronic and darkwave music scenes in the northeast for years. The use of blue and black as a color palette has long been a thematic element of the band’s image, and Todd wanted to continue that motif with this project. I decided to develop a cool detached tone to the image to complement the color choices the band as made as well as the electronic perfection of their music.
See City of God images and more in my Portfolio
I recently had the opportunity to interview and photograph Adam Rosina for his own personal biography and for a feature being written on him by Auxiliary Magazine. Rosina is quickly becoming know as Western New York’s angriest and most misanthropic film critic, ready to call out directors for lackluster efforts and to rail against film audiences for their acceptance of over commercialized and easy to digest pablum, and their self imposed ignorance of great films, both high end and low brow. An immensely interesting character, our shoot entailed trying to capture the vitriol and aggression that Rosina brings to his writing, while tempering it with some humanity and humor. It was one of those rare shoots where I was afforded to opportunity to photograph a subject that I have been friends with for years, so a certain comfort level existed prior to the shoot that made it quite easy to get the results Adam and I were looking for.
I recently had the chance to create a brand new set of images for Buffalo power-pop quintet City Under Siege, a young but terrifically catchy band. A variety of group and solo images were created for the band members in order to give them a more appealing and professionally produced image than what they had been using to market their music previously. We wanted to avoid any cliches that seem to plague bands when they are producing much of their own marketing material and images (see: Rock and Roll Confidential’s Hall of Douchebags) so we ultimately decided that the key image would be produced in studio to give it the polish and feeling of control that the band was looking for. Working with new or younger bands can often be a challenge as they often have several misconceptions about the budgetary requirements of producing images or their own direction musically. However, the members of City Under Siege proved themselves to be extremely discerning in their taste, knowledge of producing imagery, and direction they wanted to take their image in.
I am working on a second video project with rapper Supreme General. Here are some behind the scenes images from portions of our latest production. The video is in the final stages of editing and should be live soon. Stay tuned for updates.