Keegan Trumpour/Opeongo and I took a couple hours to traipse, climb, and dodge flooded parks around Ward’s Island to get some headshots for his upcoming releases — any excuse to flee the city is welcome, but it was really a great afternoon out. Thanks, Keegan, for going with the flow! Look forward to hearing more of your stuff soon!
Always a blast working with Girls Rock Camp Toronto, this time at Dixon Hall Music School for March Break — thanks to The Musical Cool Cats, ROAD K1LL, Unicorn Girls Rock, and the Rainbow Girls! for being such rockstar models! ❤️ 🎸 ❤️
Girls Rock Camp is an inclusive musical community empowering girls through music using week-long workshops, camp programming, and after-school programs.
The event and documentary world is my safe zone, but as with all photographers, I'm often called upon for a wide range of coverage, but it's specifically portraits that I eschewed for a long time. It was equal parts fear of something new, having to direct, and offending someone personally if they didn't like the photo. But having been around a lot of working photographers of late, and seeing how their subjects often aren't pleased, my internal dialogue has quieted significantly, and I've started walking in with my back straight, knowing when to keep going when something works and stopping when it doesn't. I still have a lot to learn, and though I definitely prefer the event photography path, it's nice to know that I can pull things together when necessary... AND feel good about it.
(And I do feel good about these shots, appearing now on The FADER!)
Live music photography owes a lot to stage lighting, and designer Sarah Landau's one of those people we should credit more often, if not always. Grimes was great to see live, but I've never been to a show where I consciously took myself out of the aural experience, turned to a friend, and said, as I did this night, "Whoever did this lighting is amazing."
From all of us shutterbugs: THANK YOU, SARAH!
I'm occasionally brought on to photograph personal birthday get-togethers; this particular one was super impressive -- featuring not only live musical improvisers, who were ridiculously talented skill-wise, but also brought people stomping on the dance floor in seconds. Now, THIS is what I call a party.
Though my photography career was birthed in the live music world, I admit official band and group portraits are still not my comfort zone. However, with the enthusiastic groups at Girls Rock Camp, it becomes a total no-brainer. Thanks, girls, for making it easy... and fun.
Long story short: Daniel Lanois is incredible.
(Photo: Connie Tsang)Read More
The day after the Polaris Music Prize Gala. Got a little sleep-in (yeah!) and thanks to skipping out on the Drake Hotel after-party, I was able to get home and finish my photo edits at a reasonable time. (Photos follow below, but you can find all my coverage here!)
The big story was, of course, the announcement, but Monday night's winners, the absent Godspeed You! Black Emperor, nabbed the big cheque, causing perhaps a different level of attention than the award has garnered in years past. If declining their Gala RSVP wasn't statement enough, their win and response to the win has spoken a value worth more than the $30,000 in prize money (which they plan on using to support music education in Quebec prisons). Wild.
Godspeed's response to the Prize:
“A FEW WORDS REGARDING THIS POLARIS PRIZE THING
hello kanadian music-writers.
thanks for the nomination thanks for the prize- it feels nice to be acknowledged by the Troubled Motherland when we so often feel orphaned here. and much respect for all y’all who write about local bands, who blow that horn loudly- because that trumpeting is crucial and necessary and important.
and much respect to the freelancers especially, because freelancing is a hard f*#%ing gig, and almost all of us are freelancers now, right? falling and scrambling and hustling through these difficult times?
so yes, we are grateful, and yes we are humble and we are shy to complain when we’ve been acknowledged thusly- BUT HOLY SHIT AND HOLY COW- we’ve been plowing our field on the margins of weird culture for almost 20 years now, and “this scene is pretty cool but what it really f*&@ing needs is an awards show” is not a thought that’s ever crossed our minds.
3 quick bullet-points that almost anybody could agree on maybe=
-holding a gala during a time of austerity and normalized decline is a weird thing to do.
-organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn’t serve the cause of righteous music at all.
-asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS F*@$ING INSANE, and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.
these are hard times for everybody. and musicians’ blues are pretty low on the list of things in need of urgent correction BUT AND BUT if the point of this prize and party is acknowledging music-labor performed in the name of something other than quick money, well then maybe the next celebration should happen in a cruddier hall, without the corporate banners and culture overlords. and maybe a party thusly is long overdue- it would be truly nice to enjoy that hang, somewhere sometime where the point wasn’t just lazy money patting itself on the back.
give the money to the kids let ‘em put on their own goddamn parties, give the money to the olds and let them try to write opuses in spite of, but let the muchmusic videostars fight it out in the inconsequential middle, without gov’t. culture-money in their pockets.
us we’re gonna use the money to try to set up a program so that prisoners in quebec have musical instruments if they need them…
amen and amen.
apologies for being such bores,
we love you so much / our country is f*@&ed
godspeed you! black emperor”
A couple years ago, I attended the Mad River Rocks music festival and met the gorgeous Rekha Patel, a Toronto-based singer-songwriter with a voice that flows like sweet, sweet honayyy. We reconnected a bit after that in a swampy marshland, where I grabbed a few summery sunset shots for her EP cover, The Heart Line. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy with how this fits in with the design. Looks great!
But seriously, take some time out of your day and check out Rekha's The Heart Line, now back on iTunes with an added bonus track.