Photos from The Alternative Press Music Awards

Well, I went to the Alternative Press Music Awards with A Day To Remember. I have only been to one awards show before, and it was the Golden Gods. The Golden Gods were honestly the worse thing I had ever been to (haha), and the APMAs were so much more fun. Maybe it’s because I literally knew everyone at the APMAs. It was everyone I had worked with over the past 6 years, together. What more could I ask for?

In the past, an event like this would just overwhelm me. I would be like SO MUCH TO PHOTOGRAPH, what do I do? Point! Shoot! Run around! Stress out! Point! Shoot! In reality, it was nothing like this. I was actually rather relaxed. If you have ever run into me at a show or while I am working though, you will know that talking to me pretty much just doesn’t work. Whatever part of my body turns on when there are photos to be taken, and simultaneously switches off my conversation control. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be on the other end of the convo. It would be like talking to someone who was about to rob a bank and was anxious and shit. I am just searching around for people hanging out constantly, scouring the people with my eagle eyes and trying to craft up some images. The last thing I want to do is talk. Apologies–it’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I can’t think enough to care. Something like that.

Anyway, I flew to Cleveland, Ohio with A Day To Remember a day early. We were staying at a hotel that every other band I worked for was also staying at. Pierce The Veil, All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens, and… that’s it. Haha, it’s not that many, but it’s nice to have everyone together in the same area! Oli from Bring Me The Horizon was also there, but not the rest of the band.

Rian Dawson of All Time Low and Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil getting ready to hug it out
Rian Dawson of All Time Low and Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil getting ready to hug it out

We arrived at the hotel and got our rooms. Everyone was arriving at about the same time so I just hung around in the lobby and grabbed photos as people I knew arrived. I never take pictures of people I don’t know, or I introduce myself and then take their image. I feel bad, I feel cheap, and I just can’t do it in a personal setting. For example, Hayley from Paramore arrived with her boyfriend Chad from New Found Glory and I made extra sure to not even raise my camera. I know her, I have photographed her band, but I still feel incredibly invasive and I don’t want people to think I am going to sneak shots of them when they aren’t looking. My job relies heavily on my relationship with the artist–actually that is pretty much all it relies on–so I can’t mess that up.

Mike Fuentes of Pierce The Veil and Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens
Mike Fuentes of Pierce The Veil and Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens
Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens out for lunch
Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens out for lunch

I had a bit of a schedule for that day. Basically rehearsals were about a half-mile from the hotel. I had to take pictures of ADTR rehearsals and photograph Sleeping With Sirens and Pierce The Veil together for a tour announcement they had. In addition, I had to do some filming for them back at the hotel. Not very much to coordinate, but it’s a little bit different than what I have been doing for the past year as it involves more than one band. When I am just working for ADTR it’s easy because it’s one schedule. Add in two more bands… and it gets a little tricky. Here is what ended up happening


2:00 arrive at hotel
2:15-4:30 – hang at hotel
4:30 – go to rehearsals with Pierce The Veil/ All Time Low
5:00 – photograph All Time Low Rehearsals with New Found Glory and Vic Fuentes of PTV
6:00 – photograph A Day To Remember Rehearsals
6:30 – Head back to hotel with ADTR so I could eat
7:30 – Ride back to rehearsals with Sleeping With Sirens
8:00 – Shoot Sleeping With Sirens rehearsals
8:15 – Get gear from photography friend and set up for shoot
9:00 – Photograph Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens for about 45 minutes on the water
10:30 – Film SWS and PTV back at the hotel, ends whenever we are done
Party bus to rehearsals at venue with A Day To Remember
Party bus to rehearsals at the venue with A Day To Remember

This was the ideal schedule. Honestly, everything went pretty well. It was a little bit rushed on my end but all in all, it worked out. Big thanks to Graham Fielder for letting me use his gear–he last minute saved my ass for sure. Sometimes I worry that things like this don’t stress me out anymore. Do I not care? Or am I just used to it now? Who knows? Maybe it’s the legos I swallowed when I was younger. That must be it.

David, ADTR drum tech, chillin’
All Time Low and New Found Glory rehearsing
All Time Low and New Found Glory rehearsing
All Time Low and Vic Fuentes rehearsing
Kevin Skaff of A Day To Remember
Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember
A Day To Remember rehearsing for the APMAs
A Day To Remember rehearsing for the APMAs
Neil Westfall of A Day To Remember
Neil Westfall of A Day To Remember
Shelnutt with a lot of space for potential wandering
Shelnutt with a lot of space for potential wandering
All Time Low and Pierce The Veil laughing at some youtube video
All Time Low and Pierce The Veil laughing at some youtube video
Nick Martin of Sleeping With Sirens
Nick Martin of Sleeping With Sirens
Fans sitting on the docks watching the rehearsals from afar
Fans sitting on the docks watching the rehearsals from afar

The hardest part of this whole ordeal… was the shoot. I love shooting candids outside–that’s easy. There isn’t really anything that could go wrong, and it was sunset for like 4 hours, so constant beautiful light. That being said, I didn’t come away with as many images that I *love*, but it happens. Moving on…. The shoot was hard because the light was changing. I know we were supposed to shoot at 9:00, but historically nothing goes to schedule. But on this day, everything went to schedule. It was hard piecing two bands together. I only had one softbox too. I could have composited it, but I had to turn everything that night… I FORGOT. My deadline for the video and the photos were that night, so I had to keep everything simple. Anyway, one softbox. I don’t do many shoots anymore mostly due to the fact that I don’t like the “producing” aspect of the shoot and bands are too cheap to have big enough budgets for me to hire a producer, so I just run and gun almost every time and hope I make out with something nice.
I set up on the water and crossed my fingers pretty tightly, hoping they wouldn’t be super late and we could use some of the natural light left to light the sky. I think we ended up getting some good shots. Right now this is the only one that is released.

PTV X SWS World Tour
PTV X SWS World Tour

This is everyone in the hotel after we filmed our videos. I have no idea how we didn’t get in trouble, we were so loud yelling in the hotel at 11:00 pm.

SWS x PTV

After everything was said and done, I went down to the restaurant in the lobby to hang out with everyone. People were wasted, and I was exhausted, so I grabbed a few photos and headed to bed by 2:00 am (I had to edit the photo(s) that night as well remember)

Mike and I are friends
Mike and I are friends
Drummers! Pierce The Veil, A Day To Remember, Memphis May Fire
Drummers! Pierce The Veil, A Day To Remember, Memphis May Fire
Zack, Mike, and VIc
Zack, Mike, and Vic
Mike Fuentes of Pierce The Veil doing Alex Shelnutt of A Day To Remember's hair
Mike Fuentes of Pierce The Veil doing Alex Shelnutt of A Day To Remember’s hair

The next morning I woke up and did my own thing with A Day To Remember. We have a pretty good schedule for when we travel: get some food, workout, and then start our day. We did the first two and then went right into getting ready for the awards. Everything started pretty early cause we had to walk a red carpet and all that weird stuff.

Jason of letlive., Kevin of A Day To Remember and Oli of Bring Me The Horizon
Jason of letlive., Kevin of A Day To Remember and Oli of Bring Me The Horizon

I tried to grab group shots of as many of the bands I knew before heading to the awards. I was bummed I didn’t get All Time Low, but blame them for leaving the hotel so late!

Pierce The Veil before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Pierce The Veil before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Pierce The Veil before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Pierce The Veil before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Sleeping With Sirens before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Sleeping With Sirens before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Sleeping With Sirens before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Sleeping With Sirens before the Alternative Press Music Awards
Oli and Hannah. So cool.
Oli and Hannah. So cool.
A Day To Remember before the Alternative Press Music Awards
A Day To Remember before the Alternative Press Music Awards
A Day To Remember before the Alternative Press Music Awards
A Day To Remember before the Alternative Press Music Awards

We took a party bus to the awards show with Yellowcard. We arrived and got right off the bus on to the red carpet. It was wild. I walked the red carpet with ADTR and I had no idea what was going on.

Red Carpet with A Day To Remember
Red Carpet with A Day To Remember

They should have made the rep carpet wider. Or maybe this is just how these things work. It was basically a bunch of people walking in a row doing interviews really close together and taking pictures. I just hung out and took pictures of ADTR taking pictures with other people. It was fun.

Kevin and Derek of Mayday Parade
Billy Corgan meets Jeremy. Nice head bro.
Billy Corgan meets Jeremy. Nice head bro.
New Found Glory and A Day To Remember posting for a photo with another photographer
New Found Glory and A Day To Remember posting for a photo with another photographer
Balz of Motionless In White
Balz of Motionless In White

I love ADTR. I love them because no matter what happens, they are going to do them. They love their fans and just left the red carpet to take a picture with them. It was awesome.

A Day To Remember with who matters most
A Day To Remember with who matters most
Some of the bus dudes I know
CM Punk and Juliet Simms interviewing A Day To Remember
CM Punk and Juliet Simms interviewing A Day To Remember

After we were done we went on a small private tour in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame… that’s where this whole event was being held. They said they have about 30k pieces, and at any given time about 5k of them are on display… so they took us to the storage area and showed us some of their favorite pieces. We got to look at Elvis Presley’s guns, Michael Jackson’s outfit from when he was in the Jackson five, Jimi Hendrix outfit… pretty much anyone legendary, they had something.

I forget whose this was
Michael Jackson outfit from when he was in the Jackson 5
Elton John outfit
Elvis Presley’s Guns
Bruce Springsteen hat from album cover
Bruce Springsteen hat from the album cover
Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens
Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens

After that, we headed over to the awards show. It had already started and we got there a little bit late. Just think of an outdoor concert, that is what this was. The only thing that made it different was that each band only played 1 or two songs, and on the side, there was a VIP area for all the bands/music industry people in attendance. I shot a few of the sets but mostly just hung out in the VIP area and took photos. Yea, that is pretty much it. I saw a lot of old friends and made some new friends. Twenty One Pilots are fucking nuts, as usual. All of Warped Tour and Mayhem festivals were there as well, so lots of friends! I ended up meeting and talking to one of the guys from Simple Plan about photography for 10 minutes, and that was awesome. In addition, I met Fall Out Boy officially and they were very nice to me. I have honestly met them all multiple times before, but then won’t remember any of them. So we start anew.

Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil with his award!
Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil with his award!
Pierce The Veil presenting Oli with his award
Pierce The Veil presenting Oli with his award
Andy from Everytime I Die and Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon
Andy from Everytime I Die and Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon
Twenty One Pilots are nuts
Twenty One Pilots are nuts
Twenty One Pilots are nuts
Twenty One Pilots are nuts
Twenty One Pilots are nuts
Twenty One Pilots are nuts
Oli and Ronnie
Oli and Ronnie
JR, the man.
Jeffree Star and Mark Hoppus
The Ghost Inside and Kevin
Hardstyle
Oli and Hannah celebrating
Oli and Hannah celebrating

My favorite thing ever, is friends, meeting friends. I just love connecting people, being their common friend. I think that is the most rewarding feeling. Especially when I know how chill everyone is. Sometimes people think they might not like each other, but I want to show them otherwise. I am determined to have everyone I know to be friends.

Jeremy and Jake/ Front Porch Step
Justin, Nick, Johnny, Josh
Alex right before playing his set
Start of the set, before the drop went up
Front view of the stage
Neck Deep and Jeremy and Jack just wants to be your guys friend
Neck Deep and Jeremy and Jack just wants to be your guys’ friend
Rian and Jack stoked on life
Rian and Jack stoked on life
Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada and John O'Callaghan of the Maine
Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada and John O’Callaghan of The Maine
Best hair award, fuck everything else
A bunch of homies
Hanging with Craig Beasley, amazing tattoo artist
A few different bands
Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low and Ryan Mendez of Yellowcard
Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low and Ryan Mendez of Yellowcard
Chelsea Grin, Saves The Day, Falling In Reverse, A Day To Remember, Bayside, The Ghost Inside

I don’t think I watched much of the awards show at all haha. I figure there were like 30 photographers shooting it, they don’t need me, they go that shit on lock. After there was an after-party at the Rock n Roll Hall and we went there for a bit. I mostly hung out with Jeremy.

Jeremy and John
Brian of The Summer Set and Jeremy
Trolley ride back to the hotel!

Next stop, the hotel. There was a lot of partying going on at the restaurant and I partook. I think I had one shot. It tasted so terrible, and then I had a beer.

Vic and Johnny best friends
Vic and Johnny best friends
Tony and Mike of Pierce The Veil
Tony and Mike of Pierce The Veil

That’s all I’ve got. The APMAs were a lot of fun, and from my point of view, everything went very smoothly and was run well. I can’t wait for next year!