Whoa, It’s 2010

I’m sitting here, on a couch, in Chicopee, Massachussettes, wearing a Nightmare Before Christmas snuggie, watching Peter Griffin buy breast implants for Chris. Thanks to Jeremy‘s twitpic skills, everyone now knows what I look like in a snuggie.

I think it gives me a harmless kind of feel, which is very deceiving, cause my muscles are potent and powerful. I have my second workshop in two days, except this time I am tag teaming it with Jeremy Saffer. Pretty stoked, lots of preparation for this one. I am planing on doing one in Rockford, Illinois area come April, hopefully Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis can all make it out. If anything I am forever in debt to the midwest for giving me no option but to photograph dirty men in damp clothes. Speaking of, here are all my old live images, old blog, and my old behind the scenes

Sorta funny looking back, I have changed so much. My mindset, my photography, my life, everything changed so much. But man those shows made my life. I started off shooting at a venue that was walking distance from my highschool- The Journey Music to be exact. The Journey Music had a lot of Pop Rock, Pop Punk, and Alternative shows. Personally I loved going to Metal/ Hardcore shows the most- As Blood Runs Black, Animosity, Misery Signals, Nehemiah, Amora Savant, An End To Flesh– those were my jams. After all, who does’t love themselves a good mosh pit. Stage dives, headwalks, kids just destroyed each other. I remember at one show I kneed myself in the lip trying to do some kinda spin-kick gig. That hurt so bad- I had six tooth marks imprinted my lip, it poofed up all kinds huge. I had to go to work the next day at Brugger’s Bagels, I am surprised I didn’t get sent home for looking terrible.

All the Metal shows were mostly put on by my good friend Steve Roche he was my age and he would hook me up with entry as long as I got him photos from each show. Metal / hardcore shows usually meant going to either The Loft in Madison, The Mirimar in Milwaukee, or to the Orchard in right outside of Milwaukee. I needed to drive -unfortunately, I couldn’t drive, nor did I have a car. So I rode with Steve a lot, but my good friends Evan, Allie, and Crague gave me rides a lot of the time also. Sometimes my dad drove me to the shows as well, but he was usually just angry at how I dressed/ looked, I would have been mad at me too. Trust me, I looked like someone dipped me in rubber cement, and then spun me around in Hot Topic during for a few minutes. This is one of the less terrible examples.


No good, but hey, we all had our phases, and mine were just visually, very confusing. Eventually I was done with it and I started wearing girl pants, until they came out with skinny guy pants that could actually house my junk. I wore this vest for about two years, and it was fun, people start recognizing me for it. Actually, recently I was talking to Vic of Pierce The Veil who lives in San Diego(me too) about when I used to come out and photograph their live shows. He said, “Of course I remember you, you had that goofy vest on every time”- I had a good laugh.


The first time I drove my immature self to Milwaukee (about 70 miles from madison) I freaked out so much on the highway that I was sweaty and exhausted by the time I got there. Not to mention the area around The Rave is more sketch then a blind contour drawing. In fact its right across the street from the Ambassador hotel, where Jeffrey Dahmer scoped out most of his victims. Welcome to Wisconsin, where we eat people. I remember it was the The All American Rejects show (12.15.06) that I drove my own car to. At the time Allie and Steve drove up with me but after going to the show, Steve went home and Allie went to a friends house. I was alone.

I was supposed to stay with Allie that night but my phone and computer died and I was stranded in the parking lot outside the rave. I drove around for two hours and tried to find where Allie was staying at but I couldn’t find the street. By 2:00am I was exhausted so I drove myself to Marquette University (a nice private campus) and tried to sleep in my minivan trunk. Not sure why I thought this was a good idea to do during December in Wisconsin. I woke up freezing by 4:00 am and end up driving myself back to Madison. Man, that was such a terrible idea, I don’t know what I was thinking. From those live shows everything slowly progressed and one connection after another basically led me to wherever I may be now.

I was pretty stoked about my last blog, took me a long while to write and I never fancied myself a writer. Thanks for the feedback I feel a lot more comfortable writing now and hopefully you can still enjoy all the other blogs I conjure up. If you ever have questions that you don’t want to ask me on here you can always e-mail me.

I enjoy doing these workshops a lot, this recent one went great. I learned a lot, and from what I gathered so did our solid group of 20 ears. The first day was everything you need to know about the industry, shooting, and working with bands. The second day we had September Mourning, A Loss For Words, and Jeanne Sagan from All That Remains all attend the workshop. This way everyone gets real world experience working with actual bands, and afterwords we have Q and A with the bands/ artists on what works and what doesn’t work at photo shoots. I much rather show and do than tell and explain- its just more fun that way. I finished it off with a photoshop walkthrough and everyone in the class received a copy of my DVD to take home and work with.

Tag teaming workshops with someone who has a very different style/ opinion on photography than you is a ball. Jeremy and I shoot very differently, for example he shoots live shows very commercially (i.e. his photos get used by sponsors and endorsements), and I photograph bands more photo journalistically (i.e. my images get used for CD booklets and prints). Jeremy gets most of his images done in camera, and half of my process is done if photo shop. We did our best to acknowledge that we have our differences and explain why we think/work the way we do. Here are a few shots from the workshop.

 

photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Nick Bessette
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Adam Elmakias
photo by Adam Elmakias
photo by Adam Elmakias
photo by Adam Elmakias
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Jeremy Saffer
photo by Nick Bessette

 

Thanks a bunch to Draven and Outburn for helping us out with the workshop, much appreciated.

Here is a video that September Mourning put together, thanks guys.

I am sick as a dog now and trying to get better so I can actually head out on this next tour. That’s the thing about touring, you can’t be sick. Everyone lives in the same itty-bitty bus, and in this case, a van. Woohoo, back to a van. I am actually really excited, I have not done van tour in over seven months and it’s so much fun. You sleep less, see more, and scrape by with everyone else you’re out with. On a bus, you miss that, you can do your own thing, you can sleep, watch TV, eat food. Now don’t get me wrong, all that rules, especially is this is your full time job and you need to be healthy and ready to go everyday. But it doesn’t mean the occasional road trip with a few shows on the way, isn’t just as fun. The Scary Kids Scaring Kids guys are great, and it’s sad to see them go, I told my friends I was going out with them and they said “why? That band is done and over with”- sure maybe from a business perspective. But you are missing the point, let me try and lay it out here, at least how it registers in my mind.

Okay let’s say your favorite thing to photograph are fixed gear bikers, and all you do is photographed fixed gear bikers in your home town for fun. Maybe you spend 21 hours a week doing it, about three hours a day. That rules, more power to you, I get it. Same goes for someone who photographs flowers, birds, senior portraits, or maybe homeless people in the area they reside. However, I like to photograph bands, musicians, and artists on the road, for fun. I can’t exactly do that, while I am home because well then they wouldn’t be on the road!. So Scary Kids Scaring Kids is going out on their last tour, chances are these images will only have sentimental value, monetary value would be a long shot as they don’t have an coming up album to push. So I choose to go out with them for about 10 days, thats 240 hours, assuming I sleep 1/3 of the time, 80 hours, I will be able to photograph them for the other 160 hours. 160/21(3hoursx7days) = 7.62ish. So my going on tour for 10 days is the equivalent of any photographer shooting for personal use for about three hours a day. Not sure if that makes sense at all, in my head it connected and somehow worked for me. But hopefully this helps you understand why I go about doing it, the way I do.

much love