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Air + Style Festival 2018

Last weekend, LA was treated to Air + Style, the global snowboard and skateboard competition and music festival that features world-class action sports athletes and musicians during a two-day event series with stops around the world including Los Angeles, Australia, and Beijing. 

 
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For the most part, I focused on the music. It's been a long time since I've been to a festival where it's been possible to see every single artist; two stages and no overlap meant no tough decisions on which set to see and which set to miss. The lineup was a stellar blend of musicians I love, have and haven't seen, and a few I'd never heard of. Sometimes, less really is more.

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Click the icons to scroll through the photos of the festival. Threw some film into the mix, too.

 

Michael + Megan | Winery Wedding on 35mm Film

It took every ounce of will power within me not to share the film I shot at my brother and Megan's destination wedding this June. The light, the love, and the breathtaking views of Sonoma Valley - y'all, it's unreal. But Christmas came early and with the surprise albums I made for my family already unwrapped, I finally get to show off photos from what was the most beautiful wedding I've ever seen.

While not part of the official photo team, I couldn't help hanging back and adding my little canon ae-1 to the mix. I've never shot stills at a wedding, so this was a super fun compliment to the video work and engagement sessions I'm used to.

Cheers to Michael and Megan, cheers to film photography, and cheers to you for clicking these and viewing them big and on black (I'm sorry I am so lame).

Portugal. The Man Concert at White Oak Music Hall

On the brink of ACL, Portugal. The Man made a stop in Houston to play on the White Oak Music Hall lawn. Opting to project quips about their lack of on-stage banter and computer-generated sounds, the set was hyper-focused on the music; the phenomenal music. Not only were no computers used to make noise, the concert included a string, horn, and woodwind section. To make a good thing even better, Pink Floyd and Beatles covers also happened.

Cirque Noir: Gemini at Post HTX

When I saw an advertisement on Facebook for a "dark, mysterious, musical circus experience" (okay, that may not be a direct quote, but it's close), I was immediately intrigued. After a little research and finding out Cirque Noir's next event, Gemini, was taking place at my favorite avant-garde venue in Houston, Post HTX, I knew I had to shoot all the dark whimsy I could.

I say avant-garde because Post HTX is essentially a repurposed warehouse. And by repurposed warehouse I really mean defunct Cold War-era post office equipped with spy tunnels and bomb shelters. Event organizers have utilized the space in such creative ways, filling it with modern art and light installations, that the industrial concrete and pillars have begun to feel cozy.

Anyway, short story made even shorter, I met up with the guys behind Cirque Noir and then stayed up until sunrise shooting their incredible event (and even got to climb around in those spy tunnels). Check out some of my shots below, and try to resist the temptation to run away with the circus...

Night Drive Album Release Concert at The Secret Group


"Inspired by sci-fi cinematic landscapes, Night Drive creates modern synth-pop that explores the darker currents of abstract emotion."


I'm not sure I've read a description of a band that so aptly describes it (hell, the origin story of Night Drive could be the plot of a movie in and of itself). I'm also not sure how long I've been listening to Night Drive (a year, maybe two, perhaps more). My experience with their music is the kind where you know all the lyrics to your favorites, but when you hear those songs you still ask, "who is this again?"

It's because of this vague relationship with Night Drive that I went into their album release show void of expectations. Although, even if I'd set the bar high I have no doubt they would've surpassed it. The energy in that room was kinetic and tangible, supplied by the guys on stage (and off as vocalist Rodney Connell made a jaunt through the crowd at one point). And - don't take my word for it - I heard this was their first show with a drummer; a bold move that paid off. It's not often you see grown-ass Houstonians dance as hard as that crowd.

I can safely say I'll never have to ask who plays their songs when I hear them again. Mostly because their live performance was that solid, but also because I've got their newly released self-titled debut album on loop.

Check out my shots from the Night Drive album release concert presented by Margin Walker at The Secret Group below. Click them to see them big and on black.

Free Press Summer Fest 2017

About the only thing as dependable as Houston traffic is that there will be rain in the forecast the weekend of Houston's Free Press Summer Fest. Past years' events have succumb to venue changes (apparently hosting a festival along a bayou during the rainy season doesn't always bode well) and temporary evacuations, and this year was no different.

Despite a renewed optimism from not being forced to relocate to the sweltering hell that is the NRG parking lot for the third year in a row, the first day of FPSF '17 was met with rain and eventually a two hour lightning evacuation. Festival-goers (predominately teens covered in copious amounts of glitter or clad in basketball jerseys) reentered Eleanor Tinsley Park just as the skyline backdrop began to illuminate. But the damage was already done. The grounds had become a glorified bayou themselves. Mud slides, intentional or not, were numerous and took many victims.

The forecast for day two was worse than that of day one, and all the mud that didn't have time to dry only added insult to injury. At 1 pm, FPSF sent out alerts that rain was imminent. At 2:30, performances were temporarily suspended, and by 6:15 they'd cancelled the event altogether.

Still, the performances those in attendance got to see were met with little criticism; the artists brought enough energy to lift the funk the weather cast over everyone. And in the end, it just doesn't feel like summer in Houston without a trip to FPSF.

Click the icons below to see my shots from Free Press Summer Fest 2017 big and on black. Performances include those by Cage the Elephant, Carnage, DVBBS, Grouplove, Milky Chance, and Post Malone.