Tag Archives: Music

Sick World

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Back in May of this last year, I got an email from an Art Director named Florian Mihr at a pretty big record company, Fearless Records, out of LA. He’d found one of my old 365-Photos that I’d done over a year before, with a creepy arm coming out of my mouth, and wanted to do something along those lines for the album art for a band they’d recently signed called My Enemies & I. They thought my background and style fit with the band’s, and I had to agree! I loved the band’s sound immediately and jumped on the opportunity.

ME&I had a music video out for one of their songs that featured a creepy, oily black hand, and I knew I wanted to match that stylistically. What would I use for the goop? My first thought was chocolate syrup. Though messy and a bit gross, my old days working at a summer camp that features messy activities (which includes kids covering themselves in the likes of chocolate syrup) prepared me to take a dip into the stuff.

I also knew we’d be relatively close-up on the face for this shoot, and so I wanted to make the model anonymous and with a feeling of something eerie, and so I went with a gauze wrap over the upper half of the face. The gauze also called to mind echoes of illness, which would match the album title, Sick World.

A bit of test work and photoshopping later, and I got two mockup images.

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The images quickly reassured me that my photo abilities had definitely improved in a year and half to where they needed to be, and I jumped on finalizing the idea, getting two of my friends together to do an only slightly awkward shoot, with syrup everywhere, handprints, and of course, my buddy CJ’s corgi running around trying to figure out just what the hell we were up to.
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The lighting was simple. I wanted to go with high contrast and drama because we were going for that horror movie feel, so I lit it with one canon speedlite on camera left with a soft white umbrella modifier against a plain white wall.
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I did some quick edits in photoshop to put it all together and color grade the way I wanted before sending them off to Florian. He and the band loved them (here, we took a break to work on the new BlessTheFall art, which came up suddenly and needed all of our attention). From there, we made small tweaks to hand placements and which base image they preferred. I sent the file along so that Flo could work on the title design, and we had our finished product. 12032854_1231629103529278_3119624340908748732_oThe EP dropped yesterday on iTunes, which you can check out here.

It’s a badass blend of different hard rock and metal genres, and I dig the shit out of it. If Metal is your jam, give it a listen! I think these guys could seriously be big.

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Photoblog: These are the Ghoulies

Ghoulies-TeaseSpent my Friday night hanging out with these crazy fools, the Ghoulies. They’re a punk band out of Denver, Colorado, and they have a damn good time on stage. (You might recognize Connor if you’ve done a ghost hunt at the Stanley Hotel with the two of us).

The band booked me for some shots before performing at the Buffalo Rose in Golden, Colorado. Buffalo Rose was a bad ass place. Grungy and dingy but with big booming speakers, a fantastic staff, and a nice front end, it was a sick place to bang out something loud.

They banged out the tunes. I banged out the shots. These are my favorites. After shooting some 1500 photos over the course of the night, both band shots and live shots, I’ve been deleting and editing until my fingers hurt. But these are the fruits and I couldn’t be happier.

It was another experiment in flash photography at twilight, and I’m still in love with it. The lack of softbox or umbrella gives a lot of the photos a harsh look, but that works for these guys. And I’m still wigging about shooting this dark with 100 ISO. You can’t beat the sharpness.

Anyway, have a look, give their stuff a listen. This song is perhaps my favorite. They closed with it, and it was stuck in my head for the rest of the night. It’s called Backdoor Man.

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Ghoulies-For-Web-7And this is the set from their live show. I creeped about during sound check and the show to get the best angles I could. I took about a thousand photos during the live element (trying to keep my shutter fast enough to avoid motion blur, catch the action without silly expressions, and nail the focus in an already-very dim but often backlit room was hard as hell, and it was easy to spray and pray when I caught an angle I liked). I got maybe 25 that I liked, and of them, only the following are the favorites.

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