2016 was a hell of year for me. For those who don’t know, I had never toured prior to this year. I honestly didn't even realize that I could pursue a career in photography until I took a shot, or like 40 shots, in the dark by emailing each band on the Vans Warped Tour offering my services - and Oceans Ate Alaska offered to take me out. I've since been able to work with so many of my favorite bands, and even some my heroes, including Yellowcard, Sum 41, As It Is, Good Charlotte and Sleeping With Sirens. I’m endlessly grateful for those opportunities, and for Oceans Ate Alaska giving me that first chance. I was published in Alternative Press this month, and in Alternative Press Japan earlier this year. This year has had its ups and downs but I’ve made so many friends along the way and have stepped into a world I could only dream of. Here are 16 images that sum up this crazy journey. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, hired me and me followed my journey so far. I'm going to work even harder next year and hope to begin touring full time, once I graduate in May. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings!
Oceans Ate Alaska // Texas
First day of Warped Tour with my boys. These are the five individuals that believed in me before anyone else did. They opened the door for me and I have nothing but love for each one of them. This day was something out of this world, I had no idea what was going on, and had never really worked professionally as a photographer before. This day was the first step of me learning so much and growing into the person and photographer that I am today. #432crew
Kellin Quinn // Arizona
One of the biggest benefits of photographing Warped Tour is that it’s daylight! There's essentially unlimited lighting, making it very camera ISO friendly (for all my photo phreaks) but this day we played dead last - after the sun had set. I was super nervous the photos would come out rotten but Kellin asked the crowd to shine their phone flashlights at him and he walked straight in front of a flood light and it was perfect. I love this shot whole-heartedly and the guys said it was one of their favorite photos from the tour.
Sum 41 // New Jersey
Mid-Warped Tour I was given the opportunity to work for Sum-41 and it was one of the most exciting times of my life. This is my favorite live shot of all time, everything is lined up perfectly, everyone is throwing up the 41 salute and the crowd seems endless. Sum 41 played a huge role in my musical growth and to be around them often left me speechless.
Good Charlotte // Ohio
This is my favorite band portrait that I've taken. Not even a question. I took this on my first day of working with Good Charlotte. People were moving a mile a minute and I remember thinking, “Okay I’ve got to try this, literally once in a lifetime opportunity I thought I’d never get” so I dug inside me for the courage to ask, “Umm, hey can we maybe get a band picture in the trailer?” Once the shutter clicked I knew I was in love with this image. Always will be.
Tyler Carter // Michigan
I’ve been listening to Tyler Carter sing since he was in Woe, Is Me and have followed his current band, Issues, since their first EP. I remember, it was the day after my senior prom and my best friends and I took a road trip up to Los Angeles from San Diego, completely exhausted but super stoked to see Of Mice & Men and A Day To Remember. My friend Tom turned to me in the car and said, “Have you heard of the opening band, Issues? Black Diamonds is sick.” He played it and from the crazy DJ intro with Scout to Ty’s R&B vocals in, “Her Monologue”, I was hooked. The show was amazing, and it was the first concert I crowdsurfed at, and I got dropped, fuckin’ loved it. Tyler is a great guy, who helped me out a lot on my first tour. Thankful.
Sleeping With Sirens // Los Angeles
The pre-show huddle. They do this before every single set, so I've seen it countless times and I still have 0 clue what they chant. Something about a riding a zenu? beedoo? I honestly don't know, I think I'm getting further and further away from it each time. I only join in at the end where we go, "WE DO WE DO WE DO" Then I'm all hyped up and ready to go. I took this shot by sticking my camera on the ground with a self-timer, just grateful no one was jumping to smash it. Worth the risk.
Benji Madden // Ohio
Warped Tour is a crazy place filled with never ending music, death-gripping heat, kids running and moshing everywhere. This though, was a rare quiet moment for Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. I honestly don't think he even knew that I was taking this shot. You don’t get a lot of time to pause and compose yourself, especially on this type of tour, so to capture Benji in preparation, moments before showtime, was something I couldn’t miss. It’s an extremely special photo to me.
Nick Martin // New Mexico
This photo is hilarious and so is how Nick got here. This date of Warped, the front of house sound booth was fairly close to the stage and every time Sleeping With Sirens played, “Go Go Go”, Nick goes into the crowd - so at this show he was dared to go chug a beer at the booth, and well…he did! It was the only day where he could make it in time and I was SO ready. I think I was in the booth nearly the whole song just to get ready for this moment and I'm so glad I was there for it. Also, props to the woman behind him trying to cop a sip.
Kellin Quinn & Tyler Carter // Pennsylvania
This is just a fun photo, two amazing singers having fun with some pretty light behind them.
As It Is // Philadelphia
I was given the opportunity to join the fall Sum 41 tour for a few days but I needed a ride. The mates in As It Is welcomed me into their team like family. I was honestly blown away. Five of the nicest and most genuine guys, just looking to have fun and play music. I could feel their passion and energy the second I joined them. They also happen to be one of my absolute favorite bands right now and they’re dropping their sophomore, incredible record, “Okay.” in January of 2017 and it’s going to blow people away. Much love to these lads!
Deryck Whibley // Boston
This is from my time on the, “Don’t Call It A Sumback” tour, in the back of my favorite record store that’s just around the corner from my apartment. We were waiting for the speakers to arrive for their in-store performance and Deryck was simply warming up, and fiddling around on his telecaster. I’m a musician as well, so we sparked up a conversation about guitars and Deryck was telling me about how he loves that thinline model because it’s so light, and he looked down, looked up at me and said, “wanna try?” and I was honestly shocked. One of my childhood heroes, whose riffs I grew up learning, handed me his guitar to try. To be honest, I was so nervous I barely mustered up a couple chords and handed it back. One of the most special moments of my life.
Sleeping With Sirens // APMA's
My first red carpet and my first award show. I was outside on the carpet from 3:30pm to showtime. It was a long day to say the least. I was amongst, what seemed like, a million photographers all fighting for one square inch of wiggle room. When Sleeping With Sirens came down, Nick was snapchatting and Kellin was playing Pokémon Go, both just hamming it up on the red carpet, but then Jack and Gabe shouted and pointed at me, “EYYYYY THAT’S OUR GUY”. Jack followed up with, “RYAN WATANABE-JONES”. He thinks adding, “Jones” makes me sound like a superhero, I mean…he’s not wrong. They all struck a pose for me and it was one of those moments I truly felt part of their team.
Dorian Cooke // Broadside
This is my good buddy Dorian from Broadside. Broadside became some of my best friends this summer on Warped simply because I liked their music and we had great hangs, we just clicked. When they came through Boston on their fall tour, they stayed at my place and we did a quick 5-minute portrait session. I love how this came out. I picked this because the biggest challenge I’ve continued to set for myself is improve on portraiture with indoor lighting and this is the best I’ve ever done.
Good Charlotte // Rhode Island
I was able to reunite with Good Charlotte for an amazing four day run on their “Youth Authority” tour and was so stoked to reunite with friends and to watch an hour and a half of Good Charlotte each night and be able to call it “work”. I’ve always felt that the Good Charlotte jump during “The Anthem” was iconic and I never really got it the way I wanted - until this show.
As It Is // Boston
This shot is just sick to me. This was my first day with As It Is, I asked Patty before the set, “Anything I need to look out for?” and he said told me to keep an eye out for him approaching the drums mid-set. And this is what we got! This ended up becoming my first image on a band t-shirt and it was honestly way too cool to see my image come to life like that.
Kellin Quinn // San Diego
As far as photography goes, I feel like this is my best and most well composed photo I’ve ever taken. Nothing flashy, no crazy edit, just a seemingly intimate moment with Kellin. This show was extremely special for me because it was the first time shooting the venue I grew up going to, and the venue I first saw Sleeping With Sirens at in 2012. That show changed my entire life.