I’ve moved my blog onto my own domain, cause, who knew it was so damn easy?
Meanwhile, this is still the domain on my business cards, and I haven’t given out all 500 of them. So for branding purposes, I’m trying to sit on Tumblr and make them let me use a redirect code. But for now, they claim that it’s suspicious activity and keep locking me out of my own damn account.
"So Liz," you ask. "Where are those SXSW photos you promised us this year?"
Well, sadly, I didn’t get to go to SXSW this year, as notice by my lack of updates and voracious Foursquare checkins in the Austin area.
And while I’m bummed out about that, I guess I can’t be too upset, because…
I have a new job!
In the craziness of trying to figure out how to get to Texas, I actually ended up in Kansas, working full time for a university and doing a job that I actually kinda dig. So I had to bow out gracefully from spending a crazy week in Texas for the opportunity to set myself up for a great day job and be able to save up for my next adventure in Austin next year.
So, Texas, I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ll be there, rocking out in the pits of all our favorite SXSW bands in 2013!
In the meantime, if you’re in Kansas (specifically Topeka and the surrounding areas), and you need a live concert shoot, a performing arts shoot, or even a wedding, portrait session, or just want to go out and explore my new home, drop me a line!
I know, it’s been forever since I’ve updated. A lot has happened in the last few months, and somehow it seems like nothing at all.
I’ve moved back home to Pennsylvania and have set up camp at my parents’ house while I figure out my next step and how to get there. But, this downtime has been somewhat good. I managed to take a couple photography classes at CCAC in Pittsburgh and got a lot of great tips and tricks in Night Photography and Photographing People. If you’re ever looking for a cheap way to learn and develop your photo skills, take a class there by Jacquelyn Cynkar, cause she’s very knowledgeable and happy to help with all your questions!
My brother and his bride, Melissa, finally tied the knot this weekend, and, not gonna lie, they’re pretty adorbz. While I wasn’t the ‘official’ photog, I still got off a few great shots, and so welcome to my family, folks, cause here they are:
Right about here, halfway down the aisle, Melissa looked up and realized that instead of khakis and whatever had been previously planned, Andy was wearing a sharp tux.
Butterfly releases are a little more successful in warmer weather, we think:
"Let’s just hide under here for a while, ok?"
Dancing with my father - she’s one of the family already!
Apparently, my new thing is to photograph destination weddings.
Glamorous as that sounds, I’m still a n00b, which means my destinations are places like Marshfield, Wisconsin, where I was this weekend to shoot the wedding of a friend of a friend.
It was a gorgeous little backyard (front yard?) ceremony, and I even got to help set up - cause hey, what’s another couple of extra hands?
However, on the wedding day, while putting finishing touches on the reception tables, the sky suddenly turned dark, the wind started to blow, and every bride’s nightmare came true: Massive thunderstorms sweeping the area! After a panicked dash to save the flowers and the arbor and the delicate things that could get ruined, we simply had to wait it out. Rain or no rain, this wedding was happening, so the ladies started getting ready in the house and we sent the groom off to the hotel.
Amazingly, by the time the groom returned, suited up, the sky had begun to clear, the sun was out, and it wasn’t even that hot anymore. Party back on!
The weather held through the ceremony and even through the vast majority of the reception, though there were scattered showers later in the evening - which only resulted in a double rainbow just across the street from the house!
So while there’s not much to do in Wisconsin (no, for real, we saw the Marshfield Zoo and the World’s Largest Round Barn, ate some fresh cheese curds, and that was pretty much it), they know how to do a beautiful wedding! So, as far as destinations are concerned, this wasn’t so bad - great people, gorgeous home, and clearly, lots of love!
I don’t even know who these bands are at the moment, but I’m at the airport and wanted to share them with you. I was at the Continental Club tonight, and, as I begged on Twitter the other day, I just wanted a dark, dingy rock club with some old guys and guitars.
I guess the good thing about this gig is that it’s expanding my ability to shoot different kinds of music.
The Palm Door last night was a lot of dance, hip-hop, rap, electronic, and several DJs. The Fool’s Gold family sure puts on a fun show - even if the lighting was bad and I could barely push my way to the stage half the time.
Here we go:
The Suzan (ps, these girls from Japan were peppy and simply ADORBZ - and pretty darn good):
SXSW - Thursday, March 17 - Dot Com Stage & The Ale House
Ok, day two!
Who’s ready for some more metal?
I got called in yesterday afternoon to cover a shift, and spent my afternoon at the Dot Com Stage in the Austin Convention Center. Saw some pretty excellent music. I guess that’s the benefit of shooting this festival - finding new bands and becoming a super fan.
Anyway, here’s one of Neon Hitch. This girl had a serious Gaga quality about her, but it had a twist. I’m interested to see where she goes in the next few years. I can definitely see them succeeding.
Then I hopped over to the Ale House for my evening shows. I’m not a metal girl, but for the most part, at least it was good metal. My main focus was supposed to be Daniel Lioneye. Turns out, this is a metal band I could see myself getting behind:
And, as a special guest, Peter Murphy played an acoustic set. That’s pretty rad.
Last night, I was assigned to the Havana Bar in downtown Austin to shoot what turned out to be two totally separate venues that I was responsible for covering. Inside were smaller, quirkier bands, and outside in the backyard? Death metal.
Let’s just say I am going to search in earnest for earplugs for today to make sure I don’t go completely deaf during this trip.
I shot ten bands last night, so clearly, I’m missing a few in this post. However, time’s running short this morning - I’m being called in to cover another photog’s shoot this afternoon. I’ll be at the Dot Com stage in the Austin Convention Center this afternoon from 1-6 and at the Ale House from 8-2.
I know, I know, it’s been absolutely forEVER since I last updated.
Here’s what’s going down:
-I’ve started a new day job. I’m settling in and it’s kind of awesome. Ok, make that REALLY awesome. But BUSY! It does, however, mean that my photo time has been a little limited lately. So bear with me… because……..
-I AM GOING TO SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST NEXT WEEK! I’m on the photo crew for the music festival, and I’m staying with some of the guys from your favorite band and mine, McAlister Drive. I’m sure there will be some sort of biographical photo project, just by virtue of spending so much time with them. Cause that will be kind of cool and fun and interesting, and something new and different for me. If everyone’s down with that kinda thing.
-My website is … well, I’m not going to lie - it’s kind of a disaster at the moment. Between a couple of major database issues and a domain transfer, it kind of went kabluey for a little while. But I’m working on the issues, and should be up and running ASAP. Because, well, I’m going to start referring people to my site with my awesome business card handing out at SXSW! In the meantime, check out the blog, keep an eye on my Twitter, and wish me luck in Texas!
It dawned on me today, as my friend and coworker, Julie-Anne was talking about her experiences in theater as an actor. She said, “The humanity comes from the actor. The director can’t do that, the stage manager can’t do that, the designer and the sound can’t do that. The actor humanizes it.”
That’s what I love. I love capturing those moments when the actor is humanized, channeling the words and directions in the script in a way that defies what most of us are able to do with our bodies, minds and voices. Similarly in music, when most people are bobbing to the beat, the musician is experiencing something completely different.
As I am formerly - and formally - acquainted with performing, I know what this means. Not to give too much trumpeting to myself, but I believe I can recognize it in others. And those with whom I’ve worked in photography can likely attest to that.
Fever Chart has opened at Central Square Theater, and will run through December 19th. Starring a cast of Ken Baltin, Dan Shaked, Ibrahim Miari, Harry Hobbs, Miaria Silverman and Najla Said, this performance certainly gives us much to think about, in terms of humanity.
I hope that the images I’ve pulled for you show such things.
My tenure as resident photographer at Central Square Theater has finally come back around to being forefront (as much as I love the music gigs, the kinds of bands I run with can’t usually pay much).
Later this month, CST will be presenting Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East. I’m intrigued by this show, and based on the scene runs I saw yesterday, it should be great. All the actors have great chemistry together, which is something I love to see when shooting three weeks out from the final dress.
As per usual, we were in CST’s studio theater, which has notoriously bad lighting unless it’s set for a show. I basically get house lights and canisters, and those aren’t flattering at all, ever, namely in the shadowed faces under the awkward spacing of lights. I often deal with extremes in this space, because the lighting is so spotty. Images are usually overexposed or underexposed, and if they’ve not got exposure issues, you’d best pray that you captured the right moment, cause that’s what you’ve got.
Oh, NYC. This was my first trip on my own (high school senior class trips don’t count, k?). I’m a little bit in love with it, not gonna lie.
And CMJ? Totally. Redonk.
I was at the Living Room for most of the night, and it was pretty packed for most of the sets, so getting a good shooting spot was difficult. Unfortunately, I missed photo ops for several of the bands.
Hey, kids! Just a quick post from the highly aromatic MegaBus I’m on - I’m en route to NYC to spend about 18 hours in Manhattan and about 7 of those 18 hours shooting for the CMJ Festival. Lucky opportunist girl knows how to make connections, and the booking agent for one of my bands managed to snag me a photo pass at the last second. BOOYAH. Look who’s rocking out now.
Anyway, if you’re in Manhattan, stop by the Living Room to see some awesome bands tonight! It’s only an $8 cover if you don’t already have your CMJ pass - show starts at 7!
Just FYI - it’s really hard to photograph in a bridesmaid’s gown. I managed to shadow their official photographer after the ceremony, plus I got quite a few shots of the girls getting ready, but jeez louise, it’s hard to run around in a dress!
It’s funny that when you’re a photographer for so long, you forget how to not see everything as if you’re looking through the lens.
The other night, the Annie McCue Band played at Johnny D’s in Davis Square. I was there, cause they were featuring Jess Leary, a singer-songwriter I had heard of when I was little. Can you believe I was still alive when there were cassette tapes? TAPES!
I brought my camera - just “in case” - and ended up shooting from my seat in a booth on the house left corner in the back. The lighting is ok, not great, but better than some places I’ve been. All in all, maybe not the ideal place for shooting, but I managed to get off a few decent ones. Bonus is that Johnny D’s apparently doesn’t have a camera policy.
Apologies if I seem scattered lately - summer certainly has been interesting!
I was introduced to the style of McAlister Drive when they played with Living Syndication two years ago, when I was just a baby photog. I did actually take photos of them that night - I just can’t find them. (But the intricacies of digital storage and it’s pitfalls is a topic for another time. Ahem.)
Anyway, after seeing McAlister Drive play at a few other events in the area, I started to dig their sound. They’ve just put new EP out, and so they partied at the Hard Rock, like ya do.
Since I’ve shot at the Hard Rock before, I know how to sweet talk the security guys into letting me run around as much as I can - but even that doesn’t help that the pit is pretty much at only the corners of the stage, and the ramp up to the raised platform that is stage left. But at least the lighting is at least kind of interesting and workable. I shot for MD a few weeks before at Tommy Doyle’s in Cambridge, and, well, it was pretty much disastrous.
On to photos! As a former musician with orthopedic issues that prevent me from playing well these days, I find musician’s hands fascinating - just in case you’re wondering why with the up close frames of hands, fingers, and instruments.
Check out McAlister Drive’s new EP, “Missing Figures” on iTunes!
It’s not necessarily my favorite version of that photo - as you can see, Trent (left) is shadowed by the frame and his hat, and the expressions on the boys aren’t quite concrete and cohesive. You can tell this shot is a setup, rather than fluidly moving through a scene.
Photos - Hound of the Baskervilles - Central Square Theater
This wasn’t a typical shoot for me - usually, I attend the final dress rehearsal and shoot the entire time. This time, however, I attended the dress on Tuesday, where we selected a few key scenes. Then last night, we did a few set-ups, ran some lines from said key scenes, and that was that. It was a little refreshing to change it up like that.
These guys are hilarious. The three of them easily shift between 16 characters, cracking puns all along. I had worked with Remo for the preview photos, so I knew he was expressive, but the other two really help round out the show.
The Hound of the Baskervilles started tonight at Central Square Theater, and plays through August 22.
Remember that wedding I went to a few weeks ago? Yeah, I’m still editing those. I’m getting there, though.
I have to say, it’s quite difficult to shoot a friend’s wedding. You don’t want to turn off your ears, because you want to remember the moment - but sometimes you have to tune out so that you’re paying attention to what you’re shooting.
It was a gorgeous little ceremony out on the Valley Gem Steamer in the middle of the Ohio River (but technically in West Virginia). I followed the girls around all morning and early afternoon, getting the hair, makeup, and dressing shots, managed to wrangle the boys away from the World Cup games long enough for portraits, and then we coordinated schedules so that everyone got to where they needed to be in time to not miss the boat.
There are many more photos to come - and I’m preparing to send Laurel her photos - but I just needed to get these out in the world!
Now, photographing in public spaces generally gives me the heebies. Because my work is confined mostly to the stage, that’s where I feel safe and comfortable. Street photography has never been my thing. Which is part of the reason why I’m taking a class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (Night and Low Light Photography, by the way, taught by the wonderful Skip Shiel). Because it gives me an excuse to take out my camera more often, it’s a chance to learn more, and a chance to get over this whole phobia I have of photographing away from the stage.
During tonight’s class, we decided to go down into the Harvard MBTA Station for some real life experience. We had discussed before leaving the logistics of shooting in public and the fact that it is, indeed, perfectly legal. (There are, by the way, great resources on the rights of photographers in public spaces - like this.)
Now there’s a slightly sticky point here, and that’s because MBTA is this nebulous organization (mostly made up of complete and total fail). It’s technically a private company that is assisted by government funds and exists for public consumption. To say it is a public space is not necessarily true - but nor is it truly a private space. Nor, I feel, do customers feel the need for any extreme version of “expectation of privacy.”
Another sticky point is the fact that there’s clearly a miscommunication somewhere down the line between actual policies and what employees are trained to do.
While I was wandering around, nervously shooting from the hip, I noticed one of my fellow students being stopped by an MBTA employee. I retreated to higher ground, so that I could get a signal on my phone and pull up the MBTA website. Just as Skip was coming down the stairs. I told him what I saw, my classmate being talked to by an employee, and he immediately went to her. Once the page loaded, I joined him, where he was having a polite but clearly heated discussion with said employee.
As we were talking, another MBTA employee caught another one of our group taking photos, and pulled him towards us. Eventually, I got around to showing each employee (by now, there were three of them gathering us together) what their own website said.
They seemed shocked by this. The woman we initially encountered had already called dispatch, and was in the middle of telling us that three years ago, she underwent training that told her that all photographic activity on MBTA property was strictly prohibited.
My counter-argument, of course, was to bring up the “See something, Say something" campaign. (Besides the logical fallacy that we are “now, more than ever” continuously on an escalating terror alert.)
If someone harasses me on the MBTA, am I not even allowed to take a photo with my cell phone? What if the only camera I have to catch the creep is my DSLR? Where is the line? I wanted to bring up the partnership that was forged just over a year ago with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, where ads encouraged the taking of photos when one feels harassed and intimidated on the T. I wanted to talk about all the tourists who are always, always, taking photos in the stations, on the trains, etc. Not to mention the fact that the MBTA is continuously under-staffed and there are often no employees in stations after a certain point in the day (like in Davis Square, where there is generally never an employee after 8 pm, and any altercation means waiting - up to, and often more than, 30 minutes). So taking photos might be the only way to “See Something Say Something”.
But I sadly never got the chance. Employees largely dismissed us - the woman went back to work, one man simply wandered away - except for one, who offered to stick around until dispatch arrived (which took longer than 30 minutes, so we left) so that he could learn what the actual policy was.
Truth be told, I doubt there will ever be a resolution to this. It’s well-documented through other’s personal accounts that MBTA tells the public one thing and tells employees another, completely wrong, thing.
Anyway, enough rambling - here’s the few shots I managed to get off before our operation got shut down:
What are your thoughts on photography in public spaces? Namely, spaces like MBTA or other public transit authorities?
Review - The Lady with all the Answers - Central Square Theater - HubReview
So we all know I don’t like this guy, right? He’ll credit every idiot with a point and shoot, but not me? Awesome.
During From Orchids to Octopi, he stole - that’s right, STOLE, as in yoinked, swiped, ganked, etc - one of the preview photos right from this here blog WITH MY WATERMARK, to post in his little blog because he no longer has access to the real thing anymore, and I posted a DMCA takedown notice on it, and Google followed through, because he’s hosting through Blogspot, and God forbid that any of their lovlies get tangled up in a copyright mess. So yay Google!
I’ve been trying to nail these guys down again for two years, and out of the blue, Pervez asked me to photograph their show at the Palladium in Worcester.
Can I just mention they put on an amazing show? These guys know how to rock. I’m a little in love with the bassist as a photo subject, because he’s working his ass off and having FUN doing it. And as a former musician, I can say that something like that is of utmost importance. Anyway - here’s a first draft of some of my favorites:
Los Angeles, to me, felt like a dirty, overgrown, oversized strip mall. A city squashed down flat, unmanageable in sheer volume, with deserted sidewalks. Parts of me longed to be back in Boston, where the city rises on itself, clean and dignified and shining, and one can get lost in the bustle of the streets, where the public transportation makes sense, and walking a few blocks isn’t going to cripple an able-bodied person such as myself.
But as long as my love is there, I can consider it a second home. Even as a first time visitor.
Preview Photos - The Lady With All The Answers - Central Square Theater
Sometimes, I forget what preview shoots are like. Basically, I have 10-15 minutes with an actor/actors, sometimes a director, sometimes a stage manager, almost always a costume designer, and always the marketing manager, who knows what he’s looking for. The photos may or may not end up looking like the actual show - but that’s ok. What we’re going for in these previews is a feeling. Something that captures the essence of what the show is about.
I was originally worried that this shoot would end up looking a little too much like Not Enough Air - there’s a woman and a typewriter at a table. But my fears were soon abated when our actress arrived. And even more relieving was the moment she started spouting lines.
Central Square Theater is wrapping up From Orchids to Octopi this weekend (they even added a show on Sunday night - check it out, I think there are still tickets left!), and we’re looking ahead for the next show: The Lady With All The Answers.
Everyone has that person they go to for advice - and for fifty years, many of us turned to the one, the only, Ann Landers.
The Lady With All The Answers starts May 13 (it’s MAY already?!), and runs through the end of June. In this one-woman show about the delicacies of giving delicate advice, Ann Landers is played by one Ms. Stephanie Clayman, whom, if you’re a theater lover in Boston, you’ve probably seen around town.
Well, not really, but I’ve been working with Arizona State University’s Antislavery Literature Project to get them an image from the blockbuster hit at Central Square Theater, Harriet Jacobs. They’ll be translating the work into Chinese, and needed a poster-worthy image for their efforts. I just got the proof of the poster for my archives, and lemme tell you, it’s pretty much awesome.
Review - From Orchids to Octopi - Central Square Theater - Boston.com / ThePhoenix.com
I’m SO far behind!
Reviews have come out for From Orchids to Octopi like crazy, and I’ve been trying to hard to keep up. Everyone LOVES the photo of Wes and the monkey in the mural. Who knew? Today, we have the Boston Globe and the Boston Phoenix - read on:
"Lopez has given us a faithful portrait of a Charles Darwin who, like her fictional muralist, is at once deeply devoted to his children and struggling to balance his home life with his work. How refreshing to see a man, as well as a woman, talking about these issues onstage."
"Moreover, the performances by the actors in their primary roles are natural enough, with Wesley Savick a gently dyspeptic Darwin and Kortney Adams’s Emma as bemused by what shows up in her cranium as she is by the crisply eccentric obstetrician played by URT artistic director Debra Wise."
From Orchids to Octopi runs through May 2, and shows keep selling out - one recommendation: Weeknights are always good nights to see theater, for those who don’t want to chance it on a sold-out weekend. And remember - FOTO will get you 1/2 price tickets to any show!