Photographing FoCoMX 2024

Photographing FoCoMX 2024

Last month, I brought my new Sony A7iv to FoCoMX, the best music festival in Fort Collins. It had been a while since I could photograph bands, and I looked forward to photographing some of my favorite bands.

Common for Colorado, the springtime weather was unpredictable, and Mother Nature brought cold, rain, and snow for the festival. Outdoor performers had to endure the cold, wind, and elements, while the indoor venues all had long lines due to spectators fleeing the weather. When I shot FoCoMX in 2019, it was relatively easy to pop in and out of venues to snap pictures. The long lines and big crowds made it much more difficult this time, and I only managed to capture 6 bands across the two days. Despite all of those challenges, I am happy with the outcome.

Alexa Wildish at Magic Rat

I ventured into the Magic Rat to snap a few pictures of Alexa Wildish. As much as I loved the lighting and stage, the crowded room made it hard to get close enough to take pictures, so I quickly ejected. I look forward to catching her another time.

The 14ers at Equinox Outdoor Patio

The weather cleared enough for me to join friends at the Equinox Outdoor Patio to see The 14ers. I wanted to snap some pictures of their drummer, Clark. The band was playing in a garage, which made for interesting lighting for everyone in the back.

The Waido Experience at Salt Road Brewing

In addition to seeing The Waido Experience, I also got to scout Salt Road Brewing, where my band, Heart Medicine, played the next day. The large garage door cast a large back-fill light against the performers. While not ideal, especially from my angle, I still managed to get some fun shots.

T-Mule vs Nic Clark at Wolverine Publik Farm

T-Mule vs. Nic Clark is one of the few bands I shot back in 2023. They’re a great group of guys; catching their shows is always fun.

Venture Still at Illegal Pete’s

Whether on the patio or in the upstairs bar, I always wish Illegal Pete’s featured more live music. Venture Still rocked that indoor stage while rain fell a few feet away.

Wrenn & Ian with Libelula

These amazing musicians braved the cold to play an outdoor set on the Old Town Stage. Wrenn Van has talent well beyond her years!

This weekend reminded me just how much I love photographing bands and has reinforced my goal to get out and get more musician pictures. If you’d like me to shoot your set, please reach out!

Photographing the Pamlico Sound at FoCoMX

Photographing the Pamlico Sound at FoCoMX

Last month I was lucky enough to both play and see some amazing bands at the Fort Collins Music Experiment – FoCoMX. Due to my single dad duties, I was only able to go on Friday – the night that I played. Playing obviously entails packing my gear before and after, it really limited my ability to get out and see some other bands that night. Unfortunately, I was only able to photograph three acts.

One of those acts was The Pamlico Sound, a funk band that I subbed in for a short time before my daughters were born. In following that band, it’s been inspiring to watch them resolve their issues and transform themselves into a staple in the Northern Colorado funk scene.

They performed in front of New Belgium Brewing Company, an awesome outdoor space! The shade and shadows made for a bit of a challenge, but I hope I captured the gist of the energy that was there.

Great job, Pamlico Sound!

Photographing Undercover Bear

Photographing Undercover Bear

I need to confess something. I really hadn’t used my DSLR since Christmas before taking these pictures.   This has been in large part of being busy, but also in part that my iPhone has been pretty good lately capturing snapshots of my family, combined with the fact that many activities have been out in the winter weather and didn’t want to risk the elements damaging my equipment – not the best solution, I know.  My band also spent most of the winter hunkered down and recording, not playing many shows and thus not many opportunities to shoot bands.

Undercover Bear asked us to play their CD release show in late March, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with the Whisk(e)y’s lighting. Undercover Bear did an awesome job in creating some really memorable moments in their shows, with their choice of instruments, solos, changing off singers and even a wardrobe/accessory change.  They had a packed room and awesome crowd, which made for a fun shoot.

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Photographing Qbala’s Farewell Show

Photographing Qbala’s Farewell Show

Last night I had the opportunity to photograph Qbala, one of Fort Collins’ best rappers, and someone I’ve known since middle school. On Thursday she played her “farewell” show, as she’s gearing up for a move to Portland. In my involvement in the Northern Colorado music scene, few people work as hard towards their craft as Qbala does. It was definitely an honor to shoot such a great show that was packed to the gills.

This was also my first time shooting at Hodi’s Half Note, where the lighting proved to be a challenge.  I went home last night afraid that most of my shots didn’t turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised that I had an abundance to choose from.  The other challenge with this show was navigating the packed audience.  While I was able to move around quite a bit during the opening acts, I found myself firmly entrenched on the front of stage left. The left side of the stage enabled me to get close-up shots (as Qbala’s face wasn’t blocked by her mic) but prevented me from getting the full body shots due to all of the DJ equipment blocking my angle. Halfway through her set, I moved further back to get some crowd shots and finally managed to get to stage right. There I finally got my full-body perspective shots.

My only regret was not being able to capture close-up shots in the middle of the stage to capture some of the emotional interactions – but with as crowded as everything was, it just wasn’t an option.  I’ve posted a few of my favorites below, but you can see the whole gallery on Flickr.

Congrats on an awesome show, Qbala! Wishing you all the best in your next adventure.

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Photographing South To Cedars Release Party

Photographing South To Cedars Release Party

Catching up from a busy month, I had the privilege of photographing South To Cedars on the release of their new album: Sunny State at High Hops Brewery in Windsor. High Hops has an awesome winter stage in the back of the brewery, draped with lights and a really cool ambiance.

I ended up capturing one of my favorite concert images so far, trying to encapsulate the joy of performing music.

Congrats again to South To Cedars on an awesome album release!

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