I’m a big fan of horns and brass. I love ska music. I love energetic shit. In my years of shooting shows, I’ve missed one band over and over again. But in Hartford a few weeks ago, I had the chance to FINALLY shoot Reel Big Fish on the main stage at Vans Warped, on a sunny and pretty damn hot day.
If you don’t know much about ska music, the best word I have to describe it is fun! Ska bands are often really entertaining, not just with their music but also with their live shows. Jiving, dancing and just being overall funky, and RBF is no exception. Original member (the only one left I believe) Aaron Barrett came on stage with some cool checkered glasses, a perfect match for his checkered guitar and checkered shoes. haha. Love it.
As fun as it can be to watch, it is pretty hard to shoot. People and mics everywhere. Always something happening, someone making some weird face to keeping a weird pose. How do you deal with that? Pick someone and follow them for a bit. I usually shoot with both eyes open so I check quickly whats going on around, but really, I try and keep focus on one person.
As with most bands I’ve never seen live, I have 3 songs to get my shots. But to make compelling images, you need to know how the band moves. So in those 3 songs, I’m listening, watching, learning, shooting and avoiding the crowd surfers being pulled in the pit by security. If you are in the “scene”, you usually shoot the same bands many times and know what to expect. When you follow a band on tour, you know what their show is going to be like to you can be prepared for THE shot. And if you miss it one night, you can get it the next night.
Can’t wait to see RBF again!