I have been a pretty big fan of NBC’s reality singing competition The Voice since the first season, but because of school work and other things I haven’t been able to keep up with the show as much as I’d like. The best part about watching the show is seeing artists that I had seen performing going on the show. Certainly people from the pop punk/Warped Tour scene would have recognized a few participants, and I had the pleasure to photograph a few of the winning contestants over the last few years dabbling in concert photography. So this post is a tribute to all these Warped Tour veterans who continued to chase their dreams as well as a quick retrospective of my journey in concert photography.
Season 1 — Dia Frampton from Meg & Dia, 1st runner-up
Meg & Dia, was quite literally the third band I photographed with a photo pass in the photo pit. They were on the Take Action Tour in 2009, the first show I shot. The lighting was really challenging (lots of red and dark light) and Meg and Dia were quite camera shy and the moved a lot, too. These photos were never released, so I went back to them and edited the way I would in 2012, which probably would look a lot different if I had processed them in 2009 (and a good thing).
Season 2 — Juliet Simms from Automatic Loveletter, 1st runner-up
Like many, I first heard Juliet Simms sing in All Time Low’s Remembering Sunday. Saw her on my first Warped Tour in 2008 and I’d never passed up a chance to photograph Juliet and her passionate performances. In 2009, she returned to Toronto with Craig Owens on his solo tour at The Reverb (which has been replaced with a new furniture store).
She was on the Vans Warped Tour in 2010 and 2011.
In the summer, I was in Hong Kong and Juliet’s GAP campaign images were plastered all over town, I came across many of them and blogged about it here.
Season 3 — Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday, winner
I first saw Cassadee with Hey Monday at the The Academy Is…/We The Kings tour in 2008. For the next two years, Hey Monday was on every other tour line up.
Back then, I was especially proud of the following photograph because it was just awesome. Hey Monday was opening for Fall Out Boy in an arena so the lighting was a joy. But there are some faults in this photograph: the focus was on her shoes instead of her face, her body was really underexposed and I had to rescue it in post. Though it’s not the perfect shot, I still have to admit it’s quite a sick shot.
The following two photographs were taken when they were out on the AP Tour in 2010. Cassadee was never an easy subject on stage because of how often she moves.
I caught her walking towards production/backstage area at Warped Tour 2010 and stopped her for a quick portrait. She was nice about it though now that I do know more, I do not recommend any fan or photographer to stop musicians when they are on their way to somewhere, they might be in a hurry to somewhere important. (And I actually stopped quite a few people for portraits in 2010 and 2011, which I never posted…/teaser/)
Congratulations to Dia Frampton, Juliet Simms and Cassadee Pope on their successes on The Voice!