If I had to pick the largest influence in my life, I would have to say it's music. Music saved my life.
For a large portion of my youth, I was as closed minded as it gets and too stubborn to want to see things differently. I really didn't know how to feel or see things deeper than the surface. And then sometime around my sophomore year of high school, I was introduced to The Grouch and the Living Legends. I didn't know it was hip-hop, all that I knew was for once I was listening to someone's advice and I could relate to what they were rapping about. Now using my ears to see, words started to hold power. I was subconsciously putting down a guard that I didn't even know existed. It lead me to discovering the difference between the club radio rap that just made my head bob and hip-hop. Even my first piece of streetwear was influenced by music; a shirt with a soldier holding a guitar and writing across the top reading, "music is my weapon". Twelve plus years later, I'm still terrible with just about every instrument and can't remember lyrics for the life of me, however music is my weapon and I really don't know where I would be without it.
Within photography, I don't seek or accept many gigs mostly because I don't consider myself a photographer, but also because they're usually for weddings, engagements, graduations, etc (not my style). However when the opportunity comes to shoot a show, I'm all in. I've developed a real excitement for shooting shows, I enjoy capturing these artist in their element and I'm intrigued by people that are doing something that they love. And then there is the unknown of whats to come with every performance, I love that every set differs so much. Well the other week I had the opportunity to shoot upcoming artist PELL during the Concert For Justice at New Parish in Oakland, a show created to bring awareness to some of the recent injustices in today's society. The unknown this night was that I would end up shooting other artist Dizzy Wright, Casey Veggies, P-Lo, & G-Eazy.
Here's what I ended up with...
Special thanks to Chris Cajoleas and PELL for the opportunity.