CMJ 2014: Luxley @ Terminal 5

I’m not dead.  I took some time at the end of summer to re-group and step away from the camera for a bit and finally re-adjust to life on the east coast (missing L.A. all the time).  I jumped back into the fire in mid-October for CMJ.

Last week I had the pleasure of joining the photography team at the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.  It was a whirlwind adventure: venues all over the city hosting artists from all over the world; some coming to the States for the first time ever.  Being able to shoot some of the showcases during this weeklong event was an honor.  Not only does CMJ help to advance the careers of new musicians, they also help to advance the careers of music photographers.  I’ll try and write an entire post on CMJ at some point, but I want to jump right into the photos.

The highlight of my assignments last week came on October 22nd, when I shot one of the headlining shows at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen featuring Bombay Bicycle Club, Milo Greene and Luxley.  The night was cold, windy and rainy-–standard Nor’Easter situation happening-–but the audience was literally warmed up by “Wildfire Dance Rock” from New Orleans-based Luxley.  Luxley is a prime example of why I love shooting live music: anything can happen.  Singer Ryan Gray jumped from the stage, to the pit, to the barricade, while simultaneously dodging us in the photo pit.  Keep on eye on these guys… they’re gonna be big.

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“GET LOST”; Hybrid of the Streets – Ariyahna

What in the hell is “Hybrid of the Streets?”  Good question.  

In short, “Hybrid of the Streets” is a personal project of mine that combines the feel of street photography with the look of an environmental portrait.  Everyday humans with an unorthodox sense of style posing on the street, but with higher production value.  The name derives from my first model, who reposted one of my photos to Instagram and sent it to Twitter: because of the 140 character limit, the name was cut short.  So I took it.

I have always been fascinated by “street” fashion.  My fashion sense has always been unique, and it has definitely evolved with time.  During high school, I would essentially take whatever Gwen Stefani was wearing and translate it into menswear.  As my taste broadened, I began to pull influences from other cultures: Rockabilly, punk, formalwear, even some hip-hop.  My fashion sense has also transformed with each location I’ve moved––most recently, the West Coast.  My residence in California introduced me to surf wear and taught me that just wearing “shorts and a t-shirt” could be exciting as well.

I worked with Ariyahna years ago and watched her style evolve via Instagram.  I knew she was the perfect model to begin this exploration, and I photographed her on a playground last week in Philadelphia.  Canon 7D; Sigma 10-20mm; Canon Speedlite diffused with a 60″ umbrella.

Follow Ariyahna on Instagram: @highimariyahna.

Continue reading “GET LOST”; Hybrid of the Streets – Ariyahna

BACKTRACKING: Saer’s “Event Horizon”

Since I’ve been M.I.A. for the past few months, I decided to backtrack a bit to show everyone the work I’ve been doing.  Because that’s really what this blog is all about, right?  Photography!

Right after I returned to the East Coast, I shot some promotional photos for my cousin Sean (a.k.a. Saer) in preparation for the release of his debut track “Event Horizon” (Sounds of Elysium).   This is a very exciting time for our family, because I truly believe he is about to blow up.  My shoot with Saer marked the first time I collaborated with an EDM artist, so it was a learning experience for both of us.  I shot on my Canon 7D with the Sigma 10-20mm ƒ/4-5.6 EX DC HSM lit with a Canon 430EXII Speedlite attached to a PocketBox.  We were shooting in a small space, and the equipment worked incredibly well for how compact our location was.

Be sure to check Saer out on Facebook, Twitter, and download “Event Horizon” on iTunes here!

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Back East for a bit/Shoshana Bean at The Cutting Room

I know, I know––it’s been forever.  I am currently spending the summer abroad on the East Coast, shuttling between Philadelphia and New York to shoot (Shameless plug: if you’re in the area and are looking to collaborate, shoot me an E-mail).  I wholeheartedly plan on updating Conor Takes Pix more now that I have settled back into the Right Coast Groove.  Some exciting things are coming up, too!

This past Sunday, Shoshana Bean (with whom I have been shooting for over a year) also came back East with a sold-out show in New York City.  With a little help from Adorama (it’s so nice to be back around a rental house you know and trust), I shot everything on my 7D with a Canon EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 L IS II USM lens.  Shoshana was joined on stage by a bunch of special guests, including Eden Espinosa, Megan Hilty, Cojo Littles, Kamilah Marshall & Shayna Steele.  Click to see a few frames from the show.

Shoshana Bean‘s new single, “Runaway Train” premieres on iTunes, Amazon & CD Baby August 5th.  You won’t regret downloading it.

Continue reading Back East for a bit/Shoshana Bean at The Cutting Room

Shoshana Bean at The Federal Bar

She’s back!  This past week, recording artist Shoshana Bean returned to the Los Angeles music scene with two electrifying shows: one at Hollywood’s The Hotel Café and another at North Hollywood’s The Federal Bar & Grill.  Bean has used her time off to write new music, and the new tunes don’t disappoint.  In my opinion (slightly biased), they are some of her best material.

Check out a few of my photos from her gig at The Federal below.  If you’re in the Los Angeles area during April or May, Shoshana has two upcoming residencies: Mondays in April at JJ’s in Los Angeles and Saturdays in May at The Hotel Café in Hollywood.  Check ShoshanaBean.com for more info!

All photos were on the 7D, with Canon EF 85mm ƒ/1.8 USM.

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EXPOSURE Series – Grant Stivers

Here we go.  The first of (hopefully) many instances in which I will be highlighting talented photographers around my age with the goal of showing anyone starting out that you can do it!  If there is enough interest in this project, I will be moving it off of my personal blog and into its own entity.

Grant Stivers

I found Grant’s work while browsing the “Young Photographers Los Angeles” pool on Flickr.  When I looked at the description box, my mouth dropped open; Grant Stivers shoots film with a manual-focus SLR.  The images he creates are beautiful: perfect exposure with a real understanding of composition, and he does it all for fun.  Grant is 24 years old and hails from Peachtree City, Georgia.  He works full-time in Television production and currently resides in Los Angeles.  Read on to hear about Grant’s reasoning behind shooting color film, why he picked up a camera in the first place, and what his favorite gift from his mother was.

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Up in the Gym, Just Working on Your Fitness

It’s been a crazy few weeks for me, at least in my personal life.  Within that manic stretch of time, I got to do a fun beach shoot with Danielle Montezinos.  Like myself, Danielle recently relocated to L.A. from New York City.  We met through a mutual friend out here and found out that not only did we graduate from the same college, but we also lived in the same part of Astoria when we were in New York.  She is a brilliant actress and comic (you can visit her website here), as well as a fitness instructor.  This was my first time doing a fitness shoot, and it really puts it all into perspective: I have become crazy out-of-shape.

The original shoot date was rained out; one of the few occasions this winter on which it has actually rained in Los Angeles (big drought out here).  We re-scheduled to a much warmer and significantly sunnier Wednesday, February 12.  I shot Danielle at two locations: alongside the promenade on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, CA, and on Santa Monica State Beach.

Equipment: Canon 7D; Canon 85mm ƒ/1.8 USM & Sigma 10-22mm ƒ/4-5.6 EX DC HSM (which is suddenly becoming one of my more favorite lenses, especially when paired with a speedlite)

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