Shoshana Bean at Rockwood Music Hall

Spring finally seems to be on its way, and I will take the current “mid-sixties and rain” over the past “low-twenties and clear.”.  With this season change comes new hope, new projects, and the sudden panic that you have yet to file your taxes.  I figured I would post these shots before I get lost in a box of receipts.

Shoshana Bean has embarked on a whirlwind tour promoting her latest EP release, Shadows to Light, which dropped at the end of last year.  Shadows to Light is an entirely acoustic recording which includes a stripped-down “Runaway Train,” and a brilliant cover of Sia’s hit single “Chandelier.”  Bean was back in New York City for one sold-out acoustic performance at Rockwood Music Hall’s Stage 2.  Those in attendance were treated to a duet with Eden Espinosa (also a former Elphaba in Wicked), as well as some throwback tunes (namely her infamous 2008 release, “Naomi,” a large departure from her current sound).

To catch Shoshana Bean near you (she will be performing in Hawaii and the United Kingdom in the coming months), visit her official website for ticket info.  And to see the photos, go past the jump.

All photos were shot on the Canon 7D mounted with a Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L II USM lens.

Continue reading Shoshana Bean at Rockwood Music Hall

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CMJ 2014: New Zealand Showcase @ The Studio at Webster Hall

As I continue with my CMJ recaps, I want to thank everyone for their comments and viewership!  This is the most traffic my blog has had in a long while.  I’m glad to see people are appreciating new music as much as I am.

The New Zealand Showcase was my first assignment at CMJ.  I’d previously shot upstairs at Webster Hall before, but never in the Studio; which is located underneath the main auditorium.  The Studio at Webster Hall is a very intimate venue to say the least, and quite the contrast to the multi-level behemoth upstairs.  Inside, folks were passing around a variety of Kiwi appetizers  to prime the crowd for the impending New Zealand takeover of New York City.  October 21st’s bill consisted of four artists: Chelsea Jade (a sonic artist who implements field recordings of everyday sounds to punctuate her music), Doprah (a self-proclaimed “sinister and evil cult which lures young people into drug-taking”), “future funk” quintet Orchestra of Spheres (whom use a variety of homemade instruments), and Popstrangers (a trio of New Zealand transplants based in London delivering a blend of grunge, pop, garage rock, etc., the product of which creates a very distinct sound).

Be sure to check them all out after viewing the photos laying past this jump!

Continue reading CMJ 2014: New Zealand Showcase @ The Studio at Webster Hall

CMJ 2014: The Delta Riggs @ Pianos

I will be covering “Southern Exposure” in two parts: today’s post (which highlights The Delta Riggs), and a later recap of the whole showcase.

If time travel were a thing, I would 100% send myself to New York City in the 1970s so I could spend my evening watching The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, and Television perfect their music while watching Hilly Kristal’s dog shit on the floor of CBGB.  Unfortunately time travel isn’t a thing, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending…

My last assignment of the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon was down on the Lower East Side at Pianos––a venue on Ludlow which was at one point a two-story piano dealership.  The façade of Pianos seems to have been left relatively unchanged since the 70s, so it was off to a good start.  The showcase I was covering on October 23rd was called “Southern Exposure,” highlighting various musical acts from Australia.  The show was a challenge to shoot; there was little available light from Pianos’ rep plot and there was little space to move around.  Against my better judgment, I shot at ISO4000 on my Canon 7D with an attached EF50mm ƒ/1.2L USM rented from BorrowLenses.

The Delta Riggs took the stage midway through the six-hour-long showcase.  A five-member rock band from Melbourne, they immediately launched into an electric set that once again, transported me back to the 1970s LES rock club scene.  Suddenly I didn’t care about the ISO noise, the low shutter speed or the shitty lights.  Because when a band moves this much (frontman Elliott Hammond chipped his tooth on the microphone at one point… I’m serious), bring on the motion blur!

Continue reading CMJ 2014: The Delta Riggs @ Pianos

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.

Continue reading CMJ 2014: Luxley @ Terminal 5

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!

Continue reading BACKTRACKING: Saer’s “Event Horizon”

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

Facebook Celebrates “Humans of New York”

If anyone has been feeling down lately; be it a slump in clients or feeling like you’ve hit a creative dead-end, I recommend watching this short video.

I was first directed to Brandon Stanton’s Facebook page in 2012 by my friend Jacqui while I was waiting for another friend at a bar. At this point in my life, I had already been a “Human of New York” myself.  I had recently relocated to Philadelphia from New York City, but I hadn’t heard of Stanton or what he had set out to accomplish. Scrolling through my iPhone that evening, I realized how many individuals I waltzed on the streets of New York, uninterested in the fact that each of these passersby had stories to tell.

Brandon Stanton is a photographer with a clear vision.  The genuine connection he establishes with his subjects is inspiring to me.  I recently purchased the Humans Of New York book, published by St. Martin Press.  Just like on Facebook, I am reminded of my home with each turn of the page.  “Oh!  I’ve totally seen that guy in Times Square,” “I definitely know what that woman means!” etc.  Anyone is game to stand in front of his camera: Stanton has photographed toddlers, the elderly, the homeless, and the wealthy.  His efforts have given the world a true cross-section of what it’s like to live in New York.

Stanton moved to New York City in 2010 with no money and no job, but he had his camera; and he had the streets of New York. On a daily basis he would approach someone in New York and connect with them. Not only was he taking their picture, but he genuinely cares about who they are, where they came from, and what they are feeling. Initially, Mr. Stanton intended on creating a “photographic census” of the City that never sleeps.  His vision was to attach each photograph to a map of New York City, an interactive experience which would allow users to really “see” into their own neighborhoods.  Frustrated with the lack of exposure, Stanton turned to Facebook Pages (which was in its infancy at this point).  The Facebook platform allowed a direct link to the socially-connected world.  As of today, the “Humans of New York” Facebook page has over 2.9 million likes.

I urge everyone to take a look at Humans of New York––especially if you have spent time in the city.  It will undoubtedly inspire you.

Humans of New York is available on Amazon.com for as low as $15.88 (if you’re a Prime member).