So finally the day came around. I had the entire day off so I went to take photos with my friend Nico for a bit, then headed up. I left about 15 minutes later than planned, which as many of us know, when heading to LA can totally screw you over. Needless to say, I missed the interview with Anberlin, but their tour manager Andrew is so rad and told me we could make it happen after the show. So I got to the Wiltern, picked up my press pass and ticket and made my way in. It's an older theatre and it is gorgeous inside the entrance. Oh and don't let me forget to mention that Topher Grace (Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, That 70's Show, Spiderman 3) was right behind me in line! But of course, I'm not one to go up and make someone feel super awkward, especially when they are just trying to enjoy some music. Anyway, I head the spot where I figure the photo pit is and get told to go up the stairs to wait, where I assume they will be letting the photographers in from. Next thing I know, I'm being told I can't even go in there even with my press pass. I have to stand 30-40 feet away from the stage, which no one mentioned to me. So I text my friend Greg (LiveNation) telling him what is going on and he hadn't realized I had never been there, but even so he said they should have sent out a memo to all press explaining how it would run. So there I am with my 50mm 1.4 standing 30-40 feet away from this band I have never even heard of. Then up comes this guy asking what press I work for. I assume he is just some other photographer and is being friendly. Turns out he's my escort for the night. Now this is where I really got confused. An escort? I needed an escort? I'm not just some kid who randomly picked up a camera that day and said "hey! I really feel like shooting bands today." I have built up my music photography career over the past two years. Do I even bother naming bands or the fact that I've shot Warped Tour twice? Needless to say, I was quite frustrated. Once we were done shooting Atomic Tom, we all headed out and he told me I would have to check in my camera if I wanted to go back in, which was a definite no thank you from me. Next thing he tells me is I only get to photograph Anberlin. Now this is where I wanted to scream and just walk out of there, but I held my composure. I decided I would stay for Anberlin and then head out. I text Andrew, explained the situation and told him my plan. After listening to Atomic Tom play for what seemed like forever, Anberlin finally came on. I headed in with another photographer who was one of the nicest people. He was shooting for Red Bull and had even got to spend a little time shooting Stephen Christian before the show (JEALOUS). I shot Anberlin and left, which I somewhat regret since they are my favorite band and I should have stayed for their entire set. I was just so frustrated at the entire situation.
Now I could say I am still angry about it and nothing good came of the situation, but that wouldn't be true. I mean sure, it was horrible experience and I would most likely tell someone to never to shoot there, especially if you are driving from south OC to LA because it isn't worth it to be treated as such, but I learned a lot from the experience. And I honestly did take some amazing photographs. The music industry is harder than it seems. I have had a press straight and steady road, minus a few bumps here and there. This was just another bump in the road, but I have learned from it and can only grow stronger. The only reason I go into depth with the event is because I want you to understand that it isn't easy all the time, just like life isn't easy all the time. You're going to make mistakes and you're going to have a horrible day here and there, but in the end it's about how you handle it after and learn from it.
After watching this video, all I want is to be on tour with these guys. That is my goal. To eventually be on tour with these guys.