Concert Photography, Stage Pass Media

You may have noticed, you may have not noticed.. but photography for me has been slowly changing.. and with in the last year.. the last 6 months of this year, so far.. a lot has changed. I love photography.. I have since grade 12, but one thing I’ve always struggled with, and a lot of photographers struggle with, is stress and anxiety. Personally, the anxiety comes from living up to the clients expectations, taking them and posing them, lighting them, editing them and coming up with a finished piece that they love as much as I do. Lately I’ve been told I need to work on my “confidence” .. but it’s not really confidence.. it’s providing someone who is paying me their hard earned money, which usually comes from a job they don’t want to go to everyday but have to.. and delivering them what they were expecting.. it’s hard to deliver something to someone and meet expectations when you can’t read their minds.. I want them to be happy and you just never know if they will be or not.
Since day one, well.. college when I went to Fanshawe College in London Ontario, I always told myself and my teachers “ I won’t work with people.. I’ll work for National Geographic or just shoot Commercial product stuff, food or Landscapes “. National Geo is every photographers dream.. yet 1% makes it .. if that.. I eventually started out photographing girls I knew.. then went into family stuff… then boudoir.. then wedding assisting.. then wedding solo stuff, but as time went on I found dealing with people never got easier.. my stress actually got worse and my love of photography started to disappear, it was feeling more like work.
Fast forward to now… I had the opportunity to photograph some concerts… well for those that don’t know, concert photography is where I started. Embassy Hotel in London Ontario hitting up Punk and Emo shows with a crap Pentax … whatever it was DLSR and a kit lens trying to get the shots. Once I shot my first concert after … 20 something years of not shooting concerts, I felt “home”. There was not stress, just pure fun, challenging lighting, waiting for the moments to unfold, emotion to erupt. Getting into concerts is TOUGH… not like back in the embassy days when you could just walk in with your camera and shoot. Now you have to send out emails to bands, Venues, Promoters, record labels.. apply for media accreditation and hope you get in. I’ve been very very fortunate that Live Nation has approved me for some shows under my personal photography “Kevin Vyse Photography”, from what I’m told it doesn’t normally happen, you usually have to be with a media outlet. Let me tell you though, I have been turned down my fair share as well.. actually A LOT.. but that is part of the game. After seeing some people at shows and seeing that they are shooting for Media Outlets I started to think about how it would be a little easier if I shot for an outlet.. Outlet’s wern’t taking photographers on though, they had their team and that was it… so… If you can’t join them… start your own outlet? That’s exactly what I did.

Stage Pass Media was born roughly a year and a half ago.. outlets wern’t taking on photographers at the time and I decided I’d give starting my own a shot. I sat down with a pencil, a beer and my thinking cap on to come up with a name.. a few stupid ones crossed my page.. didn’t like them.. then one day I was thinking about being at a concert shooting… what did I see.. well.. a stage.. you need a pass to get in, and i’m doing media. it didn’t come together quite that quick but that was the jist of it. Did a quick google search to see if the name was being used.. it wasn’t so I contacted a graphic design artists and told them what I was doing, what the name was and he drew up a few mock ups … didn’t like what came up first .. we talked more and something clicked .. he did something up pretty quick and I knew right away that was it!

Stage Pass Media watermar.png

Now the hard part was to get the name out there, get the social media stuff set up and get the “likes” and “impressions” up so I could get into shows more. I started the Instagram, the Facebook and the Twitter accounts. Every show I was accredited for I would post the images and try to get people to like them.. liked record labels, promoters, bands… anything to help, to get the work noticed…. now lets get this story going so it’s not pages long… Today, Instagram is the main home of SPM (stage pass media).. I mean I do photography.. Instagram is based around photo and video so it just makes sense.. Facebook is there but it’s tough to figure out what to post on there and with working full time it’s tough to have the time to manage all of them. Part of me thought it was a good idea to bring on other photographers to help out but long story about that short.. it just didn’t work out so now Stage Pass Media is my baby.. it’s just me and my camera’s and after some long hard thinking.. I’m going to keep it that way .. Stage Pass Media has opened a lot of doors in a short time. I’ve had SPM for almost a year and a half and I’ve met some awesome people and bands. Country music was a great starter for me, they let me in with open arms and was easier to get into than rock shows and I mean, I love country and the people .. they’re like a family and so nice! I have to give a shout out to Kelsi Mayne because if you’ve followed my concert work, Kelsi gave me my start pretty much.. because of her hiring me to shoot some images for her I was published with Big Valley Jamboree as I shot her promo image for the Festival out in Camrose Alberta. Also I was published with SiriusXM after I shot Kelsi’s image for their Top Of The Country Competition. Another big thank you goes out to Aaron Allen as he hired me and gave me the opportunity to photograph a series of album artwork for him for the release of his new song “Good Tattoo” which is now available on Streaming Sites such as: Apple Music and Spotify. When you search Aaron Allen - Good Tattoo on there the image that pops up is my image! it’s crazy! So with out those two I wouldn’t be published in music .. plus they are amazing people and so are their bands.. I love all of them and very grateful for all of them and the time we get to spend together at shows.

Ok ok.. this post has gone on way to long and no one is going to read all of it.. if you’ve made it this far… WOW! seriously thank you for reading all of this… long story short… I’m not going to say i’m not doing family portraits or weddings or anything anymore.. but right now, my focus is concerts and band promo - album artwork.. it’s what I love and I feel at home doing it.. I spend a huge amount of time at concerts… can’t get enough and now I’ve had the amazing privilege of being accredited a media pass to photograph a new MASSIVE 7 night festival in London Ontario called PARKJAM.. bands include: The Glorious Sons, The Honest Heart Collective, Goodmorning Sunrise, The Cold War Kids, The Beaches and Texas King. Brett Kissel, Meghan Patrick, Aaron Goodvin, Jojo Mason, Genevieve Fisher. The Offspring, MXPX, Reel Big Fish, Seaway. Deadmau5, Diplo. 98º, Aaron Carter, Lance Bass, OTown. Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Maestro Fresh Wes…… AND MORE!!!!!

So heres a few images of some of the amazing artists I’ve had the pleasure of photographing:


Lorraine & Rachel: Engagement session

Lorraine & Rachel, these two are so much fun, so laid back and so in love! 
    Due to a slim window for shooting and scheduling we split their session over two Sundays to accommodate two separate locations that had significant meaning in their relationship. Session 1 : Goderich Ontario beach! Honestly, I had only been to Goderich once before on a photo drive with another photographer, it was winter so I missed all of it's beauty. Goderich is Beautiful! The town is small and built around an massive round about which I thought was brilliant, the people are friendly and the beach is beautiful sitting on Lake Huron. 
     We started out at the far end of the beach doing some beach walking shots, close to the water, holding hands and kissing. Time of day was not ideal, the sun was high, shadows deep but I'm use to shooting in those conditions so we just rolled with it. After a bit the sun started to disappear behind some clouds and the "good light" was allowing me some great shots. There were a set of rocks where Lorraine had proposed to Rachel so we definitely wanted to incorporate that into the session. With the wind blowing we had to make sure we were watching the water because at times it was splashing so hard on the rocks there was a high chance of getting soaked... did they get soaked... wellllllllll .... lol.. not soaked but there was one good splash that landed a few drops on their backs. 
    While walking along the board walk, we found another little gem spot where the trees opened up there was some sand and a tree that had fallen over, it honestly looked like we were in Mexico or the Dominican, so we had to get some shots there. Light was a bit tough as this spot was all shade, but the water and sky was bright so balancing was a bit rough... OH.. and the unexpected rouge wave that came in out of no where and soaked Lorraine and Rachel lol... honestly.. we didn't even see it coming in. 

Location 2: St.Mary's Ontario. 

The second Sunday we were off to St.Mary's Ontario at 8am.. the sky was a bit iffy, cloudy.. a bit chilly to start.. we wern't sure how this was going to go as they were calling for rain, but we lucked out and it held off for us. No rain, but there was bridge construction on one of the bridges St.Mary's has to offer and that meant they needed to drain some of the water out of the river. Usually there is water rushing over the dam in the middle of the river but on this day.. no such luck.. water levels were low.. so, change of plans.. no splashing and waterfall shots but, with the low water levels we could take advantage of getting out further into the water. St.Mary's is a beautiful town, small, and very old with a ton of history. Buildings were stone and looked like castles almost, it was very clean and quaint, I like that place. Over all the shoots were fantastic, these two are great clients, up for anything, so bubbly and cuddly with one another, they made my job very easy as I don't even need to pose them, they just cuddle up as soon as raise the camera. Can't wait to shoot their wedding in September. 


Goderich Ontario
© Kevin Vyse Photography 2017

St. Mary's Ontario
© Kevin Vyse Photography 2017

Fitness Calendar For A Cause

They work hard, eat right, are devoted and disciplined as well as love what they do! 

   Bodybuilders and strong men united with Tornado City Boxing in Woodstock Ontario Canada, to put together a fitness calendar raising money and support for support " Daso " a.k.a. Domestic Abuse Service Oxford.

   I was asked to come in as one of the photographers to get some awesome work out shots of Thomas, a local up and coming bodybuilder who is going to be lethal to the bodybuilding world. The thought process was very fast for me as I only had one day (2 hours to shoot), and one day to edit the pics and have them sent out for print. I wanted this to be lit well and in a way that would make Thomas muscles pop but also allow him to be out of shadow so you could see who it was. 
    This calendar is geared towards women so there had to be a sexy appeal to it, which wasn't to hard as Thomas is pretty ripped, so my job was easy and I'm sure the ladies are going to be vary pleased. 

    Since we were there to shoot and I banged out the shots pretty quick, we decided to just keep shooting and see what we could get as this was Thomas' first ever photoshoot. Finally, I was able to sit down and edit some more of the images from our session at Tornado City Boxing. I went with cool tones in the image as thats kind of the feeling I get when I think of metal weights, gyms, hard work, ripped people, so with the cool tones I set the mood. I also wanted to have a lighting set up in which you'd see some of the lights, to give it that "behind the scenes" kind of look to the shoot - Shutter Click. 


Mom and Daughter Fashion shoot

You will see a lot of these two from me, they are my best friends and we're always doing shoots together. It's Labour Day weekend, it's still summer and warm out, so there's still time for some outdoor photoshoots. We had talked about doing a shoot but weren't to sure if the weather was going to cooperate, but we were hanging out anyways so we played it by ear. The weather actually ended up working perfectly, it was too hot for the most part, especially when we went down to the trails in the woods. 

We started off in the backyard, there's a neat little shed back there that kind of has a rustic look to it which I felt would be neat for a background. I put a flash on a stand up in amongst a tree hoping to have some of the leaves and branches cast shadows down onto the shed for a little more drama in the scene, plus I love shadows. 
    From there I told them about a place I know of where there's all these trails down through the woods and a big lake, which I thought would make for some good images, I've shot down there quite a bit. We walked a few of the trails but didn't go to far, the sun was out in full effect and with these trails being incased by trees there was zero air flow, so it was getting quite hot and muggy and the mosquito's were treating us like a buffet. 

for these images I was just using one flash, up high on a stand, no umbrella or soft box, just hard light, which is weird for me because I hate hard light. To carry a soft box, stand and flash plus the camera down there, for an impromptu photoshoot was to much so I decided to restrict myself and see what we could come up with. Over all the shoot went pretty well, I'm still not that good at mixing flash with ambient light, I get the concept it just isn't something I've done a lot. For the most part, i've been an ambient light shooter, only in the last 1.5 years have I been tackling flash, so I'm happy with the images and so were the clients. Here's to a great day with two people I love more than life, a good shoot, and summer. I'm going to miss these summer days/nights, but it's the price you pay for living in Canada!

Images below 

    - Shutter Click. 


These trails were a little dark and kind of creepy, so we decided to have some fun with it and do some hard lighting to give that dark, moody, shadow feel to the image. 

She was getting a little tired of shooting and wanted to do more cuddling, so, roll with the punches and use whats presented to you.. 

using a flash far back shooting through the trees, I was able to cast some shadows down onto the shed to give that " late in the day, hard light " vibe. 

These were some of our fav pics from the shoot. Out in the woods with a tunnel of trees, the light was nice as it filtered down through all the leaves. 

A another image of pyper running into her moms arms after she was getting tired of walking and just wanting to go home. 

Pyper didn't want to do pictures anymore, she was getting tired. As the wind blew, she decided to walk off set. Sometimes the best images are the unplanned, quick shot images. 

Shoots can be tiring for little ones, especially on hot summer days. Always wait for that moment when a child decides walking is overrated and wants to be carried. Once the parent picks them up, you can get some good candid, real moment shots. 

These trails can get pretty dark and seem a little creepy. Pyper thought there were packs of wolves in the forest and kept yelling out "pack of wolves". We decided to use this to our advantage and do a creepy, dark woods image using hard light to cast shadows amongst the trees.

RAWartists: PANORAMA showcase

June 19th, 2014 I was a part of the RAWartists network in Toronto On. displaying my photography. RAW is a group thats all about art, all forms of art (painting, live performances and music, photography, jewelry making, drawing etc... any art form). They come together all over the world allowing artists to apply and show off their work and network. You can sell your work at the show and they do not take a commission, which is pretty awesome of them. If you're interested in becoming a RAWartist or simply just want to read up on them to see what they're about, here's a link to their site: 

I wasn't to sure what to expect from RAW.. I was new to it, had only heard about it through another photographer on Facebook from my area a few weeks before I decided to go for it. I'm a quiet, shy kind of person, I don't do well in large social interaction, but 2014 for me was all about stepping out of comfort zone, putting myself and my work out there, meeting new people who love what I love and RAW showed up in my path, so why not jump in?! 
   Let's skip ahead to the night of the show. I had to be in Toronto by 2pm to set up my display, it was a 2 hour drive, but I got there fine and on time, actually about an hour early. I went inside and saw the fencing where I was going to be displaying my work, excited, nervous, anxious and a little tired as I didn't sleep much the night before... I took my work out of the box I had brought it in and started to place my work. After an agonizing 15 minutes, my work was up and looking quite good if I do say so myself! 
    I took a minute to check out the work that was hanging to the right and left of me and on my right, who's work was hanging there? None other than Tina Picard - Toronto based fashion photographer! I was blown away because I just found out about Tina maybe 3 weeks prior to the show and fell in love with it right away. I couldn't believe that my work was displayed beside hers, I was pumped but also feeling a little unworthy. I want you all to check out Tina's work, it's outstanding: TINA PICARD: FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER 

7pm: It's show time! 
          Ok... so I was a little late for doors open ha! but you have to be a little fashionably late, right? Actually my buddy Jeremy and I took off down town T.O. to hit the Ripley's Aquarium and get some food, it took a little longer than expected because it was such an awesome place to look around and get some shots. We made it back, I went to my show space and hung out for a bit until Tina walked up :) .... eeeeek, we talked for a bit and then people starting coming in and looking around. Right away I was in deep, talking to random people I didn't know, asking all kinds of questions about my work and style but surprisingly, I did alright.. I didn't throw up on anyone which was my biggest goal of the entire night. 
            I was actually surprised at how many people showed up to the event, the place was packed. I lost track of time, but not to long after people came in and looked around our RAW presenter jumped up on stage and got the show started. We had: 3 live fashion shows, a hand full of live bands, a guy who spit fire all over the place ( which was amazing.. I could feel the heat on my face and I was about 20 feet from the stage)... such an amazing display of talent. 
 Anyways.. i'm sure you just want to see pics.... and to those of you who actually read all of this... you're an amazing person lol..... oh PS, the images aren't amazing... I was there to show my work not shoot the event.. I just took these shots to give you a little feel of the night.  - Shutter Click.

A model struts the runway at RAW displaying a hand made by Love, Poetry Corsets 

A warrior model comes out strong to strut the runway at RAW looking fierce 

Warrior model striking a pose with her sward on stage at RAW

Second Warrior model with her flaming sword striking a pose at RAW 

Male model sporting his warrior wear on stage at RAW

Fenyx Fyre on stage at RAW blowing out a huge fire ball! what an amazing act. 

Fenyx Fyre holding a fire ball on his chest live on the RAW stage. 

Fenyx Fyre displaying another fire ball, which he is licking on the RAW stage

Fenyx Fyre Blowing out a giant cloud of fire on the RAW stage.

Lucky Widmore rocking out on stage at RAW, these guys have an awesome sound. loved them.

Over all view from the top floor at RAW. So many people showed up, so many great artists... I had a great night and grateful to be apart of the RAW family. Moral of the story, step out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you, great things come from it and you will feel more alive. Life starts when you're out of your comfort zone. Thank you RAW!

Harvard's and Hero's

This weekend ( June 20th-22nd) was a Gathering/Event in Tillsonburg On. Celebrating 75 years of the Harvards and the Veterans who flew them. This Harvard fly over was the largest one since WWII and there was no way I was going to miss a piece of history like that.

I showed up to the Tillsonburg airport around 11:30pm, from the highway I could see a small sea of yellow planes as I approached and was instantly excited for the show. The sound of 11 harvards flying through the air is outstanding, nothing like you've ever heard before. This event wasn't just harvards, the majority was, but there was also a Harvard II trainer there which was a treat to see, and two T-28 Trojan's, One navy blue, and one that was White and Orange if I remember right, it was a treat to see them take off at the end of the show. 

Harvard's and Hero's started off with one harvard and one amazing pilot who was making this plane do things I never thought a harvard could do. This plane was flipping tail over prop, straight up into the sky and stalling out, kicking the tail over the nose, crazy rolls, and really really low flying.. I mean .. if I had to guess, 30 ft off the ground, it was insane!  After that, all the harvards took to the skies to do a couple fly by's, which was then followed up by the Canadian Harvard Aerobatics Team, who always put on an amazing show with smoke and crazy stunts! - Shutter Click ~


The Canadian Harvard Aerobatics Team come racing in from the right, smoke on, getting set up for a steep climb.

Coming straight at the crowd while in a diamond formation, pulling back on the stick and going vertical. 

Pulling back, shooting straight up and back over the top for a smoky back roll.

Team comes straight over the crowds heads with smoke on, setting up to bank left and come across centre stage.

Two team members come flying in head on and cross last minute just missing one another.

The reason everyone gathered.. The 11 Harvard Tribute Pass.. what a sound and sight to see. 

Rick Volker, A Harvard Aerobatics Pilot gets in his harvard and taxi's up to put on quite an impressive solo aerobatics display. Who knew the harvard could do the things he made it do!

Rick Volker, Banking hard in front of the crowd as he gains some momentum and air speed to perform some more amazing aerobatics. 

Rick Volker doing a close, topside pass for the crowd and photographers.. what a photo op! 

Rick Volker doing a tight inside loop stage centre.