the photographer life

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:

PUBLICATIONS WITH KELSI MAYNE & AARON ALLEN

Rise Against Cancer 2016

Rise Against Cancer is an amazing charity concert held once a year in Woodstock Ontario. Cover bands from the Woodstock area come out to put on a concert to raise money for Cancer. The band Sweet N' Innocent are the founders and also the headliners for the event and what a show they put on! Not only is there a concert but there is also a silent auction, pizza and  lots of alcohol! 
I was honoured to be asked to photograph the event by fellow photographer Rachael Little, who has been photographing the event for the past few years. Rachael was unable to photograph the event this year so she set me up with Scott from Sweet N' Innocent so he could see my work and bring it to the band so they could decide if they wanted to have me photograph their event. 

These bands were amazing.. the covers were dead on, the lighting was fantastic and the crowed was pretty big, I was blown away. Everyone was having a fantastic time, singing along to old 80's covers from sweet n' innocent, and a variety of covers from other bands. 

This years line up included: 
 

SWEET N' INNOCENT

BLIND DOG JOE

SOCIAL STONE

ECHOING CONCUSSION