Mother Mother & Hannah Georgas - Victoria // Duncan // Vancouver

While I wish I had the time to go on a full cross-Canada tour with them, I'm still really glad that I got to shoot three concerts in BC. Originally I was going to shoot the Nanaimo and Campbell River shows as well, but due to snow on the Malahat, getting up island was rather impossible and I had to turn around and head back to Victoria before I managed to get up island. Regardless, I had a great time getting to know Ryan, Jasmin, Jeremy, Molly and Ali better.

We've crossed paths several times, having shot them 4 times before this tour and spending the day with Jasmin at one of the Weddings I shot last year. This time I was able to roam absolutely freely around the venues, without 3 song rules or access restrictions. It's a really great feeling to be the only photographer allowed to do so, and it gives you a lot of space to get creative and focus on getting the good shots. Beyond that it's always fun to be backstage and get an idea of what life is like behind the scenes for musicians.

Touring can be really harsh. It is mentally and physically draining. I honestly don't know how Mother Mother kept showing such immense energy on stage right through Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo, but they did. Bravo to them, I say. Beyond that their level of commitment to their fans is top notch. It never feels like a scripted show because it isn't. Ryan has a different thing to say each night, and it's always so interesting to hear what he says next. Not even the encore is the same show to show. Victoria got what Victoria wanted, and the same for Duncan and Vancouver.

Below are the images from the three concerts I shot and a little hint of the exploring I got to do with my friend, Berkley, in Duncan. It really was great and brings me one step closer to doing a full tour with a major band across Canada - which has been a dream of mine for a while now.

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Ryan Guldemond - Lucky Bar - Victoria

I don't often find myself shooting solo acts, but when I do it is usually pretty challenging. There is only so much you can do, and for the most part, the imagery is so reliant on the subject. Fortunately, Ryan's presence on stage is one of the most unique and interesting I have ever encountered. This isn't the first time I've shot him too. I've photographed his band, Mother Mother, four times now and never get tired of it. This was my first time seeing Ryan do a solo act, and it was magnificent. I recommend checking him out if he ever does a show in your neighbourhood. He is a master at his craft and a total compositional and lyrical genius.

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Rock The Shores - The Tragically Hip // Sam Roberts Band // Current Swell // Jets Overhead

I'm not going to tell you how awesome the music was, because there are music reviews for that. Instead, I'll show you what you saw, and for some of you I'll show you a piece of the action you missed out on. Shooting concerts is one of my favourite things to do in the world of photography (Or, just in the world). There's something about battling it out with 15 other photographers, who all have their own choice of gear/weapons, to shoot the same subject doing the same thing in the same light. It's a really great environment to see how your style is different to everyone who shoots with you. It's a perfect place to hone your craft and figure out where you can get better - there's always something you can improve on which someone in the pit does better than you. You could say shooting concerts has made a man out of me. It's so satisfying when the shifting light, moving subject and your shutter button all synchronize.

When the lightning lingered around use for a while and Sam Roberts' set was cut short- yes, folks, lightning in Victoria, what black magic is this? - I got to hang out with him backstage and drink a beer he got me from his trailer. We had a heart to heart about South Africa, where his parents are from. What a solid guy. Also, Gord Downie is one stylish man. So stylish in fact, that I walked up to him backstage and asked to take his picture because I thought he was, well... stylish. Unbeknownst to me, he was the lead singer of The Tragically Hip and one of Canada's mighty heroes. I know, I know, don't get angry at me for not knowing who he was, it takes a while to adapt to Canadian culture which is so different from my own. I'm kicking myself for not knowing who he was before he blew my mind on stage. What a performer. I can see why everyone in Canada knows who he is and loves him for it.

Anyway, I'll talk less and show more, because that's what I do. Here's an assortment of photos from the photo pit.

If you were there and had an awesome time with your friends, don't hesitate to share it with them so that they can relive what most will agree on was a fine day for good times.

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