Four years ago, I gave up working concert security when my son was born. I loved my job and was proud of the work I was doing, unfortunately it just became an unmanageable job for a single mother. Soon after, I ended up moving to California, I was this only-parent to this small amazing little boy, his entire life was dependant on me and I had no choice but to start over. I left most of my belongings behind in my apartment and fit what I could in my jeep and off we drove to California It was one of the hardest decisions Ive ever made, but it was also one of the best things I could have done for my son and I.
Fast forward a few months later, and Im struggling with all the changes in my life, a new home, in a new state, playing this new role of 'mommy'. I ended up living in FB world, it was my only connection to my old life, and to just people in general. Being a stay at home mom was much more isolating than I ever could have imagined. I would feel envy and bitterness anytime I saw a friend going out or a co- worker, working shows I would have been at.
Theres one that stands out in particular and that was when the X Ambassadors where performing at Red Rocks in 2016 and I was just so devastated to be missing out on that show. I sat in my living room just desperate to get back some of what I had lost in myself. I really didnt even know what to do, where to begin or how to start, I just felt so stuck in this transitional period of my life. It wasn't until months later, after my sons first birthday that I decided to finally pursue my dreams of becoming a photographer. I bought a used Nikon D5200 DSLR on Offer Up for $120 bucks and just learned everything I could. I spent all my free time learning my camera, watching you tube tutorials, shooting, and editing for fun. I joined tons of groups online and started meeting other photographers and studying their images.
I met Cheri, through one of these groups and she told me how she did concert photography exclusively. Seeing her images, hearing her stories, I just knew that this was my calling. Cheri encouraged my passion and gave me some advice on how to request getting approval to shoot a show. I put in for my very first show in January of 2017, Chevelle at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium. I had no publication to back me, and no experience whatsoever but to my surprise, I got approval. It was one of the best feelings in the entire world. I had been given this amazing opportunity, this amazing band was taking a chance on me to photography their show. I was elated!
Shooting this show was the most exhilarating rush. I couldnt sleep all night because I was on such a high from the show and I stayed up all night working on the images! I knew I belonged in that pit!
The night of the Chevelle show I met a fellow photographer in the pit. Joshua Weesner, he's seriously so talented (check him out at @standalonepro), this man has been vital to my success in this industry. He really took me under his wing so to speak, and gave me unlimited amounts of insight, tips, and advice. He helped get amazing opportunities such as shooting Vans Warped Tour 2017 and Cal Jam 17 and now I shoot for the same publication he does. He is truly an amazing, selfless dude and I am so blessed having him in my life.
I have been shooting concerts for a little over a year now and have photographed some amazing bands: Foo Fighters, Cage the Elephant, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, and just recently...the X Ambassadors! Getting the approval to shoot their show, standing in the pit, at the base of their stage was such a full circle moment for me. It was such a validation, that you can start over. You can transform your life, you can change your situation, your past does not define you, and the only limitations are the ones you put on yourself.
Ive lived so many different lives to get to this one, and I am finally after all these struggles and sacrifices, living my best life.
Here are a few of my favorite shots over the past year