Last July (yes, that was a long time ago--I'm catching up on blog posting), Blake bought a new suit and we got dressed up and took colourful moody photos surrounded by neon lights.
To reiterate my last post (in case you missed it--if you saw it, skip down a couple sentences), we began this shoot, planning it to be emo-ish, but then almost immediately afterward, I got obsessed with colour. The result are photos with edgy outfits and bright colours and I'm super proud of how they turned out. Editing has been an area of huge growth for me over the past year and it's exciting to see that tangibly in shoots like this. Shoutout to David Pugh for the lighting and backdrop and co-creative direction. Shoutout to Lauren Penna (pictured) for makeup. Lauren and I have become good friends over the past year and I'm so thankful she moved to Des Moines. This was our first shoot together, but I'm pretty sure it won't be our last! (Last but not least: there's 3 black-and-white photos--click through to see them all!)
We began this shoot, planning it to be emo-ish, but then almost immediately afterward, I got obsessed with colour. The result are photos with edgy outfits and bright colours and I'm super proud of how they turned out. Editing has been an area of huge growth for me over the past year and it's exciting to see that tangibly in shoots like this. Shoutout to David Pugh for the lighting and backdrop and co-creative direction. Shoutout to Lauren Penna for makeup. And shoutout to Blake for always being fun to photograph.
This fall, I spent 3 days on one of Billy Raffoul's first tours. It was a blast spending time with these folks and I hope we get to do it again! In addition to shooting the shows, I took portraits two different days: Sunday in Omaha and Monday in Kansas City. On Sunday, the neighboring brewery allowed us to shoot inside and on Monday, we utilized the nearby buildings. Thanks to Billy, Alex, Sara, Justin, and Interscope!
I spent an afternoon and evening with Sir Sly, shadowing them during soundcheck and a shirt signing at local store Raygun, and shooting their show at Woolys'. My favourite part, however, is always the portraits. A few minutes and some makeshift lighting tricks, and we got some awesome shots. Thank you guys (and Interscope)!
David took some portraits of Blake and I, and in exchange I snagged some portraits of him, too! Colour has been my most recent obsession, and even on a cloudy day, we found some.
Hanna was our lovely host in Chicago for a couple nights last month. She and I hadn't met before that weekend, but became friends and she let me take a few portraits of her in this amazing pink room.
Minneapolis LANY shows hold a special place in my heart. It was in Minneapolis (this same venue actually) that I saw first LANY, opening for Oh Wonder in June 2016. That was also the same day I went on my very first adventure with Blake. My only camera was a disposable; I didn't even know that was a LANY "thing," but it was a happy accident. Jump forward to October 2017, and they're headlining a sold-out show. I'm with the same boy, but I've got a much larger camera and I'm actually working (how crazy is that?) and the boy and I are holding hands now.
Minneapolis was also the first city I'd done LANY fan photos in, and I've grown to recognize some of the fans and they know me by name. (And I try hard to remember your names--there's a lot more of you than me!) The LANY fandom is like a little family and I love that so much. It's like having a bunch of little sibs at every show.
Some of them had different hair colours this year and it was definitely colder than last fall's show, but their eyes were bright and their hands clutched roses. In front of First Avenue, they'd drawn with chalk the LANY rose and sweet notes to the band. They huddled under blankets and denim jackets, excitement building as the door time drew near.
I said it last fall and I'll say it again: you humans are magic. You hold within you the power to change culture and change the world. You've done something rare: to have a fandom of a boy band that isn't catty or competitive, that cares about each other and that welcomes new humans in. That is, in small part, because of the band's attitude, but mostly, fam, that's because of YOU. That's what makes LANY special. It's how you look out for each other and befriend each other. It's how you welcomed me into the crowd when I had to shoot from there. You could've easily been irritated at the girl with the big camera, but you were kind. Thank you. It's how I can fly to New York to meet a girl from Germany and how we are friends because of a band. LANY fam is a fam.
Keep being kind. Keep bringing roses and giving each other hugs. Be generous with your kind words. It's okay to cry, but remember to laugh, too, and don't be afraid to lose your mind about the things that you love (right now for me, it's potatoes). Stay up for sunsets and wake up early for sunrises. I promise you it's worth it every time. You're getting older since I first met you, but don't let the world tell you, don't let hard times tell you, that there isn't wonder still left to find. Bad days and bad boys and bad girls will break your hearts but I promise you there are good boys and good girls and good days out there. They are coming. Each year will get a little harder, but I promise you: it will get better, too. Hold on. Hang on. Keep on. Your time is now and it may not feel like it today but the world is yours. Your time is still coming, too. You've made the band who opened up 507 days before a sold-out headliner. You have a voice and you have power and you have wonder and excitement and a lot of beautiful things. Hold them close and hold everything else with open hands. You can change the world. I believe in you. ILYSB.