“If you try to write something memorable, you’ll never get it.”
This past weekend I had a new experience, a cool experience. And though it may not be considered a big deal to most, it was to me. It was my first time shooting any sort of event as a credentialed photographer and it just happened to be an event with Kevin Bacon. You know, Ren McCormack, “this is our time to dance,” Kevin Bacon. My photo pass got me within a few feet of shooting Kevin and his brother Michael’s band, The Bacon Brothers. I really wanted to come away from the event with great images and a memorable story to tell about my experience. The memorable words have yet to come to me so I will just share the details of how I ended up within a degree or two from the Footloose star.
In the beginning of August I shared with a couple of people I started a tweet campaign with the hope of landing an opportunity to photograph a favorite band of mine. The plan was to tweet at the band Rusted Root from August 1st each day until September 1st, which is when they play in my town. The thought perhaps was silly. My friends were supportive of the idea but like me I’m sure they were a little skeptical anything would come of it. It’s something I do, come up with unrealistic ideas or dreams of things I’d like to but aren’t likely to happen. Though I do it less now than I did in my youth, once in a while a crazy idea comes to mind and like many of the others, the idea eventually fades away and the dream remains a dream.
What can it hurt? Just tweet them … A pep talk to myself.
@RustedRoot Looking forward to your Sept 1 show. Would like to photograph you!
@RustedRoot big fan here, seen u several times. Would like to get some candid photos when you’re in Indy.
August 3 (On this day Rusted Root liked my first tweet)
@RustedRoot Thanks for liking my tweet! Any chance this fan could do a short shoot?
August 4 (The first line of this tweet is reworded line from their song Martyr)
How long…should I play the photographer? @RustedRoot Check me out, would like to take a pic of my favorite band!
Throughout this tweeting stream I am hash-tagging my photography to illustrate I am not too looney and I do shoot photographs. After sending my August 4th tweet I head to bed. When I wake in the morning there is a twitter notification on my phone, it’s from Rusted Root:
@JBone_Photo please email our publicist and we’ll see if possible!!
What? Are you kidding me? It actually worked! It could still be a long shot. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was pretty damn excited. Now I needed to craft an email to the publicist, I wanted to choose my words wisely; I wanted to sound professional…I wanted her to respond. After a couple versions of the email I decided to hit send with a link to my work and expected it may be a few days if ever I’d get a response.
Within an hour of sending my email the publicist responds with complimentary words of my photography, asks if I would allow them to use my images on social media, and provides details of a shoot with Rusted Root when they’re in Indy. Maybe I am too old to show exuberance but it was hard not to smile and leap out of my seat to celebrate what felt a bit of a dream. Putting myself out there to attain the possible often feels impossible, so I often don’t. This time I did and it paid off.
“So, how did you end up shooting Kevin Bacon?”
Shortly after receiving the first email from the publicist she follows with another that shared she also had the Bacon Brothers coming to town on August 13th. After corresponding a few times on the details I was provided a photo pass that would allow me to get right up to the stage where credentialed photographers can shoot the first three songs. Along with another photographer (Brad Flynn, check him out at: https://www.facebook.com/B-Flynn-Concert-Photography-927391290613700/home ) I roamed the front of the stage while fans sung, danced, and pined for Kevin Bacon on the other side of the gate behind me. In those moments of shooting the Bacon Brothers I did what I do which is shoot pictures. It was only after I began to walk away from the stage after the third song that I thought, “I’m only few feet from Kevin Bacon.”
It reminded me of the simple Penny Lane quote where she talks about living in and appreciating the moment in the movie Almost Famous;
“It’s all happening.”
Maybe it leads nowhere and I’ll only have a couple of opportunities to have shoots like this. Maybe it will lead me to doing what I really love which is interviewing as well as photographing people. Either way I’m going to enjoy it.
Bring on Rusted Root!